Most of the baking recipes require you to use a leavener which is responsible for the rising of the batter and is the reason behind an inflated cake or muffin. Although there are many different types of leaveners that are used in a baking recipe, there are two leaveners which are used more frequently and always in a combination with each other. In case you do want to join baking classes, I’d recommend Trufflenation.
That is the Baking Soda and Baking Powder. Now, you might think that both these ingredients are mostly same as they are used in almost same recipes but they are actually quite different from each other.
Baking Soda is a base mineral, which reacts with acidic substances to produce carbon dioxide. So, when you combine the baking soda with an acidic liquid, you get bubbles.
As a result, this ingredient is mentioned in many baking recipes which uses lemon juice, maple syrup, molasses and so on and it is used as a leavener in such recipes. So it helps the dough rise. If you notice then you will find that recipes which include baking soda are crisper and darker than recipes which do not use this leavener. However, one must be careful with the quantity of baking soda used as too much quantity can give your baking good a little bitter, soapy taste.
Baking soda is basically ground up a rock and can last for a long time if kept in a cool and a dry place.
A baking powder, on the other hand, is a combination of baking soda, an acid and an inactive ingredient such as cornstarch. This inactive ingredient is responsible for keeping the acid and the soda from reacting until a liquid is added to the mixture. Once a liquid is added, the soda reacts with the acid to produce carbon dioxide and is responsible for making your baked goods look spongy and soft.
However, just like baking soda, baking powder can lose it reactive powers if not stored properly. So always make sure that you store it in an airtight container and keep it away from moisture as it can cause the reaction between the acid and the soda.
Always make sure to read the label on the box when buying a baking powder and always buy one which is not near its expiry date. In baking powder, there are actually two forms of baking powder: a single reacting and a double reacting baking powder. A single reacting baking powder reacts only once completely when it is added to a liquid whereas a double reacting baking powder reacts twice, once when it is added to a liquid and another when it is exposed to some heat. This is why baking powder is often known as the reason for the batter rising when placed inside the oven.
So, now do you understand the difference between these baking ingredients and also find it difficult to store and access them? If the answer is still no, then there is a simpler way to remember the difference.
Baking Soda is equal to a single ingredient and baking powder causes the rise in the oven.