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Baking powder vs baking soda

Baking Soda for Baking

Baking soda or baking powder?
Have you ever tried to work according to the recipe, in which baking powder was listed, but all you had was baking soda? Although baking soda and baking powder are used in similar recipes and in similar quantities, do not be fooled! Despite their similarities, they have different effect on the color, texture and taste of food.

The difference between baking powder and baking soda
Baking soda vs baking powder:
Baking soda is composed of sodium bicarbonate, which is slightly alkaline. Alkaline pH of baking soda causes it to react with other foods in a special way. For example, when baking soda is mixed with an acid having a low pH, the reaction immediately results in the formation of carbon dioxide (CO2). CO2 that is released from this reaction is what loosens foods such as biscuits and pancakes.

Baking powder vs baking soda:
Baking powder has a more complex structure than baking soda. Bicarbonate of soda consists only of sodium bicarbonate. Baking powder contains both sodium bicarbonate and an acid which is necessary to react with soda. In this case, the contained acid monocalcium phosphate and sodium aluminum sulfate. Why two acid? Since the most baking powders have "double action". This means that the acid-base reaction takes place in two stages: first at room temperature, while stirring the dough, and the other at high temperatures, when the food is cooked or baked. In the first stage there is releasing a small proportion of CO2. This second phase represents the lion's share of the release of CO2 produced with baking powder. Corn starch is added to baking powder to prevent any acid-base reactions during storage. Nevertheless, the reaction inevitably occurs slowly over time. Therefore there is baking powders durability.

After the expiry date, the baking powder may be less effective. Moisture can accelerate this reaction and a reduction in the quality of baking powder so that you store it in a cool, dry place.
Baking powder is necessary, therefore, to be replaced every 6 to 12 months. Bicarbonate of soda may take several years if properly stored in a cool, dry place. Try your baking powder by combining 1/2 cup hot water with 1 teaspoon of baking powder. If it makes bubbles, your baking powder is still usable.

The use of baking powder vs baking soda:
Although the main purpose of baking soda and baking powder is leavening and loosening, it will also affect the flavor and color. Because both are raising funds for the cakes, therefore they are so light, porous and fluffy. Bicarbonate of soda causes the dough more extended vs baking powder that allows the dough to rise more. PH of baking powder, if not neutralized by acids, increases the browning of food, for example toast, meat, French fries, pastries, etc... And this usually occurs when we use baking soda instead of baking powder. Cakes can be very brown and looks almost burnt, the flavor can be bitterer.
If the taste of your food is too bitter or has a metallic taste, it is a sign that you have used too much baking soda in your recipe, and left too much non-reacting baking soda in food.

baking powder vs soda

How do you make baking powder at home?
If you do not have baking powder you can actually do it yourself. One teaspoon of baking powder obtained by mixing 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon of cornstarch. (Cornstarch absorbs moisture and prevents reaction before putting baking powder in the dough, so do not skip it.)
Baking powder or baking soda has to be always mixed with dry ingredients first in your recipe like flour and other dry ingredients (such as salt, cinnamon, etc.) before you connect the wet ingredients in your recipe. Otherwise you may have a very big hole in your baked food at the end.

Baking powder vs baking soda: Is there only one winner?

There are two types of baking powder:
There is also a single-acting baking powder, which is activated by moisture. As the reaction starts, when baking powder comes in contact with moisture (usually when wet and dry ingredients are combined), it is important to bake the dough immediately after the preparation to maintain good leavening.

Double-acting baking powder: we have described it in the text above.

Why do some recipes require baking soda, while others require baking powder?

It depends on what you want to achieve with other ingredients.

Baking soda has a special taste, if not activated with acids. If the recipe does not include acidic ingredients and we use baking soda instead, it can end up in salty and bitter result.

Baking powder does not require specific action by the acidic ingredient, since it already contains acid. Recipes containing neutral flavors, such as milk or cream are often used with baking powder for leavening.

backing powder vs soda

What about recipes that require both baking soda and baking powder?

Some recipes require baking soda and baking powder, in order to achieve a certain balance. If the recipe contains sodium bicarbonate, it is usually that it neutralizes the acid in the recipe. For additional leavening, the baking powder comes in handy and to keep a pleasant taste.

So can you substitute baking powder with baking soda?

Unfortunately not.
Their different ways of activating are the key to success in the recipe.

Baking soda instead of yeast
Instead of yeast, you can use soda. Vitamin C powder or lemon acid mix with the same dose of soda. After a few moments the mixture will risen and you can use it the same way as you use a yeast.

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