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Baking "Formulas".... searching for lost thread
Fri Aug 02, 2002 8:05 amFood.com Groupie
I think it was in this category that I saw someone post something very helpful about baking ratios. Unfortunately I don't remember what the topic was called, or who even posted it... if anybody remembers this and could bump it up or give me the topic name, you'd be most wonderful! Thanks!
Mon Aug 05, 2002 11:12 pmForum Host
s'kat, B&B posted this on 5/21 in answer to a question on "baking powder".....is this the one you were looking for?
Original post by B&B 5/21/2002
Baking powder and soda must be in balance
By leavening, of course, I mean baking soda and baking powder, not yeast.
Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate, which when heated breaks down to form
some carbon dioxide gas and sodium carbonateóa salt with a soapy taste.
However, the major gas production occurs when baking soda combines with an
acid. In this case, a milder tasting salt is left behind.
Baking powder contains baking soda and the exact amount of acid to balance
the soda, along with some cornstarch to keep the two active ingredients
separate and dry.
When you have too much of either of these chemical leaveners, the gas
bubbles in the batter get big, bump into each other, become huge, float to
the top, and then popóthere goes your leavening.
So what is the correct amount of leavener? In most recipes, 1 to 11⁄4
teaspoons baking powder per cup of flour provides ideal leavening (see the
chart below). Some baked goods with a lot of heavy ingredients, like a
carrot cake, may need a little more leavening, but not much.
In most recipes, baking powder is preferred because of its reliability (it
contains exactly the right amount of acids to completely neutralize all the
soda, leaving no aftertaste) and because of its double action (one acid
dissolves when water is added, producing bubbles, and another acid does not
dissolve and produce leavening until a higher temperature is reached in the
oven). Sometimes youíll see a double-acting baking powder with only one
acid in the list of ingredients. This product may use encapsulation, like
time-release cold pills, to produce leavening at different times.
Baking soda is normally used in recipes that contain acidic ingredients
such as sour cream, buttermilk, brown sugar, or chocolate. You need to
remember, though, that the soda isnít just neutralizing acids: itís also
making bubbles, and it can easily overleaven.
Muscle-man soda is often the culprit. Frequently, overleavening is caused
by an excessive amount of soda. Many cooks and recipe writers donít realize
the strength of baking soda. A whole teaspoon of baking powder contains
only 1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda as its major active ingredient.
Solving the mystery of the concave cake
A test kitchen asked me about a cake recipe that called for adding boiling
water to the soda, letting it stand, and then combining it with other
ingredients. Sometimes the cake worked, and sometimes it fell. What we
figured out was that the recipe had too much soda, but if the cook allowed
the soda to stand long enough with the boiling water, enough of the gases
came off to prevent the cake from falling. If it didnít stand long enough,
the cake was badly overleavened and fell. Recipes like this are tricky, to
say the least.
Shirley O. Corriher, a food scientist and a contributing editor to Fine
Cooking, is the author of the award-winning CookWise (William Morrow). ē
Chemical leavener needed per cup of flour
These ratios are good to remember so you can evaluate recipes before you
try them and so you can successfully tinker with or create your own
For nonacidic recipes:
1 cup flour 1 to 1 1⁄4 tsp. baking powder
For very acidic recipes:
1 cup flour 1⁄2 tsp. baking powder and 1⁄8 tsp. baking soda
(Note: Baked goods with a lot of heavy ingredients, like carrot cake, may
need a tiny bit more leavening.)
Tue Aug 06, 2002 7:38 amFood.com Groupie
Yes, this is the one! Thanks so much!!
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