Do you know the difference between baking soda and baking powder? If the answer is a no, explore this piece to get to know the differences between the two.

Baking Soda Vs Baking Powder

All of us love cookies, cakes, pastries and bread. Many of us just cannot resist the urge of entering a pastry shop after looking at the array of mouth watering and eye catching confectioneries lined up there. The very sight of these delicacies leaves our mouths watering. There are hundreds of recipes that you can try out at home that will make you relive the sweet memories of your previous bakery visit. However, in order to enjoy all these foods you will have to rely on some rising agents to achieve the required consistency. Yeast was one such rising agent that produced carbon dioxide which used to react with the other ingredients in the batter or dough, thus making it rise. It was in the 19th century that yeast was substituted by a finer chemical agent known as ‘baking soda’ that emitted sodium bicarbonate along with carbon dioxide to bake the dough and batter. Baking powder is also a similar chemical component like baking soda, but both have certain differences. To learn what exactly these differences are, scroll down the following section and learn more. 

Difference Between Baking Soda And Baking Powder
  • Baking soda is a chemical substance that is obtained from calcium carbonate, sodium chloride, ammonia and carbon dioxide. Baking soda is a component that has a white crystalline solid appearance. On the other hand baking powder is a chemical substance that contains sodium bicarbonate, acid salts and some neutral starch. Baking powder is dry, white and has the consistency of a powder.
  • Baking powder and baking soda both are chemical leavening agents and are used to make the batter or dough rise in the process of baking. These agents enlarge the bubbles which are already present in the batter or dough which is produced through the creaming of the ingredients. However, it is the baking powder that does most of the leavening when added.  Baking soda on the other hand is just added to neutralize the acids in the batter and to add tenderness.
  • Though both baking soda and baking powder can be used in all baking dishes, baking powder takes the upper hand over baking soda. Baking soda can be substituted in the place of baking powder. However, baking soda can’t be used in the same manner for recipes requiring the use of baking powder.
  • Baking soda also known as sodium bicarbonate reacts immediately with acids to produce carbon dioxide. It is this carbon dioxide that gets trapped within batters and doughs and makes them expand during baking. Baking powder on other hand is sodium bicarbonate which comes mixed with a powdered acid and a starch. Baking powder does not require any external acid to activate the process as in case of baking soda. The dough’s and batters made out of baking powder are lighter and fluffier than those made out of baking soda.
  • There are some foodstuffs that require baking soda as an ingredient while there are others that require baking powder. Well the choice of soda or powder depends on the ingredients involved. For instance, baking soda will yield a bitter taste unless it is countered by the acidity of some other ingredient like buttermilk. This means, when using baking soda there should be an acidic ingredient involved. On the other hand, foodstuff made out of baking powder does not call in for any acidic ingredient since powder includes both an acid and a base component that have a neutral effect when it comes to taste.
  • Baking powder stands on opposite grounds with baking soda in other uses as well. Both baking soda and powder are commonly used for cleaning and deodorizing purposes, but for a general cleaning process, it is the soda that is recommended. This is because, while cleaning we generally use a wet swab that will cause an acidic reaction making the cleaning process effective. But, for cleaning any stubborn stains like the burn marks and food stains, baking powder will prove to be more effective than baking soda.

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