1. Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a pure chemical leavener. When added to a recipe, it requires an acid, such as lemon juice, milk, or egg yolks, in order initiate a reaction. 00:23
2. Baking powder is a 'double leavener', and is made up of one part baking soda to two parts cream of tartar. It does not need a direct acid to activate it, but is often found in recipes where it is paired with baking soda for extra leavening. 00:47
3. When selecting a baking powder, be sure to choose one that is labeled as 'aluminum-free' to prevent any unexpected or unwanted chemical reactions. 01:10
What You'll Need
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
The gasses released by chemical leaveners are responsible for giving baked goods an airy look and feel. Without them, the final baked product would be dense and tough. It is important to use them before their expiration date, otherwise they may not work properly.
Baking soda and baking powder look similar, but react differently to ingredients and the baking process. Be sure to keep them labeled to avoid mistaking one for the other.
Eggs can also be used be used as a leavener for baking. Whipping them either together or separately will incorporate air bubbles into a batter or dough.
Baking soda in its powdered form tends to absorb odor. People often place it in the refrigerator to neutralize the ripe smell of aging food. It can also be used as a natural cleaning agent.