If you are a beginner or pastry pro you may add both baking soda and baking powder to your baking recipes. Let us discuss the difference between baking soda and baking powder. It is similar in appearance but has many changes in its reaction to recipes.
Baking soda and baking powder are dry ingredients that help in the rising and expansion of cakes. Both are a crystalline powder that in action reacts with ingredients to produce gas during baking.
That gas produced expands and raises the flour and dough volume. They may act similarly, do you get confused about why bakers use one or the other or both in their recipes? This article shows you the difference between baking soda and baking powder.
To make light fluffy baked goods like right cakes, biscuits, waffles, etc. leavening agents are used. Baking soda, baking powder, yeast, etc are commonly used as leavening agents. To learn about the difference between these leavening agents, scroll more.
The principal means of leavening flour mixes with carbon dioxide produced by the action of microorganisms. The Baking powder is made through the same component of baking soda. Hence both have quite similar properties.
1. What is Baking Soda?
Baking soda in earlier days was known by the name bicarbonate of soda or sodium bicarbonate, which is a leavening agent used for baking goods. It is an alkaline compound, not acidic.
Baking soda reacts with acid and undergoes a chemical reaction and produces gas which makes the recipe perfect. Quick reaction is taking place in this process no intermediate is needed.
The formula is NaHCO3. This salt contains a sodium cation which is Na+ and a bicarbonate anion which is HCO3-. When this process takes place carbon dioxide gas is released. The dehydration reaction is as follows:
2 NaHCO3 ———– Na2CO3 + H2O + CO2
This reaction changes when there is a high temperature, carbonates become water. Thus you may be clear about what is baking soda and does it includes. Hence difference between baking soda and baking powder can be clearly found.
1.1 How to Mix Baking Soda in Baking?
Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. When sodium bicarbonate combines with various acidic and basic, and results in baking soda.
Baking soda reacts with the acid in the recipe, completely neutralize them, and in this process produces carbon dioxide gas. Examples of acids include buttermilk, lemon juice, yogurt, etc. The gas thus produced during the reaction makes the dough to lift up.
Without adding baking soda, cookies will not rise and not get the batter result. If we are adding too much opf baking soda it does not will batter will be more fluffy.
A fixed proportion of baking soda must be added otherwise not get a better result. Too much baking soda results in color changes and different tastes.
1.2 How Long Does Baking Soda Last?
Baking soda has infinite self-life, which means it is always ready to eat. It has a lifespan of 2 years. If enclosed in an airtight container it can be used over time. If placed in an open container it must be replaced within 6 months.
After 6 months it will lose its leavening power, which makes the ability of acid to make the dough perfect. So while using baking sodas please be careful about their expiry dates.
1.3 How to Check is Baking Soda Still Good to Use or Not
To test whether baking soda is good for use, you can take 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and add it to three teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice. if air bubbles appear, it is fresh to use.
We can surely tell that soda reacts well and is used for recipes. You must test baking soda before using it. So mix baking soda with vinegar to test good ingredients.
2. What is Baking Powder?
Baking powder is a leavening agent used for baking recipes. Ammonium carbonate is used as a dry ingredient in baking. Baking powder is a ingredient that contains both baking soda and a dry acid component tartaric acid.
The dry acid component reacts with sodium bicarbonate when the powder is moistened to release carbon dioxide bubbles. Usually, baking powder is comprised of baking soda and acids, like tartaric acid. Now you can understand the difference between baking soda and baking powder.
Baking powder will not react instantly when created with acid. To test baking powder many techniques are available. The baking powder contains three ingredients, baking soda, sometimes cornstarch, and mono-calcium phosphate.
Baking powder produces fluffy products after the reaction. Sometimes two acidic components are used in place of one. Baking powders are of two types.
2.1 Different Types of Baking Powder and Its Reaction to Recipes
Baking powder can be classified into two different types:
- Double-acting baking powder
Double-acting baking powders are the most commonly used and most widely sold in supermarkets. In double-acting baking powder, the batter first lifts up when attains normal temperature and second lifts up during high heat.
- Single-acting baking powder
Single-acting baking powder activates only after reaching at a high temperature and undergoes the first step. The most commonly used baking powder by professional pastry makers is this type. The baked good or recipe will rise only after reaching a high peak of the heat.
2.2 How to Use Baking powder Recipes?
Baking powder is added in the recipe which has no acidic content. For example, for the recipe of biscuits, the ingredients are baking powder, flour, egg, milk, etc. here baking powder act as the rising agent.
If you are experimenting with a recipe, you can use one teaspoon of baking powder with one cup of flour.
2.3 How Long Does Baking Powder Last?
Baking powder is always ready to eat, it loses its chemical leaveners over time. When placed in the closed container it will last up to 1 1/2 years. But when placed in an opened container, the baking powder must be replaced for three-six months.
Since baking powder contains acid and base, it reacts with moisture but baking soda does not. There are certain recipes in which both leavening items are used.
2.4 How to Test If Baking Powder is Still Good
Baking powder can be tested for freshness, by taking 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder in a bowl and adding a teaspoon of hot water. If the mixture bubbles appear, it is ready to use.
3. Difference Between Baking Soda And Baking Powder
As we have already said baking soda and baking powder are powder-like substances but cannot be interchanged. The very common difference between baking powder and baking soda is that baking powder contains acid, While baking soda needs an acidic component to rise baked goods.
We can use baking soda in recipes that have acid ingredients like buttermilk, lemon juice, vinegar, etc. The baking powder can be used in recipes like pancakes, biscuits, etc. Baking powder is also used if there is no baking soda.
If we use baking soda instead of baking powder for baked goods, the reaction will not take place due to no acidic ingredient. Using too much baking soda will make the baked goods soapy taste or metallic taste after baking. It is a mixture of cream of tartar and baking soda.
4. Why Do Some Recipes Call for Both Baking Powder and Baking Soda
Bakers may use both these dry ingredients in the recipe to get a tangy flavour and to have both browning effects. As baking soda neutralizes acid but does not produce enough carbon dioxide, so baking powder is used to lift it.
So the baking goods for both baking soda and baking powder are to be tried. The difference between baking soda and baking powder is as two different leavening agents that have the same use.
5. Which is the Best substitute that Replaces both Baking Soda and Baking Powder?
Baking soda can be replaced by baking powder. Add three times baking powder substituting baking soda in the recipe. For example, for one teaspoon of baking soda add three spoons of baking powder. Because of the difference between these dry ingredients, their substitute also changes.
5.1 Baking Powder has 3 Substitutes
If you don’t have baking powder, on the other hand, you have 3 substitutes:
You Can Mix Your Own
Mix two parts of cream of tartar and one part of baking soda to make homemade baking powder. For long life, add I teaspoon of cornstarch with cream of tartar and baking soda. This can be used as baking powder. The ratio of both ingredients must be correct to get better results.
Using Whipped Eggs
Whipped eggs can be used as baking powder because it forms tiny air bubbles that bubble store carbon dioxide gas which helps the batter to rise. The egg white should be mixed in a beater or hand mixer until it becomes foam.
Increase speed until it reaches its peak. Mix this foam into the recipe. This acidic ingredient act as the baking powder.
Using Club Soda
Club soda replaces the liquid medium in the batter. Club soda contains carbonated water with added baking powder making the batter of the recipe rise.
6. The Best Ways to Store Baking Powder and Baking Soda
The best way to store baking soda and baking powder is to preserve them in a closed container in a cupboard. Keep away from sinks, dishwashers, stoves, or other moisture areas. If in contact with the moisture or humidity, it causes baking powder or baking soda to react with the can itself.
As a beginner, you may add both this baking powder and baking soda to your batter to get better results for your recipe. But without knowing the fact and you are adding the ingredients you will be not able to make proper baked goods. So, there is differences between baking soda and baking powder.
I think that after reading this article you may be clear about the doubts regarding both these baking ingredients. Try to experiment with the new recipe by adding these ingredients at the proper ratio to get fluffy and tasty cakes or muffins, etc.
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