Baking Powder vs Baking Soda
Baking soda and baking powder are leavening agents commonly used in kitchens all over the world. They are added to doughs that releases bubbles of carbon dioxide. This CO2 causes dough to rise and we get to eat delicious baked recipes. But most people remain confused about differences between these two leavening agents. This article will explain the differences between baking powder and baking soda so as to help people choose one of the two depending upon requirements.
Baking soda, as the name implies is simply sodium bicarbonate. It is a base which when combined with some acid and moisture causes chemical reaction releasing carbon dioxide that makes dough rise. On the other hand, baking powder, apart from sodium carbonate, also contains an acid that is required to produce the chemical reaction. This acid is usually cream of tartar. Baking powder just needs moisture to start the formation of carbon dioxide bubbles.
When using baking soda, it needs to be added to an acidic mixture such as chocolate, yogurt, buttermilk or honey. Instantly, CO2 bubbles are formed that expand when the recipe is kept in a microwave oven. It is necessary to bake the recipe soon after adding baking soda or otherwise the dough will fall flat. On the other hand, baking powder has the acidic ingredient in itself. Baking powder is available as single acting powder and double acting powder. When using single acting powder, you have to treat the recipe as you would, when using baking soda and bake the recipe immediately, but in case of double acting baking powder, carbon dioxide is released in phases and the recipe can stand for a while.
It is necessary to know the other ingredients of the recipe before deciding on baking soda or baking powder. What you want is a delicious recipe and it makes no difference to you whether leavening agent is baking soda or baking powder. Since baking soda is a base, it tends to make recipes a little bitter unless you add a little buttermilk to counter this bitterness. On the other hand, baking powder contains both the base as well as acid and hence it tends to produce a neutral taste. This is why it is baking powder that is used in the manufacture of biscuits and cakes as sweetness, and not bitterness is what is required.
Recipes that require baking soda can be made with baking powder but you cannot substitute baking soda in place of baking powder. But you can make your own baking powder in case you do not have it in home and have baking soda in its place. Just add two parts of cream of tartar to one part of baking soda and you have home made baking powder ready to make your home made cookies and cakes.
Baking soda vs Baking powder
• Baking soda and baking powder are both leavening agents that are used in making recipes.
• Both start a chemical reaction causing carbon dioxide bubbles to form making the dough rise.
• Baking soda is a carbonate of sodium which is a base and you need an acid to produce carbon dioxide bubbles whereas baking powder contains acidic ingredients in addition to baking soda and just needs addition of moisture to start the reaction