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Baking Soda Day? Yep, today you can celebrate the wonders of that humble white magic. You can put it to work or put it to play...make fizzy eggs, fat balloons, lots and lots of rockets and fountains of dayglo lava flows. Crazyfun stuff! ;)
Or you can make it bake! Baking soda is a leavening agent, which means it helps make dough or batter rise by creating trapped carbon dioxide bubbles...baking powder does the same. So what's the difference?
Baking soda requires an additional acid (like buttermilk, citrus juice, molasses, yogurt or vinegar) to work...
Baking soda + acid + liquid = bubbles --> immediate rise
Baking powder contains baking soda and acid so all it needs is liquid to activate. Double-acting baking powder (what you see in most grocery stores) boosts it up when heat is added...
Double-acting baking powder + liquid = bubbles --> immediate rise + heat = more bubbles --> extended rise
Some recipes require both...balance is the key. Too much soda, powder or acid will result in a bitter taste so follow directions and measure carefully...this is why baking should be considered a science and why you should get school credit for flipping fluffy pancakes! :)
Kris is a wise and clever baker, supersmart recipe creator...and Harry Potter pastrymaker! She's also a chemistry whiz in the kitchen so watch, listen and learn...then eat! :)
Baking soda basics and more...
Leavening Agents -- Definitions, Cooking For Engineers
Food Science: Baking Soda and Baking Powder by Brian Geiger, Fine Cooking
Kitchen Chemistry by Professor Angela G. King, Wake Forest Magazine
The Difference Between Baking Soda and Baking Powder by Matt Shipman, NCSU
Leavening, Food Science 101, Oregon State U
Kitchen Chemistry includes (chocolate!), Dr.Patricia Christie, MIT
Does the chemistry of baking interest you? Have you used baking soda in a science project? What's your favorite fluffed up baked treat? :)
Celebrate some more with our 2014 Daily Food Holiday and Featured Blogger Series!