People often get confused and wonder what is the difference between baking soda and baking powder and when to use one or the other. Sometimes it’s pretty simple, use this or that or both but sometimes it gets down to chemistry and things get complicated. In this article we’ll talk kitchen basics of baking powder and baking soda and keep things simple. After reading this article we promise that you won’t be confused anymore.
What is baking soda?
Baking soda is a rising agent often used in different baking recipes like Naan and Bhatura (Indian breads). Its rising properties are activated when it gets mixed with acidic ingredients like butter milk, curd, vinegar or lemon. Baking soda starts rising dough or batter immediately after it’s mixed in the ingredients and it’s used to spread.
Pan cakes, cookies, naan and many other baked goods use baking soda and if you put too much baking soda in the batter it could have a bitter taste. Read the recipe carefully and put in the right amount if you want to avoid bitterness. You can add some brown color in your cookies by adding just a bit baking soda as well.
What is baking powder?
Baking powder has the same rising agent like baking soda it’s just combined with an acidic ingredient like cream of tartar. It’s just as popular as baking soda, maybe even more, because it has a double rising property, it gets activated once it’s mixed in the batter and it will start rising when the batter starts heating up. We use baking powder in cakes to rise them and in recipes where we don’t use an acidic ingredient, like vinegar or lemon juice.
Why are both sometimes used?
They both have similar function and properties but people often use both when baking. Why? Because sometimes it’s not enough to add just one to rise the cake which is why people use both. Sometimes people use baking soda to rise the batter and give it a brown color and then add the baking powder to get the cake to rise while baking. It’s just as simple as that!
We believe that this article will clear things up and will make it easier for you next time you get in the kitchen and get down to baking!