Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda)
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Our sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) is just what you need to have around in the pantry for all your cooking and cleaning needs.
What is sodium bicarbonate?
- Sodium bicarbonate, commonly known as baking soda or bicarbonate of soda, is a salt composed of a sodium cation (Na+) and a bicarbonate anion (HCO3−). Sodium bicarbonate is a white solid that is crystalline, but often appears as a fine powder.
- When it reacts with acid, carbon dioxide is released, which causes expansion of the batter and forms the characteristic texture and grain in cakes, quick breads, soda bread, and other baked and fried foods.
- Acidic materials that react with baking soda include; cream of tartar, lemon juice, yogurt, buttermilk, cocoa, and vinegar. Heat can also by itself cause sodium bicarbonate to act as a raising agent, releasing carbon dioxide at temperatures above 80 °C (180 °F).
What is the difference between baking soda and double action baking powder?
- Baking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate, a fine white powder that has many uses. You may wonder about bicarbonate of soda vs baking soda, but they are simply alternate terms for the same ingredient. If your recipe calls for bicarbonate of soda, it is simply referring to baking soda.
- Baking soda is a quick-acting leavening agent. As soon as pure baking soda is blended with moisture and an acidic ingredient a chemical reaction occurs that produces bubbles of carbon dioxide. These bubbles are what gives the light texture you want in baking.
- The trick with baking soda in recipes is that the reaction that creates the bubbles is immediate, so you want to get the batter or dough into the oven quickly, before all the bubbles dissipate. That’s why baking soda is used for “quick” recipes for biscuits or breads. There’s no waiting around for yeast to do its work and dough to rise.
- Double action baking powder, on the other hand, is a blended mixture containing baking soda, acidic salts or dry acids, and often a starch. Baking powder typically contains tartaric acid, more commonly known as cream of tartar.
- Cream of tartar is a dry acid, so when you use baking powder, you are adding the acidic ingredient that will produce the carbon dioxide bubbles at the same time. Typically, baking powder is called for in recipes that do not otherwise have an acidic ingredient.
- Double action baking powder has two leavening periods (hence the double action). The first surge of air bubbles is created when the alkaline baking soda and the acidic cream of tartar are combined with the recipe’s milk or water. The second leavening period happens when the ingredients reach a certain temperature, as occurs during baking in your oven.
Why isn't your sodium bicarbonate organic?
- We only sell organic products but sometimes, they just don't exist or are impossible to source. This is the case with: xanthan gum, guar gum, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), cream of tartar, double action baking powder and most obviously salt.
How can products be labeled as organic if they contain conventional ingredients like sodium bicarbonate?
- According to USDA rules (which most countries copy), if 95% of a product is made up of organic ingredients, it can be called organic.
- But you can't just add 5% of anything. The non-organic ingredients that can legally go into foods labeled as organic have to be listed in the "National List of inorganic products" that can legally go into foods labeled as organic.
- One of the key terms in the list is "commercially available". As an example organic yeast exists, we sell it but it is not considered "commercially available" as its cost is completely ridiculous. So conventional yeast is allowed in organic bread for example.
- Nothing beats vacuum sealing for freshness.
- Store below 15°C and < 65% humidity.
- Store in the dark as light degrades flavors.
- Mason jars make great storage containers.
- Can be frozen to prolong shelf life.