Levure VS Bicarbonate De Soude

I am sure you guys have guessed it,it is french…but I wasn’t talking about the language I was talking about the words….I am sure the guesses did not come with the first one but with the latter word…but in case you all still haven’t guessed it,here it is straight from the horses mouth…


Now,Now I am just like you guys…I  plan a thousand different things and then put it in a box in my brain…where all my to do list is stored and then what do i do??….I go ahead and forget it….(heehe) well not that funny when the post is for you guys and I have been thinking about this one for days,probably since i started writing about the flour as this was going to be a part of the FLOUR but that post became so long that i had to cut baking powder and bicarb out & make it into a different post which i don’t regret one bit……so Let’s have you guys started…..to make you a better baker and give you guys a better understanding…

When i started baking this was one of the most confusing questions on this planet for me and I am sure most of you…what is Baking Powder? Is it the same as Bicarbonate of soda? Can i substitute one for another? So many questions,such little answers. Going through numerous mind boggling read through i realized there had to be a post on my blog about these two(since they were already celebs in my head…imagine the amount of attention they were getting)…any ways so I realized and here I am writing about what exactly i having been going blah!blah!blah! about……

Baking Soda/Bicarbonate of soda

What is baking soda to you?….to me its always been the white ,slightly tangy powder that we use to add to our volcano in our science exhibitions to whoosh the lava out..and guess what it always worked.So guys for your,my and every ones information Baking Soda is the Base…..when added to anything acidic(vinegar,lemon juice etc.) it reacts and fizzles out with bubbles where carbon dioxide is produced or is the by product.

so when my recipe calls for baking soda in my lovely black midnight love chocolate cake or the cookies for my aunt…this is exactly what happens the baking soda(aka..meetha soda here in Delhi at most local grocery shops…)reacts with the acid in the recipe in my case its usually brown sugar or buttermilk but it can be vinegar,cream of tartar or our very own natural cocoa powder which i have spoken about here Poudre De Cacao .This reaction helps in the rising of your cakes,cookies or breads.

Baking Soda is a strong base…much stronger than baking powder but do not confuse your self and believe to add more baking soda(believe me i learnt the hard way…..)to give your baked goods and extra lift,that is not how it works. Extra or addition to more baking powder may result in a soapy after taste in your baked goods which is not very pleasant (like I said …learnt it the hard way….).So,it is important to know & remember that baking soda reacts when heated or exposed to heat,but also needs an acidic agent to react to and be neutralized (like null & void)so that it does it leave a soapy after taste in your bakes…

Baking Powder

baking powder is a leavening agent which is dry,and has a mix of bicarbonate soda(baking soda) and a weak acid.(can be cream of tartar)& sometimes cornstarch(so I have heard). This is basically used to increase the volume but lighten the texture of your baked goods. I have recipes that only use baking powder in many vanilla cakes that I have tried and baked over the years without a flaw.

So how does this work?

baking powder reacts  and gives out carbon dioxide in the dough or batter  through an acid-base reaction,which basically helps the bubbles in the wet mixture to expand,hence leavening the batter/dough.

Baking powder therefore can be single acting/double acting(like…the double role of Lindsay Lohan in The Parent Trap…oh!! how much I love that movie).The acid(baking soda)in the baking powder can be slow acting/fast acting.Slow acting baking powder will not have its acid react until exposed to heat however the fast acting baking powder will have its acid react at room temperature with the wet ingredients.

Double Acting:baking powder that contains both slow and fast acting acids are usually double acting.This Double acting baking powder will usually add to the reliability of your baked goods

First Acting/leavening may occur when your baking powder reacts with the wet ingredients (this is exactly why you cannot have some batters ready and stocked up as the baking powder has already reacted).

Second Acting/leavening occurs when you bake your batter.

Now why there are recipes that only call for baking powder…this is why? because your baking powder has enough acid to cancel out the baking soda and can clearly work with only baking powder without needing an additional acidic ingredient.

Single Acting baking powder reacts with a water based ingredient or even water itself.The moment the batter is mixed this baking powder comes in contact with a water based ingredient & reacts.In this case if you wait too long to bake your cake/cookies/bread the bubbles from the reaction will escape leaving you behind with a baked product which is FLAT. This is the type of baking powder that you can easily prepare at home in case there is a dire need of (chemical X)  in some late night laboratory experiments(I always wanted to say that…since i have been reliving childhood days and watching Dexter’s Laboratory…heheh).

Now you have one but the other is missing here is the list of substitutions that help you save the world with that experiment we were just talking about….

Baking Powder (single Acting) 1 tsp ….Mix 1/4th tsp baking soda,1/2 tsp cream of tartar,1/4th tsp corn starch.

Baking Powder (double Acting) 1 tsp…..1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar plus 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch. Use 1 tsp for every 1 cup of flour.

baking soda – 1/2 teaspoon
2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder (replace the acidic liquid in recipe with non-acidic liquid).

These conversations are not mine and i have not tried them myself,it was by luck that i struck GOLD and wanted to share it with you guys…..source:easy substitutes.

I have tried my best to explain to you what is in my knowledge on the two most boggling/confusing/mystifying topics.Hope you guys have a baked to perfection day…Bye from me to you,with lots of love,hugs and kisses……




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