Example, this recipe: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/food-and-wine/recipes/recipe-traditional-cypriot-tahini-pies/article25201735/

In addition to yeast it calls for a small amount of baking powder. What is the purpose of that?

I found this thread, from which I basically concluded that there is no real leavening effect of using baking powder and yeast together because if you bake it quickly, the yeast fails to leaven as it does not have time to work, and if you bake it after resting, the baking powder would fail to leaven because it is already spent by the time baking starts.

So is there any other reason one would add baking powder to a yeast-leavened dessert? One of the answers in the link above talks about a possible reason for adding baking soda to yeast but nothing on baking powder.


1 Answer 1


Most baking powder available today is double-acting baking powder. The "first" action is when it gets wet. The "second" action is when it gets hot (above 140°F/60°C).

Generally speaking, the yeast would provide the pre-bake rise, and then the baking powder would assist with additional spring once it's in the oven.

Interesting about this recipe that you link to is that the yeast gets a very short amount of time for the yeast to proof before baking. The recipe calls for a 5 minute rest after mixing, but no additional proofing time after shaping. I'm not familiar with these particular cypriot pies at all, but my first impression is actually that because there isn't a step to let the pies rise after they are shaped, the baking powder is likely somewhat necessary to ensure a decent lift.

  • The recipe does specify 'instant quick rise' yeast, which doesn't need proofing.
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 27, 2021 at 16:37
  • "Instant quick rise" still takes time to rise--it's just designed to do so in a single rise, and more quickly. You don't need to proof the yeast in advance, but you still need to give the dough time to proof (and rise) after you form the loaf/rolls.
    – AMtwo
    Jan 27, 2021 at 16:52
  • Good point! I guess the yeast may be there partly to provide a bit of yeasty flavour while the baking powder helps the rise Jan 28, 2021 at 20:06

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