What is baking soda? Is it the same as baking powder?


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Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered

Baking soda, or to give it its proper chemical name, sodium bicarbonate, is a fine white power mined from a mineral called nahcolite. Both this and baking powder are used for similar reasons, but in different circumstances.

Baking soda is a leavening agent, added to baked goods before cooking to produce carbon dioxide by reacting with acidic ingredients (e.g. Lemon juice, vinegar or yoghurt), and cause the mixture to 'rise'. This chemical reaction causes carbon dioxide to be produced immediately, so make sure your cake mixture goes straight into the oven.

So Can't I Use Baking Soda For All My Baking?

The chemical reaction produced by baking soda isn't suitable for every recipe. Baking powder, which contains baking soda, is better suited when less acidic ingredients are used and when a smoother result is required. Baking soda will give a bitter taste unless countered by the acidity of another ingredient, such as buttermilk. 

Baking soda also gives a slightly coarser, grainier texture to food. Recipes that call for baking powder often call for other neutral-tasting ingredients, such as milk. Baking powder is a common ingredient in cakes and biscuits, when a lighter texture is called for.

Here are some more uses for baking soda:

Daisy Ellis Profile
Daisy Ellis answered

Baking soda is a common cooking ingredient in many kitchens.

Generally, people also call baking soda as sodium bicarbonate.

This odorless powder has salty taste and is usually available in white color.

In addition to cooking uses, baking soda can also serve as natural medicine.

Benefits of baking soda are various.

They include diarrhea prevention, lower risk of peptic ulcer, etc.

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