What does baking soda do in cookies? If you are wondering if you need to use or not and how it works on your recipe keep reading!
Baking is more of a science than art. Why? May you ask. You need to accurately measure all the ingredients and, most importantly, not miss even a single one.
Anyone who has even a hint of experience with baking knows what happens if you mess up the calculations or miss something.
One common ingredient which is a part of every baking recipe is Baking Soda. On the surface, baking soda might sound like something that could be skipped. But in reality, it can be the deciding factor in your baking recipes!
Difference between Baking Soda and Baking Powder
Already feel confused after hearing the words soda and powder in the same sentence? Well, you should be because each one has a different mode of action.
Baking soda is one of the popular agents that gives a fluffy look to baking goods. The chemical name of baking soda is sodium bicarbonate.
When this chemical agent reacts with a liquid and an acid such as lemon, it produces carbon dioxide. This gas can help your dough rise and appear bigger.
On the other hand, the baking powder does not need any acid for its reaction. It already contains acid as well as Sodium Bicarbonate. To complete the reaction which produces carbon dioxide, you just need to mix the baking powder with liquid.
So if you are trying a recipe from a book or an online site, always double-check what type of leavening agent you need for that specific recipe!
What does Baking Soda do in Cookies?
Baking Soda serves an essential role in the baking of cookies. Once this ingredient is mixed, it turns the pH of the mixture, thus making it less acidic. As a result, the consolidation process of the protein slows down.
What does this mean for your cookie dough? First, it gives more time for your cookie dough to set, resulting in a smoothly baked surface of the cookies once baked.
The use of either baking soda or baking powder depends on the ingredients of your baking recipe.
If it already contains an acid, then you can do just fine with baking soda. However, if your recipe doesn’t have any acid, you need the baking powder.
Alternatives of Baking Soda
Before you think of using an alternative agent instead of baking soda, double-check the ingredients of your cookie recipe.
Suppose your recipe is high on acid material such as lemon or something else. In that case, you should not look for an alternative. Most commonly used leavening agents work better in those recipes containing sugar and have a dense composition.
Two of the common alternatives are Baking Powder and Potassium Bicarbonate.
If you are conscious about your sodium intake, then potassium bicarbonate can be a good choice. That’s because it is free of sodium.
Doctors and experts recommend people lower their sodium intake since it is linked with hypertension and many other illnesses.
To get the same flavor when using potassium bicarbonate, you can add a little salt to enhance the flavor and taste.
FAQs about baking soda
What happens if I use too much baking soda in my cookies?
If you use too much baking soda in your cookies, you will have a different texture and taste, which you don’t want.
Can I substitute baking powder for baking soda in a cookie recipe?
If you substitute baking soda with baking powder, you must make some adjustments in the amount of baking powder.
Some extra tips about baking soda
It’s essential to conserve baking soda properly because it absorbs odors.
So, be careful to put away from spices and similars and conserve in an airtight container.
This way, it will last you longer in optimal conditions.
Remember that baking soda expires. So, try always to have something fresh on hand.!
To ensure the baking soda is in good condition, you can try adding 1/2 teaspoon baking soda to 3 tablespoons of white distilled vinegar.
If the baking soda is fresh, bubbles will occur. If you do not get bubbles, you must buy new ones.
When you use baking soda in your cookie recipe, try to mix the ingredients and put the cookies in the oven quickly. That’s to avoid the cookies getting flat.
And a tip that serves for almost any recipe. Try to follow the instructions as indicated, without altering the measures, ingredients, or procedures. This way, you will have more security in getting the final product you expect.