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What is in the Baking Soda , Baking Powder and Eno

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15 Dec 2016

Baking soda

It is pure sodium bicarbonate . When baking soda  comes in contact  with moisture and an acidic ingredient e.g. yogurt ,buttermilk , chocolate etc.  the resulting chemical reaction produces bubbles of carbon dioxide that expand under oven temperatures, causing baked goods to expand or rise. The reaction begins immediately  after  mixing the ingredients .  So you need to bake recipes which call for baking soda immediately or else they will fall flat.

It has only one ingredient sodium bicarbonate . Sodium bicarbonate is a base that reacts when it comes in contact with acids like buttermilk, yogurt or vinegar.

Baking powder

It is a dry chemical leavening agent -  a mixture of carbonate or bicarbonate and a weak acid . It  means when it is added to baked goods before cooking  , it produce carbon dioxide and causes them to rise.

It contains sodium bicarbonate but it  includes the acidifying agent already( cream of tartar) and also a drying agent (usually starch).

Many recipes suggest adding baking powder last because baking powder begins to release carbon dioxide bubbles when it becomes wet . Another suggestion made in many recipes with baking powder is to mix lightly, which helps to prevent the escape of carbon dioxide. Mixing thoroughly can be problematic because it may bring the reaction to completion, letting all the bubbles escape.

Single vs double acting baking powders –

The acid in a baking powder can be either fast acting or slow acting . A fast acting acid reacts in a wet mixture with baking soda at room temperature and a slow acting acid will not react until heated in oven. Baking powders that contain both fast and slow acting acids are double acting . Those that contain only one acid are single acting.

By providing a second rise in the oven double acting baking powders increase the reliability of baked goods by rendering the time elapsed between mixing and baking less critical and this is the type most widely available to consumers today.

Eno fruit salt

It is a combination of baking soda , citric acid and sodas. It has 46% baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) 44% citric acid and 10% s(sodium carbonate)

Difference between Baking soda and Eno -

To make baking soda active it requires being sour. But  when we use eno salt various other kinds of savorings are not required as it already consist of it. We use Eno salt for making idli, dhokla etc.

Last but not the  least –

Baking soda – Sodium bicarbonate( To activate requires buttermilk, yogurt etc).

Baking powder – Sodium bicarbonate and carbonate + cream of tartar + corn starch(Mainly double acting baking powder is used for baking like cakes).

Eno fruit salt – 60% sodium bicarbonate and carbonate + 40% citric acid ( To activate does not require buttermilk, yogurt etc).

 Can we use Baking soda in the place of Baking powder?

No we cannot substitute Baking soda for Baking powder to make any recipe. Baking soda needs acidic medium to get activated. Likewise, if we  make cake by adding only baking soda to it, then it will not become spongy as it does not have acidic medium.

 

 Can we add more Baking powder to the recipe, if my cake does not rise?

Excess of baking powder can make a recipe saline in taste. It can make the recipe rise instantly forming big bubbles which can cause holes in the cake or any other recipe due to which the cake can squeeze.

 How to know whether the baking soda or baking powder is working or not?

The age of baking powder is from 6 months to 1 year, whereas baking soda does not ever get expired.

 

Dr Suman Setia (BAMS DNHE PGDHHM)

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Last Modified: December 17, 2016 07:39 AM
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