Baking soda and baking powder.

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nibiru_3600
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2004/03/19 21:11:52 (permalink)

Baking soda and baking powder.

What's the difference and what are they good for? I need to know because i'm experimenting with scone/biscuit recipes. Mine didn't rise.
#1

12 Replies Related Threads

    seafarer john
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    RE: Baking soda and baking powder. 2004/03/19 21:23:15 (permalink)
    I dont know the difference, but baking soda does a great job of cleaning the corrosion off a batery terminal while baking powder does nothing of the kind...
    #2
    UncleVic
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    RE: Baking soda and baking powder. 2004/03/19 21:41:06 (permalink)
    Good Point Seafarer! But baking powder does remove odors from the fridge, while the baking soda dont seem to...
    #3
    meowzart
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    RE: Baking soda and baking powder. 2004/03/19 21:45:59 (permalink)
    I should probably leave this to Jane Dough or lleechef, but baking soda is a leavener that needs to be activated with an acid to work, such as buttermilk. This creates bubbles, which makes your batter rise. Baking powder is already a combination of the two, baking soda and an acid.

    You'll need the above two people two tell you about single-acting and double-acting stuff, though. That's getting a little too scientific for me.
    #4
    Grampy
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    RE: Baking soda and baking powder. 2004/03/19 22:03:09 (permalink)
    http://www.joyofbaking.com/bakingsoda.html
    #5
    nibiru_3600
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    RE: Baking soda and baking powder. 2004/03/20 09:58:15 (permalink)
    Thank you Grampy.
    #6
    Cakes
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    RE: Baking soda and baking powder. 2004/03/20 10:14:30 (permalink)
    I think a point needs to be made here that in humid conditions baking powder will lose its punch. Baking soda probably won't.

    Florida is always humid.

    Cakes
    #7
    JaneDough
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    RE: Baking soda and baking powder. 2004/03/20 12:08:29 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by meowzart

    I should probably leave this to Jane Dough or lleechef, but baking soda is a leavener that needs to be activated with an acid to work, such as buttermilk. This creates bubbles, which makes your batter rise. Baking powder is already a combination of the two, baking soda and an acid.

    You'll need the above two people two tell you about single-acting and double-acting stuff, though. That's getting a little too scientific for me.

    partial credit to meowzart, but extra credit for my honorable mention. Baking being primarily a scientific art, here's the technical scoop on baking soda v. baking powder...

    Baking soda is merely good old-fashioned sodium bicarbonate, a powdered chemical base (as opposed to its chemical opposite, acid) that is needed to neutralize acids in your recipe, such as lemon or orange juice, molasses, etc. In addition to seafarer john's battery acid application, it also serves as a great heartburn remedy when mixed w/ water, if you happen to be out of whatever you usually use from the pharmacy.

    Baking powder is actually a mixture of both acid powders and baking soda (to neutralize each other), plus either starch or flour to stabilize the mix. It serves as a CHEMICAL leavener because it releases carbon dioxide at two different stages of production: when exposed to liquid, and then again when exposed to heat (hence that curious phrase on the label, "double-acting.")

    An alternate form of leavening is a PHYSICAL leavener, such as whipped egg whites. Whipping adds thousands of little air pockets into the whites, which expand when exposed to heat, hence single-acting. That's the basis behind the classis souffle (translation "blown"), and most Passover items (including the omnipresent sponge cake), because adding leavening agents (e.g., yeast & baking powder) are forbidden during that holiday (c.f., matzo as opposed to bread).

    A recipe using baking powder can be made in advance and held until baking because of the double-action, but physically-leavened products must be baked immediately upon gently folding in the whipped whites because the air pockets degenerate quickly.

    I hope nibiru's biscuits get "a rise" out of this lesson.
    #8
    RubyRose
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    RE: Baking soda and baking powder. 2004/03/20 17:57:05 (permalink)
    Thanks, JaneDough, what a good explanation. I just wanted to add that nibiru, you should go get a fresh supply of baking powder and try the same recipe again. Then you'll know for sure if it's the recipe or your ingredients. Good luck.
    #9
    JaneDough
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    RE: Baking soda and baking powder. 2004/03/21 00:31:34 (permalink)
    And thank YOU, RubyRose, for adding the important detail I forgot, about the longevity of baking powder. It's only about 1 year, and it IS effected by humidity, so it's a good idea to mark the date you opened the can on the bottom, and replace it after one year.
    #10
    Rex
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    RE: Baking soda and baking powder. 2004/03/21 14:21:25 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by UncleVic

    Good Point Seafarer! But baking powder does remove odors from the fridge, while the baking soda dont seem to...



    I thought it was the other way around with baking soda used in refrigerators to remove odors..and baking powder was for cooking.
    #11
    Lone Star
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    RE: Baking soda and baking powder. 2004/03/22 12:05:12 (permalink)
    Bicarbonate is also an important part of our physiology. HCO3- is a buffer in our acid-base balance. Our kidneys and lungs keep our body's arterial blood pH in the normal range of 7.37-7.43 by adjusting the amount of HCO3- to keep in circulation according to the levels of H in the blood. The normal level of bicarbonate ( a base) in the blood is 22-29 MEq/L.

    A very important function, as our bodies are like those salt water fish tanks - if you don't maintain a proper pH range - things don't work right.

    Physiology lesson for the day.
    #12
    meowzart
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    RE: Baking soda and baking powder. 2004/03/22 13:16:21 (permalink)
    Chemistry? Physiology? Dang it is getting to be a regular laboratory in here!!! You guys are the best!
    #13
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