Many people don’t know the difference between baking soda and baking powder. They are confused when to use each ingredient, and when to use them both. These questions are complicated due to chemistry, but we’re going to explain the difference as simple as we can.
What is baking soda?
Baking soda is a rising ingredient which is used for bread and dough. It is activated when mixed with natural ingredients such as butter, curd, lemon or vinegar. Baking soda is required so a dough can rise, which is why it’s used for recipes such as Naan, pan cakes or bhatura (Indian bread).
If you put more baking soda in your dough, the final product will have a bitter taste, so make sure you read the recipe carefully and use the recommended amount of baking soda.
What is baking powder?
Baking powder is a dry chemical leavening agent, a mixture of a carbonate or bicarbonate and a weak acid, and is used for increasing the volume and lightening the texture of baked goods. It’s a double acting rising agent that activates when the batter or dough is heated. Baking powder is most often used for cakes and recipes which don’t contain acidic ingredients such as lemon, vinegar or curd.
When to use both?
Both baking powder and baking soda are only used when one ingredient isn’t enough to rise the dough or batter. You can also use baking soda to give your dough a brown color, and baking powder to rise it. Now that you know when to use both ingredients, go on and make yourself a delicious cake, but remember – don’t use more than the recommended amount of each ingredient!