Because of the similarity in names and appearance, baking soda and baking powder are easily confused.
These ingredients are completely different in terms of their chemical content. Sometimes, you might have to use them in the same recipe, so it is important to know their individual properties.
These are the differences between baking soda and baking powder:
Baking powder is a combination of soda and some acids, including tartar cream and even cornstarch. First, the baking powder can fully react when combined with liquid and second when combined with heat. For an optimal amount of baking powder, use one teaspoon per one cup of flour in a recipe.
Baking soda is popular as sodium bicarbonate or bicarbonate of soda. This mineral in combination with some acid, creates carbon dioxide.
When there is a baking soda in a recipe, there is some acid such as lemon juice, brown sugar, tartar cream, molasses, buttermilk or yogurt. This is because the baking soda needs something acidic in order to react. In case when there is no acid, it will have a metallic taste.
As with the baking powder, you have to use 1/4 tsp of baking soda for 1 cup of flour in every recipe that includes both of these ingredients.
Why some recipes need both of these ingredients?
Some recipes need the combination of both baking soda and baking powder. This is because baking soda and acid do not create enough carbon dioxide so another ingredient is needed to increase the volume. The baking powder in this case balances the combination.
Remember the Expiry Date
Any time you cook something, try to use some fresh soda and powder or change them every three months. If you are not sure about their expiry date, do some test to check their effectiveness.
For this reason, add half a teaspoon of baking powder in 3 tbsp of warm water. If the powder reacts with water, it is fresh. Also, combine half a teaspoon of baking soda with three tbsp of white distilled vinegar. If it bubbles, it is fresh.
If you are still confused between these two ingredients here is one more tip to help you remember. Simply associate Baking soda with a single ingredient and Baking powder with poof in the over.
Via Unknown Remedy