When it comes to baking soda and baking powder, these ingredients are easily confused as they have quite similar names, but also look similar. In today’s article we are going to explain you the difference between these similar, but yet different ingredients.
Sometimes these white powders are used in same recipe, but still it is important to know their individual uses.
Both, baking soda and baking powder are leaveners but chemically are different.
This is the difference between baking soda and baking powder:
The chemical name of this ingredient is sodium bicarbonate or also is called bicarbonate of soda. The base mineral is baking soda and when is combined with something acidic, produces carbon dioxide. So, when some recipe needs baking soda, it in fact needs some type of acid. Namely, when you are using baking soda for preparation of some dish, you also need something acidic, like brown sugar, lemon juice, molasses, cream of tartar, yogurt or buttermilk, in order to react together.
Baking soda is stronger than baking powder. Still, that doesn’t mean that too much baking soda will cause lift and if it doesn’t react with any acid in the recipe there will be leftover baking soda in the recipe. It is important to highlight that when it isn’t neutralized with acid, the recipe will have specific metallic taste.
When it comes to exact measurement of baking soda for some recipe, you should know the rule of thumb.
Good rule of thumb: Use about ¼ teaspoon of baking soda per 1 cup of flour in a recipe.
Baking powder is mixture of baking soda and other acids, and most commonly are added cream of tartar and sometimes cornstarch. When you are preparing some recipe, the first leavening occurs when baking powder gets wet and the second leavening occurs when the baking powder is heated. That is the reason why it already contains an acid. When it comes to amount of baking powder you need, try the following rule.
Good rule of thumb: Use around 1 teaspoon of baking powder per 1 cup of flour in a recipe.
WHY DO SOME RECIPES CALL FOR BOTH?
For preparation of certain recipes you will need both ingredients. Usually such recipes have some type of acid and the carbon dioxide created from the acid and baking soda is not enough to leaven the volume. That is the reason why you need to add baking powder, as well. Well, simply it is about balance.
REMEMBER THAT THEY EXPIRE
Keep in mind always to utilize fresh baking powder and soda and change them at least at 3 months. Also, if you hesitate about the expiry date, you can always check their effectiveness before you utilize them.
Namely, in order to test baking powder, into a small bowl with warm water, pour 3 tablespoons of this ingredient. Then, add ½ teaspoon of baking powder and stir it. If there is some reaction, it is a fresh one.
When it comes to test of baking soda, into a small bowl pour 3 tablespoons of white distilled vinegar and then add ½ teaspoon of baking soda and stir it. In case if the mixture rapidly bubbles, it is indication that the baking soda is fresh.
Last, but not least, this is a tip for those people who find it hard to remember the difference between these similar ingredients: baking soda = single ingredient, while baking powder = poof in the oven.