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baking soda

Baking Powder and Baking Soda – What’s the Difference?

It’s very common for terms baking powder and baking soda to be used interchangeably. These powders are very similar in appearance and name, and are often utilized within a single recipe. However, when it comes to their specific use, it’s crucial to know what the differences are. Using the wrong powder in the wrong recipe or in the wrong proportion can result in a minor baking disaster of sorts. Here is some basic information and the difference between baking powder and baking soda.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is made from finely ground rock and as long as it is kept dry & cool, it will last indefinitely. This is a base mineral that produces carbon dioxide when it’s combined with something acidic. This typically happens in a liquid and it forms bubbles that act as a surfactant or can lift stains; in short it can clean things.

Typically, this ingredient pops-up in a number of baking recipes that also have certain acidic ingredients such as maple syrup, pumpkin, lemon juice, lavender etc. Most recipes that use baking soda tend to bake up darker & are often crisper that ones that don’t use this powder. However, excessive baking soda will give your recipe a soapy, bitter taste.

When it comes to cleaning, baking soda can be utilized for almost anything ranging from deodorizing carpets to unclogging drains; in fact, it can also be used to clean out heel marks from vinyl flooring.

Baking Powder

This is a mix of baking soda and a different acid; in the presence of a stabilizer like corn starch it prevents the mixture from reacting. This means everything stays inert in that mixture till the liquid is added; this allows the acid and soda to get combined and it produces carbon dioxide – to the naked eye, this looks like bubbles. This effervescence gives the baking powder its lifting properties when it’s used in recipes. However, if it isn’t stored in a dry and cool place, it too can lose its effectiveness. It’s best to keep it out of humid conditions as any excessive moisture in the air creates a reaction between the base and acid.

Whenever you are purchasing a new box, check the label carefully; you will notice that there are double-acting and single-acting baking powders. The latter react fully when they are combined with a liquid. However, the double acting powders essentially function in 2 stages; the first reaction occurs when it is combined with a liquid and the second when combined with heat. The balance of the acid and the soda (base) is calculated for you and so it’s easier to get the final product that doesn’t have an after taste when it’s used in the right amounts.

Things To Focus On

When you are trying out any recipe that makes mention of any of these powders, it’s important to make note of the quantities it’s required in. Never use more than the amount that has been suggested in the recipe; even when the recipe mentions both these ingredients, ensure you use them in the suggested proportion. Overusing either of them will just ruin the texture and consistency of the final product.

If you find that you are still confused between the difference between these 2 ingredients, here is a quick trick you can use – Baking soda is the single ingredient; Baking powder gives your baked goods added power in the oven.

At Ganache Patisserie you will find fantastic basic, exotic breads and viennoiserie pastries for everyday consumption as well as for accompaniments with special dishes. Come; explore our delicious and scrumptious world of goodies.

Thanks for reading,
Ganache Patisserie
(02) 9967 2882