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Old 07-15-2010, 05:01 PM   #1
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Using baking soda

I am going through a period of making breads: zuccinni bread; carrot cake and banana bread. they all use basically the same recipe including using 2 tps baking powder and 1 tsp of baking soda.

the other day i was wondering what would happen if I left out the baking soda as I have seen other recipes that dont use powder and soda together (e.g. goodweed's pancake recipe). Anyhow I did that and my zuccinni bread came out very flat and chewy and very little rise.

So is baking soda a necessary ingredient when using baking powder? Does it just add some bubbles? What does it do?



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Old 07-15-2010, 05:20 PM   #2
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Your experience with the zucchini bread answers the question.

Both the soda and the powder provide lift/gas to rise a quick bread. The soda and half the double action baking powder start acting as soon as they get wet. The other half of the double acting BP only acts with the application of heat.

Recipes differ so you can't make a blanket statement. If your recipe calls for both, use both.

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Old 07-16-2010, 04:04 AM   #3
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well under what circumstances would you use one or the other? What does each do differently?
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Old 07-16-2010, 07:40 AM   #4
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Baking soda acts immediately creating CO2 gas the moment it mixes with an acid (for example buttermilk, milk, sour cream, vinegar).

Do you remember the baking powder propelled bath tub toy submarines?

Try mixing a table spoon of baking soda with just a few drops of vinegar to see the kind of action we're talking about. But once the reaction is over, that's it, no more.

Baking powder creates some CO2 gas when acted upon by moisture, and not necessarily and acid. If it's double acting, it also creates more gas when it's heated above a certain temperature during the baking process, giving the baked item even more lift.

This is important when the internal structure of some baked items (for example cake batter) needs to dry out a little in the oven before it can successfully hold the gas bubbles inside without letting them just bubble away, leaving you with a heavy blob of dried out batter. Some bakery items just need time before gas bubbles can properly do their "thing", so baking powder gives that extra delay of time that is needed.

Bottom line: Baking soda and baking powder are NOT interchangeable!
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Old 07-17-2010, 06:04 PM   #5
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ok that's pretty good. that explains goodweeds pancake recipe. Thanks a lot.
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