Feb 12, 2015


Don’t have whole wheat pastry flour? Regular whole wheat flour is not a good substitute for whole wheat pastry flour.. It will give you a heavier and more dense product. Whole wheat flour is usually ground hard wheat that is high in gluten and best for baking bread. Whole wheat pastry flour is a much finer grind and is made from a soft wheat low in gluten. It is best for sweets like cakes, muffins, and cookies. If whole wheat pastry flour is not available in your area, you can try 1/2 whole wheat flour + half all purpose flour. It won’t be as good as using whole wheat pastry flour but it’s a way to add fiber. If you use my recipes regularly it’s worth looking for whole wheat pastry flour – most health food stores will have it. It can also be purchased online and should be kept refrigerated.

Don’t have buttermilk? You cannot substitute milk for buttermilk. There is no perfect substitute for buttermilk, especially in baking. Due to its acidic nature, buttermilk makes baked goods lighter and fluffier so it’s worth using the real thing. My preferred method is to combine yogurt with milk, using 1/2 yogurt (2% low fat Greek yogurt) and 1/2 milk (1% or 2% low fat milk). A common solution in baking is to add 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice or distilled white vinegar to 1 cup of milk (any kind but not fat-free) and let it stand for 5 minutes to mimic buttermilk. For the best results, try to use real low fat buttermilk if you can, but not fat-free. You can freeze unused buttermilk in portions the size you will need for future recipes. It will separate when frozen but when you thaw it, just stir it back up.

Don’t have bread flour? You can use all purpose flour. Bread flour has more protein than all-purpose flour and that helps with gluten development, which is helpful when working with yeast. With bread flour pizzas may be a little crispier and breads may be a little chewier and have more body but it’s not a huge difference.

Don’t have instant yeast? Regular active yeast can be used wherever I use instant yeast. But be sure to check the package directions for the required temperature of the liquid. My brand of instant yeast calls for 120 degrees F while my regular active yeast calls for 110 degrees F.

Don’t have 1% milk or low fat milk? Use a mixture of 3 parts water to 1 part whole milk. For example, to make the equivalent of one cup of 1% milk: combine  3/4 cup water + 1/4 cup whole milk.  (For 2% milk the mixture should be 50/50, i.e. half water and half whole milk)

Don’t have baking soda? Do not use baking powder instead. Baking powder is not a substitute for baking soda. Baking soda reacts with acidic ingredients in a recipe to make baked goods rise.

Don’t have extra light olive oil? For baking you can use canola, safflower, or any vegetable oil.

Don’t have a dutch oven? I have only used an enameled cast iron dutch oven but I have researched online and other people claim to have success using: a glass pyrex dish with a lid, a stainless steel pot with a lid, a clay baker, and a pizza stone with a stainless steel bowl as a cover. You can also look through the recipe comments for other ideas. Keep in mind that any lid must be tight fitting and have an oven-proof handle (not plastic). Your pot will need to hold at least 3 quarts but 5 to 6 quarts is most common.

Don’t want to use eggs? I’m sorry to say I don’t know of any good substitute for eggs. For anyone with egg allergies, rather than change a recipe and risk being disappointed, you can find many eggless recipes the are already proven online. If cholesterol is a concern, all my research has shown that egg yolks may contain cholesterol but they are low in saturated fat and they do not raise serum cholesterol in the blood. Eggs also contain nutrients that may help lower the risk for heart disease, including vitamin B12, riboflavin, and folate. Besides providing protein, iron, phosphorus, iodine, and vitamin E, eggs are also one of the few natural sources of vitamin D.

24 Comments on "Substitutions"

  1. Keshav

    Substitutions for eggs in recipes – sometimes I have used banana or yams (foods with the egg-like binding quality), and it comes out noticeably different in taste for sure and maybe texture slightly, but alright for me. Also, I may not have as as sophisticated palate as others.

  2. Cindy

    I am glaf to hear. About the egg story, i always throw my yolks away and use the whites for my morning breakfast, problem is I am still hungry. Thank you dear.

  3. Abby

    Would I be able to use melted butter instead? If so, would it be the same amount stated for the canola oil or not and would it be salted or unsalted butter?

    • Jenny

      I believe you can use melted butter and I would suggest the same amount of unsalted butter, melted and cooled. I have never made paczki with melted butter but I see other recipes that do so I believe it will work with my recipe. Good luck.

  4. Abby

    I have a question I did not find the answer to. I was going to make the polish doughnuts, but I did not have canola oil. I was wondering, are there were any substitutions for it?

    • Jenny

      Please look at the recipe, thanks.

      • Abby

        Would I be able to use melted butter instead?

        • Abby

          If so, would it be the same amount stated for the canola oil or not?

        • Abby

          If so, would it be salted or unsalted butter?

    • Jenny

      For baking you can use canola, safflower, extra-light olive oil, or any vegetable oil.

  5. Swati

    Hi Jenny,
    I was going through your website and found many good recipes. I love baking and always look for good and healthy recipes. I also watched some of your videos and liked the way you explain everything.
    Can you please suggest a brand for whole wheat pastry food? Also can I use this flour without using all purpose flour?


    • Jenny

      Whole wheat pastry flour can be hard to find so I use whatever brand I can find. I use this flour totally in some recipe but in others I feel some all purpose flour is needed.

  6. Phyllis Martell

    can i substitute vegetable oil or canola oil or regular olive oil for everday cookies thans phyllis

  7. Debbie

    I’ve found that ground hard white wheat gives an end result like AP flour where whole wheat pastry flour is best for cakes and other more crumbly baked goods.

  8. L.L. Dambrosi

    Even though it is easy to print out your recipes, have you thought of your own cookbook? Perhaps a lot of work, but I’d be one of the first to purchase. Warm wishes.

    • Jenny

      Thanks but it’s easier to keep my recipes online, especially because I can make changes and improvements, which you can’t do once it’s in a book.

  9. Sherry

    Any substitute for sour milk?

    • Jenny

      I believe sour milk is like buttermilk so a replacement would likely be the same as for buttermilk.

    • Magart

      Put a teaspoon or so of lemon juice in a 1 cup measuring glass. Fill with milk and let sit 15 minutes. You will have sour milk.

  10. Mary Ann

    A thing I learned from my mother, as a substitute for buttermilk in her biscuits, was to put a little vinegar (I have never measured so don’t know how much exactly) to curdle the milk. Have you ever tried this and does it work for you?

    • Jenny

      I have not tried it but that option is explained above.

  11. Cindy

    Hi Jenny.

    I’ve heard that one can make 1 cup of cake flour (milled from soft wheat with low gluten) using all purpose flour by measuring 1 cup of all purpose flour and replacing 2T of the all purpose flour with 2T of corn starch. Would it be possible to do this with whole wheat flour as a substitute for whole wheat pastry flour?

    Thanks for the great site and recipes!

    • Jenny

      I wish that would work with whole wheat flour but it won’t. The two flours are very different.

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