Many people are confused when it comes to differences between baking powder and baking soda. Yes, they have similarity in their names, but they have totally different chemical structure. Here are the differences between baking powder and baking soda.
This ingredient is known as sodium bicarbonate or bicarbonate. Baking soda in combination with acidic substances produces carbon dioxide.
You should know, when some recipe includes baking soda you will need to introduce some ingredients with acidic properties like lemon juice, cream or tartar, buttermilk, brown sugar and molasses.
You will need to be very careful with the used quantity of baking soda in your recipes. Too much baking soda can cause metallic taste. If you are not sure about the right amount of baking soda in your recipes, just use the following rule of thumb (1/4 teaspoon of baking soda per 1 cup of flour).
Baking powder is a mixture of baking soda and ingredients with acidic properties, like cornstarch or tartar cream. Recipes prepared with baking powder leavening two times. First time when the baking powder gets wet and second leavening occurs when it is heated together with the rest of the ingredients. If you are not sure about the right amount of baking powder to use, just use the following rule of thumb (1 teaspoon of baking soda per 1 cup of flour).
Why do some recipes call for both?
Sometimes we are using both these ingredients in combination. If the recipe contains strong acid ingredients, baking soda could be neutralized. When the baking soda is neutralized, leavening process could be stopped. Baking powder is included to balance the chemical process.
Remember That They Expire
It is highly recommended to always use fresh baking soda and powder. Use these methods to check that.
Baking powder test: Mix 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder and 3 tablespoons of warm water. If there is chemical reaction then it is fresh.
Baking soda test: Mix 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and 3 tablespoons of white distillate vinegar. Chemical reaction will be indicator for freshness of the baking soda.
Extra tip: it can be very difficult to remember the difference between baking soda and baking powder. One suggestion: baking powder = poof in the oven, baking soda = single ingredient