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What is the dif between baking soda and powder in a recipe?


compassionategirl
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This should cover it:

Both baking soda and baking powder are leavening agents, which means they are added to baked goods before cooking to produce carbon dioxide and cause them to 'rise'. Baking powder contains baking soda, but the two substances are used under different conditions.

 

Baking Soda

 

Baking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate. When baking soda is combined with moisture and an acidic ingredient (e.g., yogurt, chocolate, buttermilk, honey), the resulting chemical reaction produces bubbles of carbon dioxide that expand under oven temperatures, causing baked goods to rise. The reaction begins immediately upon mixing the ingredients, so you need to bake recipes which call for baking soda immediately, or else they will fall flat!

 

Baking Powder

 

Baking powder contains sodium bicarbonate, but it includes the acidifying agent already (cream of tartar), and also a drying agent (usually starch).

 

Baking powder is available as single-acting baking powder and as double-acting baking powder. Single-acting powders are activated by moisture,

so you must bake recipes which include this product immediately after mixing. Double-acting powders react in two phases and can stand for a while before baking. With double-acting powder, some gas is released at room temperature when the powder is added to dough, but the majority of the gas is released after the temperature of the dough increases in the oven.

How Are Recipes Determined?

 

Some recipes call for baking soda, while others call for baking powder. Which ingredient is used depends on the other ingredients in the recipe. The ultimate goal is to produce a tasty product with a pleasing texture. Baking soda is basic and will yield a bitter taste unless countered by the acidity of another ingredient, such as buttermilk. You'll find baking soda in cookie recipes. Baking powder contains both an acid and a base and has an overall neutral effect in terms of taste. Recipes that call for baking powder often call for other neutral-tasting ingredients, such as milk. Baking powder is a common ingredient in cakes and biscuits.

 

Substituting in Recipes

 

You can substitute baking powder in place of baking soda (you'll need more baking powder and it may affect the taste), but you can't use baking soda when a recipe calls for baking powder. Baking soda by itself lacks the acidity to make a cake rise. However, you can make your own baking powder if you have baking soda and cream of tartar. Simply mix two parts cream of tartar with one part baking soda.

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Thanks for the great info, SeaSiren!

 

When I switched to using 'buttermilk' with my biscuits instead of plain milk I had much better biscuits. Now I know why I make the best biscuits ever.

 

As for salt:

 

The Effects of Salt in Baking

More than adding flavor, salt begins to affect your baked goods from the moment it's

added to the dough.

 

Here are some things you should know about what salt does in your baked goods.

 

Salt slows down all the chemical reactions that are happening in the dough, including calming fermentation activity to a steadier level.

Salt also makes the dough a little stronger and tighter.

Salt impacts the shelf life of baked goods, but its effects depend on weather conditions. Salt is hydroscopic, which means it absorbs water. Consequently, in humid climates, it will trap moisture from the air, making a crisp crust soggy, and therefore shortening shelf life. In dry climates, however, the salt helps hold water in the bread longer, inhibiting staling, and thus extending the bread's shelf life.

Salt, of course, adds flavor to baked goods. It also potentiates the flavor of other ingredients, including butter and flour.

Salt comes in several forms, including fine, course, sea salt and Kosher salt. All provide the same effect. In fact, in blind taste tests, people were not able to distinguish a difference in the bread's taste based on the type of salt used.

 

http://www.progressivebaker.com/resources/tips_effects_of_salt.shtm

 

Excellent questions, Nat!!

 

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Also, I dont get the point of sweet recipes like for cookies and whatnot calling for a lil salt. What is the purpose of the salt in such recipes?

The contrast between the salt and the sweet makes the sweetness stand out.

 

 

As for baking powder and baking soda: years ago, I made my own 'toothpaste' using baking soda and salt. Once, I was out of baking soda, and thought baking powder might be an okay substitute. I ended up foaming at the mouth like a rabid dog!

 

The recipe book "Simple Treats" (tasty vegan recipes, that even non-vegans like) makes use of the chemical reaction between baking powder and baking soda and acids like vinegar or lemon juice. By mixing the dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately, then combining them just before baking, you get a really good rise.

 

I used to make a gingerbread recipe from "The Farm Vegetarian Cookbook" by adding apple cider vinegar, or even some apple cider, to the recipe to make it rise more. It turns out very moist and delish.

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The recipe book "Simple Treats" (tasty vegan recipes, that even non-vegans like) makes use of the chemical reaction between baking powder and baking soda and acids like vinegar or lemon juice. By mixing the dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately, then combining them just before baking, you get a really good rise.

 

Interestingly, I've had better results with raw apple cider vinegar than lemon juice.

 

To make buttermilk for baking, pour 2 Tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar into the bottom of a one cup measure. Top with milk. Stir. Let sit for approx 3-5 minutes.

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