Leavening Agents

As with many things in our walk, there are various levels of strictness that one might seek to adhere to concerning the removal of leavening from our homes.

Some Jews sell their homes to a Gentile for a dollar and then buy it back again after the Feast of Unleavened Bread has ended, thus circumventing the requirement to remove leaven from their homes. Some would only take their yeast and any leavened bread products and set them in out in the woods in a sealed container until after the feast of Unleavened Bread has ended, and then take all of it back in their house again. To me, both of these are attempts to circumvent the commandments of Yahweh, and are attempts to find "loopholes in the law."

My desire is to be a man after Yahweh's heart in all things, and even though I may not be where I need to be, I think it's good to desire and pursue that attitude.

Probably most believers seek to eliminate some basic leavening agents and any foods containing them. The most common leavening agents are yeast, Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda), and Baking powder. If that's where you are comfortable and don't feel a conviction to do anything more than that, then I don't judge you.

But if we want to be really technical about it, there are a number of chemical and ingredients in our modern world that can be found in foods which are used as leavening agents. For me, I want to eliminate both yeast and anything that could be in food that might be a yeast substitute. My desire is to avoid circumventing Yahweh's command by enjoying a "yeast-like" bread that, while it may not contain yeast, nevertheless the end result is pretty similar.

I like to keep in mind that this is all a spiritual exercise. It is representing the diligence needed to get the sin out of our lives. And the more complicated this world is, and the further it departs from Yahweh, the more difficult this can often be.

So here is a list of potential leavening agents. Some of them you may almost never see in any ingredient list. You can choose to take this as far as you feel the conviction to do.

I encourage you to do your own research on these ingredients. You might find that this list is too extreme, while others want to be more diligent about it. Our goal is that we would fulfill the commandment to rid ourselves of yeast and yeast substitutes. Yahweh sees our hearts.

Some items may contain a symbol on them that indicate they are free of leavening agents, according to the standard in Orthodox Judaism. I'm not sure how strict they are in comparison to this list, but I do know that some things marked kosher for Passover will have Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking soda). Here is the symbol:


Now here is the list of potential leavening agents:

C=Chemical   B=Biological   M=Mechanical

Ammonium [Bi]Carbonate C   Hartshorn, Horn Salt, or Baker's Ammonia
Ammonium Dihydrogen Phosphate C    
Ammonium Hydrogen Carbonate C   Ammonium Bicarbonate
Ammonium Phosphate, Dibasic C    
Ammonium Phosphate, Monobasic C    
Baker's Ammonia C   Ammonium [Bi]Carbonate, Hartshorn, or Horn Salt
Baking Powder C    
Baking Soda C   Sodium Bicarbonate
Barm B Used to Leaven Bread  
Beer B Uses Yeast in the Brewing Process  
Bicarbonate of Ammonia C   Ammonium Bicarbonate
Buttermilk B    
Calcium Carbonate C    
Calcium Dihydrogen Phosphate C    
Calcium Phosphate, Monobasic C    
Chorleywood Bread Process M This is a manual process that creates a leavening effect. See Wikipedia Link for details.  
Cream of Tartar C   Potassium Bitartrate
Creaming Process M This is a manual process that creates a leavening effect. If the intent is to cause the bread to rise, the goal should be to avoid it.  
Diacetyl Tartaric Acid Esters of Mono- and Diglycerides C    
Diammonium Hydrogen Phosphate C    
Disodium Pyrophosphate C    
Ginger Beer B    
Glucono Delta-Lactone C    
Glucono delta-Lactone C It appears that the lowercase d in delta makes this a different additive than the above entry.  
Hartshorn C   Ammonium [Bi]Carbonate, Horn Salt, or Baker's Ammonia
Horn Salt C   Ammonium [Bi]Carbonate, Hartshorn, or Baker's Ammonia
Hydrogen Peroxide C    
Kefir B    
Monocalcium Phosphate C    
Pearlash C   Potassium Carbonate
Phosphates (Anything with "phosph" in the name) C    
Popovers or any similar light hollow rolls O In the process of making Popovers, steam and air are used as leavening agents. See Wikipedia Link for details.  
Potash C   Potassium [Bi]Carbonate
Potassium Acid Carbonate C   Potassium Bicarbonate
Potassium [Bi]Carbonate C   Potash
Potassium Bitartrate C   Cream of Tartar
Potassium Carbonate C   Pearlash
Potassium Hydrogen Carbonate C   Potassium Bicarbonate
Potassium Hydrogen Tartrate C   Potassium Bitartrate
Powdered Baking Ammonia C   Ammonium Bicarbonate
Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate (SAPP) C    
Sodium Aluminum Phosphate [Acidic] (SALP) C    
Sodium Bicarbonate C   Baking Soda
Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate C    
Sourdough Starter B    
Tempura O In the process of making Tempura, steam and air are used as leavening agents. See Wikipedia Link for details.  
Whip Cream or similar high pressure fluff products O In the process of expelling the Whip Cream from the can, the high pressure causes a leavening effect through the butterfat of the cream. See Wikipedia Link for details.  
Yeast B The original leavening agent. It causes Bread to Rise  


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