Even the richest cake or crustiest bread should be light and airy. Here we reveal the secrets of leavening agents!
- Baking Powder is a leavener containing a combination of baking soda, an acid (such as cream of tartar), and a moisture-absorber (such as cornstarch). When mixed with liquid, baking powder releases carbon dioxide bubbles that cause bread or cake to rise.
- Double-Acting Baking Powder releases some gas when it becomes wet and the rest when exposed to oven heat.
- Single-Acting Baking Soda releases their gasses as soon as they’re moistened.
- Baking Soda is used as a leavener in baked goods. When combined with an acid ingredient such as sour milk, sour cream or molasses, baking soda produces carbon dioxide bubbles, thereby causing a dough or batter to rise. Because it reacts immediately when moistened, it should always be mixed with dry ingredients before adding any liquid; the batter should be placed in the oven immediately.
- Yeast is a living, microscopic, single-cell organism that, as it grows, converts its food into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Yeast is available in a dry granule form, which is stored in the cupboard, and in compressed cakes, which is perishable and must be stored in the refrigerator. You can substitute 1 envelope of dry yeast for 1 cake of compressed yeast.
- Air is incorporated into a batter primarily by 2 methods, creaming and foaming. Creaming is the process of beating fat and sugar together to incorporate air. Foaming is the process of beating eggs with or without sugar to incorporate air.