Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder


     Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder is a very discussed subject in the baking topic. There are many questions out there such as: '' What is the difference between baking soda and baking powder?'' ''Can I substitute one for the other?'' ; '' Are they the same?''. I am writing this post in order to answer these questions and help you out. The most important thing you have to remember is that Baking Soda and Baking Powder are not the same things!

   

   First, let's see what baking soda and baking powder really are, and what are their role in baking.

   Baking Soda
   Baking soda is a salty, alkaline chemical compound, and it's the common name used for sodium bicarbonate. In fact, baking soda's only ingredient is sodium bicarbonate. Baking soda is usually used in recipes that have acid ingredients that it can react to, such as citrus juice, yogurt, vinegar, cream of tartar. You will find it in many cookie recipes and quick bread.
   Baking soda can leaven a delicious baked good when it's exposed to heat. But don't forget that it has to be neutralized with an acid! Otherwise, your baked good will have a metallic aftertaste. 
   Baking soda is not a leaving agent as per say. It's mostly a chemical compound which reacts to some liquids it comes into contact with (acid liquids).

   Baking powder
   Baking powder consists of three ingredients:
Baking Powder


  • an acid (most common is cream of tartar)
  • a base (baking soda)
  • a filler (usually cornstarch)
   Baking powder is a leavening agent used to soften the texture of our baked goods, and also make them more voluminous.
   You can find baking powder in most cake recipes, in muffins, pastries, and pies. 


    Can you substitute baking soda with baking powder?
   Substituting in a recipe baking soda with baking powder can be tricky, and I wouldn't recommend it. 
   Baking soda is very strong. It's about 3x stronger than baking powder. If you put more baking soda in a recipe, that doesn't mean that your baked good will be perfect. You can try and add more acid to the recipe, but it takes lots of experience and lots of failures until you find the perfect combination.
   You can risk having leftover baking soda in your baked good. A metallic and soapy taste is not what one can desire.

   Can you substitute baking powder with baking soda?
Baking Soda
   This can also be tricky, and I don't recommend it. Baking powder can be used instead of baking soda. But it all depends on the other ingredients, and it takes lots of failures until you can find the perfect combination. 

   I can really recommend just simply following the recipe. You really have to be careful using baking soda and baking powder. Why is that? Because if you use the wrong amount, or choose to alter the recipe by substituting one with another, you can significantly alter your baked good.

   Don't forget that both baking soda and baking powder have an expiration date. No matter what you will use, make sure that it's not expired, and that it was properly stored!

   I really hope I was able to help you with this Baking Soda vs Baking Powder topic. You need to remember that they're completely different things and that they are used in different recipes, with different ingredients. 
   If you are a beginner in the baking area, remember that baking requires practice and willingness to learn. And also some failures from time to time. Happy baking everyone! 😃




   

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