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Old 08-25-2003, 11:58 PM   #1
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Baking Soda...why?

i baked my first bread ever a few nights ago. The recipe was VERY simple--if i recall, it involved lots of flour, a beer, cheese, basil, and then baking powder and baking soda.
I want to preface the rest of this post by saying that I know absolutely NOTHING about baking (especially bread), so bear with me:
I was somewhat surprised, in that I thought to make bread you had to have a dough with yeast in it and let it rise for awhile. The bread I made smelled GREAT :D and tasted good right out of the oven. It had a nice hard crust on it, and I thought it was a nice complement to the meal I'd made.
But then the next day came....
After I made the bread I tried it again 5 different times within 1-3 days, and all I could taste was baking soda. And it made me think back to every single recipe I've ever made with baking soda, and how that bitter taste ruined it all.
So finally my question....
What's the point of baking soda!?!?!?!
I try to faithfully follow recipes the first time I try them, but every recipe that has baking soda in it turns out like crap.
Please explain....

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Old 08-26-2003, 12:21 AM   #2
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Can't guess as to why the first try was o.k. but the rest tasted like baking soda - unless you used more than was called for in the latter tries.

Baking powder is also baking soda, with cream of tartar added (an acid) to ensure the generation of carbon dioxide. Baking soda, by itself, emits carbon dioxide when heated. But the raction is more effcient when an acid it present.

Irish soda bread, which BW makes every St. Paddy's Day, uses, obviously, baking soda. I've never noticed a "baking soda taste" to it, however.

For more accurate info, go to:

http://www.howstuffworks.com/question57.htm
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Old 08-26-2003, 07:36 AM   #3
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well, there are lots off different sorts of breads out there. yeasted ones are just one category. damper, soda bread etc are just two that dont need yeast. then there are unleavened breads, and naturally leavened bread (sourdough).
i always get nervous using baking soda for some reason, i dont know why. maybe the fact that it was hot out of the oven (we all know that bread right from the oven is like, one of the best things ever) sort of overided the taste of the soda.
i dont know. maybe try other breads. its a really cool thing to get into making.
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Old 08-27-2003, 05:31 PM   #4
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Hi carnivore,

Did you sift the baking soda AND some flour together into a bowl to help disperse it somewhat? I fully understand that "soda" taste - sometimes when I make banana bread it does this. I have switched from all-purpose flour to self-rising flour, which already has the baking soda and baking powder and salt in it - so I omit those things in my recipe.

See if that helps.

No yeast just means a denser bread and it sounds like (duh) you made some sort of beer bread. Any beer bread I have ever made has no yeast. Try the self-rising flour leaving out the baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

If this is not right someone hollar!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-27-2003, 08:20 PM   #5
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well, if you leave out all the rising agents, except for self-raising flour, wouldnt that just leave you with a cake?
why are some cakes called breads anyway? ie. banana bread is for sure cake. what is a bread anyway? when is a cake a bread or vise versa?
oh, but then there are yeasted cakes...wow, now we are really in a muddle. haha. wow, its late..
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Old 08-28-2003, 09:10 PM   #6
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Yeasty development

Doesn't beer already have yeast in it?

This might explain why beer breads don't use yeast. Speaking of which:

Drunken idiot's recipe for mojo beer muffins

Cornbread muffin mix
Guinness stout ale
Whole butter
Honey

Follow the directions on the muffin mix (assuming you still can after opening that first bottle of stout when you got home from the store. Didn't think we'd notice, didja?), only substitute equal parts beer for water.

While the beer muffins are baking, throw equal parts whole (softened) butter and honey in the cuisinart and whip it up. *(Does a 'Devo' dance while honey butter is whipping.)*

When the muffins are done, give in to the temptation and rip them right out of the baking tin--they're unbeatable while still hot. Slather with generous amounts of honey butter.

There. Now you're *fortified* enough to finish off the rest of that six-pack.
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Old 08-28-2003, 10:36 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone.
Kitchenelf, I'm going to try your suggestions. I'll let you know how it turns out. Believe it or not, I'm actually getting into bread making. It's relaxing and makes the house smell great. Just don't tell anybody that I like to bake... :oops:
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Old 08-28-2003, 10:48 PM   #8
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In the infinite wisdom of Connie Chung I repeat - "just whisper it to me - I won't tell anyone" :P
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Old 08-29-2003, 11:46 AM   #9
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Carnevore -

Welcome to the club - bread making is fun! Are you doing it the old fashioned way (bowl & wooden spoon and hand kneading), using a mixer, or using a bread machine? Or are you, thus far, sticking to baking soda types?

Rabbit, while yeast is used to make beer, most of today's commercial beers are pastuerized, killing the yeast alond with other noxious plants and animals in the brew. The leavening ability of beer is a direct result of those bubbles of carbon dioxide gas produced in the brew by the yeast.

Your sabayon sauce sounds good, but a nuisance to make. Still, if it contains wine or rum, it's tempting!
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Old 08-29-2003, 05:54 PM   #10
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so far i've been doing it all by hand. i'd love to get one of those kitchenaid mixers, but they carry a pretty hefty price tag.
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