Monday, September 26, 2011

Baking powder vs. baking soda

Katie put up a magazine holder in our bathroom a few weeks ago. We have issues of National Geographic, Popular Science, and Martha Stewart Living sitting in there right now. After reading every article in National Geographic and Popular Science twice, I decided to pick up Martha. I was bored, OK?

Anyway, I found a really interesting article! A reader asked if baking soda and baking powder are interchangeable.

Answer: no!I kind of had a hunch that this is true, but I didn't know why. Both baking soda and powder are leavening agents (meaning they make bubbles to make bread rise), but they use different methods.

Baking soda is used when you are making something that has an acidic ingredient, such as molasses or vinegar or chocolate. The soda (which is a base) reacts with the acid and makes carbon dioxide bubbles.

Baking powder is used for situations in which there are no acidic ingredients. The powder has an acid built right it: cream of tartar. So once baking powder gets wet, it starts making bubbles, as you can see from this, um, really cool video.


Anna said...

That video was awesome. We just watched it twice.

Kathy Haynie said...

I accidentally used baking soda one time in my cornbread recipe. Yuck. They are definitely different.

Katie said...

That's not even true at all. You started reading the Martha Stewart magazine because I told you there was an article in there I thought you would like. And you did like it.

And, anyway, you're the one who spends your time poking around on Martha's website figuring out how to fold fitted sheets.