What is the Difference Between Baking Powder and Baking Soda?

What is the Difference Between Baking Powder and Baking Soda?

Two of the most commonly talked about baking ingredients are baking powder and baking soda. After all, people often mix them up thinking they are the same. Well, they aren’t entirely wrong.

Both are leavening agents used in a variety of baked items which why they are easy to get wrong but there are some stark differences. And mixing them up can even ruin your recipe which makes it important you know their difference and in this article, I am going to tell you all about it.

Baking Soda VS Baking Powder

What is Baking Powder?

Baking powder comprises mainly 3 ingredients, these are Baking soda, cream of tartar and cornflour or rice flour and its main goal in baking is to absorb the moisture.

But how quickly it does so will depend on the kind of baking powder you use. Yup, baking powder is available in 3 forms that are acting, double acting or slow acting. Each of these varies in acidity levels.

When the powder comes in contact with the liquid ingredients it activates i.e. it releases carbon dioxide due to which the cake rises and fluffs up.

But to get the perfect results, make sure you stick to the recipe measurement. Going overboard with turn the cake bitter and adding too little of it means your cake will be dense.

Also, since the activation process starts immediately after mixing wet and dry ingredients, there is no time to waste before you start baking.

What is Baking Soda?

Baking soda mainly comprises of sodium and bicarbonate ions due to which it has a salty taste. To activate this, you are going to have to mix it with buttermilk or yogurt and is mainly used in eggless baked items.

This too works like baking powder as it fluffs up cakes by releasing carbon dioxide. Once again, you want to keep your measurements in check or your cake is going to turn out salty.

So what is different about both?

The main difference between both the ingredients is their strength. Confused? Well, baking soda is about 4x stronger than baking powder. In fact, every teaspoon of baking powder is 1/4th baking soda.

So how do you decide whether to go with baking powder or baking soda? Well, it is pretty straightforward.

If the recipe asks you to add ingredients like yogurt or buttermilk, you go with baking soda as the acidity of the yogurt or buttermilk will activate this alkaline. On the other hand, if the recipe does not include any acidic ingredients than baking powder is obvious.

But what if the recipe calls for both?

Well, this comes down to the ingredients used in the recipe. Adding both are often used to maintain the acidic flavor of certain ingredients such as orange juice (you want your cake to have a tangy flavor, the combination will ensure just that).

Furthermore, it might also have something to do with the browning of the baked item as browning is best in an alkaline environment. To know more about baking powder and baking soda watch the video below.



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