Difference between Quick Breads and Yeast Breads

Quick breads and yeast breads can have a seemingly similar appearance. However, the methods for creating them as well as the ingredients used are very different.


quick bread
Quick bread

A quick bread is any bread that is made using an ingredient other than yeast or eggs as a leavening agent. The most common leavening agents are baking soda and baking powder. Both of these usually have salt added to the recipe to help activate the leavening agent. Quick breads are not left to rise before baking. Quick breads include biscuits, banana bread, cornbread, muffins and scones. Loaf breads such as soda bread are also quick breads. Quick breads can also include some pizza crust and donut recipes. Cookies, cakes and pancakes could also be considered quick breads.

yeast bread
Yeast bread

A yeast bread is a bread that uses yeast as the leavening agent. Typically sugar or honey are used as a catalyst to activate the yeast so that the bread will rise. The bread is left to rise for up to one hour, usually until it doubles in size. It may then be “punched” down and allowed to rise again before baking. Yeast breads include most loaf breads, some pizza crust recipes, and most donut recipes.

Comparison chart

Quick breads Yeast breads
Baking soda or baking powder Yeast
Salt for catalyst Sugar or honey for catalyst
Does not rise before baking Rises at least once before baking

Quick Breads vs Yeast Breads

What is the difference between quick breads and yeast breads? Let’s compare them by leavening agent, catalyst and baking method.

  • Quick breads use baking soda or baking powder as a leavening agent while yeast breads use active or dry yeast.
  • The catalyst for yeast breads is usually some type of sugar or honey. The catalyst for quick breads is salt. Salt may also be an ingredient in yeast breads.
  • Yeast breads use yeast, sugar and warm water to start, then other ingredients are added. Quick breads are made by mixing wet ingredients, then the flour and leavening agent, then combining the wet and dry ingredients. Yeast breads are left to rise at least once before baking while quick breads do not rise before baking.

You can refer to this video for more details on the difference: