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why do you use baking soda in cookies

Homemade chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven are a sweet treat, especially if the chocolate chips are soft and slightly melted. If you have a craving for homemade chocolate chip cookies and are raiding your pantry for the ingredients, you may wonder over the purpose of putting baking soda or baking powder into your dough. These ingredients provide lift and fluffiness to the cookies but work in slightly different ways and will influence the texture of your cookies. Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is an alkaline powder. When the alkaline powder combines with an acid, a chemical reaction occurs and they create carbon dioxide bubbles. These bubbles work to "lift" your cookie dough during baking. Proper cookie dough recipes call for the correct proportion of baking soda to acid. If you have too much baking soda for the acid in the dough, your final cookie may taste bitter. Traditional chocolate chip cookie recipes typically call for 1 tsp. of baking soda, and these cookies tend to be thin and crisp. Baking powder differs from baking soda because it contains both the alkaline and the acid components required for leavening. While many alkaline and acid powder combinations begin to generate a carbon dioxide reaction when they get wet, modern baking powder is designed to partially delay this reaction until it is exposed to the heat in your oven. Cookies made with baking powder tend to be fluffier and softer than cookies made with baking soda. While the use of baking powder results in a fluffier cookie, it may not brown as well as cookies made with baking soda. Remember that baking powder contains the correct ratio of alkalinity and acidity for an ideal chemical reaction. Baked goods that have more alkalinity than acidity due to the inclusion of baking soda tend to brown better than baked goods that are neutral or acidic, according to Brian Geiger or "Fine Cooking Magazine. "
While you can manipulate the texture of your chocolate chip cookies by choosing between baking soda and baking powder, you can also influence the texture of the final product through your choice of flour.

Cake flour will result in a lighter, more tender cookie. Use bread flour to create a chewier cookie. Almost every cook has faced this scenario: you re following a recipe that requires baking powderPbut you only have baking soda. What do you do? Can you substitute? Or this one: you haven t baked for a while, you make a favorite biscuit and use baking powder, only to find that your biscuits bake up flat as hockey pucks. What went wrong? Baking soda and baking powder are both leaveners used in baking, but they are chemically different. The easiest way to explain it is that baking soda is a base it sPalkaline. Remember those experiments we did as kids, adding vinegar to baking soda to watch the eruption of bubbles? When you mix a base (baking soda) with an acid (vinegar) you get a reaction (bubbles). So if you encounter a baking recipe that uses baking soda, often that recipe will have an acidic element as well, such as vinegar, lemon juice, buttermilk, molasses, or yogurt. When the two come into contact, bubbles of carbon dioxide are formed, creating the leavening in your dough or batter. Baking soda will create leavening on its own when it is heated (try pouring boiling water over baking soda in a sink to help unclog a drain, it will bubble up! ), but unless it is balanced with an acidic ingredient, the resulting taste may be metallic.

Baking powder is a mixture of baking soda and a dry acid, such as cream of tartar, and perhapsPsome cornstarch to help keep the two separate and dry. Most baking powders on the market are double acting, meaning that some leavening occurs the minute the baking powder gets wet, and the rest of the leavening occurs when it is heated. How long do baking soda and baking powder last? It depends on storage conditions. Baking soda can last quite a long timePif stored sealed in a cool, dry space. Baking powder however is problematic. It can last 3 months, or it can last a year. PIf you are in a humid environment, once opened, baking powder mightPnot last more than a few months. Having ruined a dish or two with old baking powder, I try to buy small cans, and I write the purchase date on the side of the can, so I know how old it is. The easiest way to test baking soda to see if it is still good for leavening is to put some in a small bowl and add a little vinegar to it. (Make your own baking soda volcano! ) If it bubbles up, it s still good. The easiest way to test baking powder to see if it still works is to put some in a small bowl and add some water to it. If it foams up, it s still good. If you have a baking recipe that calls for baking soda, and you only have baking powder, you may be able toPsubstitute, but you will need 2 or 3 times as much baking powder for the same amount of baking sodaPto get the same amount of leavening power, and you may end up with something that s a little bitter tasting, dependingPon the recipe. If a recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of baking soda, you ll want to substitute with 2 to 3 teaspoons of baking powder. Just make sure your baking powder is still effective and not passed its use-by date.

If you have a baking recipe that calls for baking powder and you only have baking soda, you may be able to substitute if you increase the amount of acidic ingredients in the recipe to offset the baking soda. You ll also need much less baking soda as it is 3 times as powerful as baking powder. You ll need about a teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice for every 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. If a recipe calls for a tablespoon of baking powder, you ll want to substitute with a teaspoon of baking soda. You ll also want to add 2 teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice to your batter. You can also easily make your own baking powder. If you live in a humid environment, or don t bake that often, it might be easiest to make your own baking powder when you need it. Packaged baking powder loses its effectiveness over 3 to 6 months, especially if it exposed to air or humidity. To make your own homemade baking powder, you ll need cream of tartara dry acid in powder form (no idea why it is called cream )and baking soda. If youPintend to store homemade baking powder, you ll also want to add some cornstarch to keep it from clumping. Baking soda is much stronger than baking powder. To make baking powder, mix one part baking soda and two parts cream of tartar. So, if you recipe calls for 1 tablespoonPof baking powder, use 1 teaspoon of baking soda, mixed in with 2Pteaspoons of cream of tartar. If you are storing the homemade baking powder instead of using it right away, stir in 1 teaspoon of cornstarch. Homemade baking powder is not double acting, and will start to react as soon as it gets wet, so work quickly and don t let your batter sit around!

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