Bicarbonate of soda
Bicarbonate of soda is a levelling agent that gives cakes and bread a fluffy light texture.
Bicarbonate of soda has a lot of different uses from baking to cleaning, it is also completely gluten-free! However, there is a lot of confusion when it comes to bicarbonate of soda so my aim is to clear things up for you!
Bicarbonate of soda and Baking soda
First things first, bicarbonate of soda and baking soda are different names for the same thing.
But why do we have two names for the same thing?!
Simple! in America, it is referred to as baking soda while in the UK we usually call it bicarbonate of soda so keep that in mind if you are following an American recipe!
Bicarbonate of soda and Baking powder
Second thing, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder are NOT the same thing.
However, baking powder does contain bicarbonate of soda. Baking powder is a mixture of bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar and cornstarch. The cream of tartar is a dry acid so this means you only need to add some moisture to activate it.
So it is important to follow the recipe carefully!
Bicarbonate of soda in baking
Once bicarbonate of soda is activated by adding moisture and an acid (like yogurt or milk). It works by giving off carbon dioxide, this expands the cake or bread mixture. Once cooked the carbon dioxide is replaced by air giving the final result a light texture.