Baking soda plays an important role when making the perfect banana bread recipe. The baking soda acts as a leavening agent that helps any breads or pastries double its volume. It also makes fluffier, softer, and still a little chewy when tasted.
But when you run out of baking soda last minute, no need to do that panicky trip to the grocery store and use substitutes instead. You can substitute baking soda for your banana bread recipe by using: baking powder, yeast, buttermilk, or self-rising flour.
Here we’ll show you how it’s done and how we can make your baking experience simpler and convenient.
Baking Soda Substitutes for Banana Bread
1. Baking Powder
Baking powder is one of the most common ingredients used in baking or even cooking with savory dishes. It also enables any quickbreads to rise and double its volume. Baking powder is actually quite the same as baking soda since it’s a combination of the cream of tartar and baking soda.
That’s the reason why the baking powder’s rising effect is not as intense as baking soda. Yet, it’s still a perfect substitute when you’re running out of baking soda. At times most consumers are confused between baking soda and baking powder. But hopefully, by now, this grey area has been cleared already.
Since baking powder performs lesser as a leavening agent compared to baking soda, you would need to use more of it to substitute baking soda for the banana bread.
When substituting one teaspoon of baking soda, you would need to substitute it with 3 teaspoons of baking powder or more. So you could achieve the same rise as baking soda does.
Also, baking powder contains salt, so it’s best to not add any more salt to the mixture. Expect that the results are slightly different in taste and texture. You would taste a little salty and acidic.
Yeast is commonly used for bread as an excellent leavening agent. It’s excellent as well for making Italian pizzas that are puffy, soft, and chewy on the inside. Yeast can also work wonders for your banana bread as well.
Yeast and baking soda perform on the same level. However, the process will vary when substituting yeast from baking soda. For baking soda, it’s easier because the resting time to let the bread rise doesn’t take that long or you can actually bake the bread without resting it.
For the yeast, you need to dilute it with water so the bacteria present will do its job. After 5 minutes, that’s the time where you can mix it in the bread mixture. You will need to rest the bread dough or mixture after mixing for a few hours until it’s risen before baking it. Substitute the same amount to the baking soda, a ratio of 1:1 since both have the same leavening capabilities.
When substituting with yeast, truly patience is the key. If you have more time to spare while you’re baking, this substitution can work well. Anyway, the result will be totally worth it since the banana bread will turn out as it supposed to be. It wouldn’t look like you used yeast over the baking soda.
Buttermilk has the ability to make any baked goods fluffier, softer, and even lighter. This third entry can be a bit different since it belongs to the liquid category, however, it performs the same job as how those two substitutes do.
Notice that the ingredients call for milk. Instead of using the regular milk, use the buttermilk instead to make up for your baking soda. 1 cup of milk can be replaced by 1 cup of buttermilk. Easy-peasy. It’s a miracle liquid that can help the banana bread double in volume and achieve that fluffy texture.
If you don’t have any buttermilk available, you can always make your homemade buttermilk by these steps: just mix regular milk with a tablespoon of lime or vinegar and set it aside for 10-15 minutes. Voila! Your very own buttermilk is now available.
The results are also impressive since the banana bread has a more creamy and moist feel to it. Also, the acidity from buttermilk helps break down the sweetness from the bread that would make you get another bite.
4. Self-rising Flour
As the name says, it rises on its own. This miracle flour needs no leavening agent or whatsoever. All you need to do is follow the same instructions from the recipe and use no leavening agent.
This was made for the purpose of baking conveniently especially if you’re lacking with baking soda and any of that leavening agent. With what you have as a recipe, you can already bake your favorite baked goods hassle-free.
The results are surprisingly the same as how baking soda does and there’s not much difference in the taste and texture. You can find so many options at the grocery store when purchasing self-rising flour. You can have it in your pantry as a back-up whenever you forgot to grab baking soda the next time.
With or without leavening agents like baking soda, flour even the most regular ones has the ability to self-rise. Yes, it does. You can let it rest for quite some time until the flour is fermented and starts to rise up.
Take a look at how sourdoughs are made. It’s actually just flour and water but after fermenting it for some time, it rises into wonderful sourdough bread. It’s just that it takes time and patience to wait for it to rise.
But if you really need your banana bread you can use any of those substitutes listed above and always expect that the results will be different. Know that you can also make banana bread without baking soda but the bread will be very dense but still edible.
I highly recommend always keep self-rising flour or cake flour handy in your pantry. This is really convenient as a substitute whenever I can’t keep track of how much baking soda or baking powder was left in my spice rack. But whatever your choice is, as long as you can bake banana bread at ease, then there shouldn’t be any problem.
“Homemade Banana Bread (No Baking Soda)”
- 4 ripe mashed bananas
- 2 cups of self-rising flour or cake flour
- ½ cup melted unsalted butter
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- 2 medium eggs
- 1 tsp of cinnamon
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- ½ tsp of salt
For the top glaze
- 1 tsp of cinnamon
- 4 tbsps of brown sugar
- You will need to preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prepare a rectangular or bread pan and grease it with cooking spray or butter.
- Prepare your mixer and add in your butter and sugar. Mix over medium speed and continue mixing until the mixture is creamy.
- Then slowly add in the eggs (one by one), followed by the crushed bananas and vanilla. Mix until well incorporated.
- Take another bowl and mix all the dry ingredients: flour, cinnamon, and salt. Ensure that you mixed all of it really well.
- Then, add all the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix well. Do not overmix or the mixture will get hardened.
- Pour the mixture into the bread pan and use a spatula to level the surface. Bake for an hour or until the toothpick inserted is no longer wet or too moist.
- While the banana bread is cooking, start making your banana bread glaze. First, melt the brown sugar and cinnamon on the pan. Just set aside not letting it too dry.
- Once the banana bread is cooked, top it with sugar glaze and let it cool.
- Serve the banana bread with vanilla ice cream or a cup of coffee.