Baking without baking soda is unthinkable! We all love some puffy, soft, well-baked cakes. But what should you do if you are out of baking soda? Don’t think twice; look for some amazing baking soda substitutes.
Baking soda, as you may all know, is the magic ingredient that helps all the pre-baked dough to rise well. It helps to make the dish more soft and fluffy. However, mishaps happen and we may run out of it right when we need it the most!
So what are some of the best baking soda substitutes? Baking soda, self-rising flour, and egg whites are some of the many reliable baking soda substitutes we can use for cooking.
Ever since the pandemic, everyone has turned into a baker. One might not be an expert baker, but everyone would have tried their hands at baking at least once, if not twice! However, finding an apt substitute will be hard if you have never used this ingredient before.
The next session is for you if you are a newbie to cooking. In the next session, let’s learn about baking soda in detail. We will discuss what it is; its taste uses health benefits, and much more. If you are keen to know more about baking soda, keep reading!
Quick Peek: Baking Soda
Baking soda is something that is added to all baked goods. It makes the dish more fluffy and soft. In this session, we are going to look more into baking soda.
What Is Baking Soda?
Baking soda, chemically known as sodium bicarbonate, is a leavener used in baking. It helps the dough to rise and thereby increases the volume of dough. It naturally occurs in crystalline form. However, we used the powdered form for cooking.
The science behind how baking soda works is quite simple to understand. Baking soda has an alkaline nature to it. When it combines with any acid, it produces carbon dioxide. This carbon dioxide gets trapped inside the food, causing it to rise.
The food industry uses acids from lemon juice, vinegar, and buttermilk to trigger this reaction. Baking soda will also cause a similar reaction when it is exposed to heat for a really long time.
Describing Baking Soda: Flavor And Texture
We all must have seen/ used baking soda multiple times. However, none of us has just taken the chance to taste test it. If you are curious about baking soda’s taste and texture, keep on reading.
What baking soda tastes like is a question that must have crossed our minds at least once. Many people are of the idea that since baking powder imparts no flavor to the recipe, it is tasteless.
However, baking soda does have a taste to it. Baking soda is bitter with a hint of salty taste. Since we are only using a minuscule amount, it would not affect the dish’s overall taste.
Baking soda has a powdered texture to it. It has a very bright white color and would often resemble corn flour.
Uses Of Baking Soda
We often associate baking soda with that cooking. However, baking soda is a chemical compound with multiple benefits. If you want to buy it, this session will give you enough reasons to stock up on your baking soda packets.
- As A Leavening Agent: Baking soda is used as a leavening agent in cooking. It helps raise the dough/ batter and makes the dish soft and fluffy.
- Product Wash For Fruits And Vegetables: Nowadays, our market is flooded with multiple product washes. However, baking soda, along with some salt, is all you need to remove 80% of pesticides from most o your fruits and vegetables. Add some baking soda and salt to the water and soak your fruit/ vegetables for 15 minutes. Wash them with tap water before using them.
- As A Cleaner: The best way to clean your fridge or gas stove is to spray some baking soda over them. Let it rest for some time, and easily wipe away all the food residue stains.
- Freshen Up The Clothes: Adding 1 tablespoon of baking soda while rinsing will help the clothes to get a freshness that is lost during the continuous wash. You might not get the fragrance of an expensive cloth freshener, but baking soda will do its job!
- Clear Up The Sink: Pouring 1 tablespoon of baking soda along with some hot water into a sink will help to clear the clogs of the water tube. You can do it once in two weeks to clear up all the clogs in your kitchen sink.
Baking Soda On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope
Now that we have seen so many uses of baking soda, let’s look into some of its health benefits. If you are someone who is into simple beauty tips and tricks, you must have seen so many YouTubers talking so much about it.
In this session, we will examine some of baking soda’s well-known health benefits.
- As A Mouthwash: Oral hygiene is extremely important. Even though most of us brush twice, we often end up missing the nooks and corners of our mouths. For that, it is advisable to use mouthwash. Baking soda can be used as a mouthwash. Add half a teaspoon baking soda to half a cup of water and swish as usual. It will prevent bacterial growth and prevent oral infections.
- Treat Heartburns: Heartburns is often caused by acid reflux from your stomach. To tone down this acidity, try drinking some baking soda mixture. Baking soda is alkaline and will neutralize acidity.
- May Relieve Itchiness: Whether it’s a bug bite or a bee sting, baking soda can be of great use. Just make a paste of baking soda and water and spread it across the affected area. This will help to relieve the pain, as well as the itchiness, caused by the insect bites.
- Helps To Control Body Odor: Human sweat is odorless in nature. It is the bacterial breakdown that gives it a smell. Adding baking soda into the water while bathing may slow down this process to an extent and will help to control body odor.
Why Use A Substitute For Baking Soda?
After reading all the health benefits and uses of baking soda, you must be wondering why one should search for a baking soda substitute. But I’ve got a couple of reasons why you should use a baking soda substitute instead of pure baking soda all the time,
Baking soda is something widely available to us. However, there may be times when your nearby grocery store will run off, and you will need it immediately. In such situations, knowing about a good substitute might be helpful.
Baking soda is great on its own. But if you are allergic to this chemical compound, then you are forced to look for a baking soda alternative in your cooking. If you are one such person, a baking soda substitute can greatly help.
We have talked so much about baking soda’s health benefits, but there is always a downside to chemical compounds and baking soda is no different. Baking soda has some side effects if it is not used in the right way. So if you can avoid it sometimes, try an alternative.
Lastly, why spend your money when you can easily find a substitute lying at your grocery counter? A good baking soda substitute can save you so much time, effort, and money. Also, who doesn’t love some experiments in cooking?
6 Best Baking Soda Substitutes
Now that we have talked so much about baking soda let’s get into the core of the article, which is the baking soda substitute. In this session, we will talk about all of the best-suited baking soda substitutes.
1. Baking Powder
Many people get confused between baking powder and baking soda, which is why baking powder is one of the best baking soda substitutes you can try. Baking powder can be substituted in almost all recipes that use baking soda.
Baking powder is, however, less strong than that baking soda. Therefore when using baking powder as a baking soda substitute, follow the 1:3 ratio; for 1 tablespoon of baking soda, use 3 tablespoons of baking powder.
2. Self Rising Flour
Self-rising flour is an excellent option if you cannot find baking soda or baking powder. Self-rising flour is a mixture of baking soda, all-purpose flour, and salt. It doesn’t need any additional leavening agents.
So if you are planning to make any baked goods or pancakes, try using self-rising flour. Since it’s already mixed in the correct proportion, it will be of great help. But substituting baking soda with self-rising flour can be tricky.
3. Potassium Bicarbonate And Salt
Potassium bicarbonate is an idle baking soda substitute. It can be used as a baking soda substitute if you’re trying to cut down the sodium intake.
However, potassium bicarbonate doesn’t have any salt content and may affect the overall taste of the food. Thus, if you plan to substitute baking soda with potassium bicarbonate, add more salt to the recipe.
When substituting baking soda with sodium bicarbonate, follow the 1:1 ratio.
4. Bakers Ammonia
Bakers ammonia is another suitable baking soda substitute. It was one of the oldest leavening agents and has been in use ever since the 13th century. However, in the modern day, it has been replaced by baking soda and baking powder.
Baker’s ammonia brings crispness to the food. Thus, if you are planning to make thin-crust cookies, try baker’s ammonia instead of baking soda.
However, baker’s ammonia is only suitable for some dishes. While it is idle for thin-crust baked goods, it cannot be used for cakes and other baked items.
This is because of the fact that when baker’s ammonia gets exposed to heat, it produces an unpleasant smell. In thin-crust food, these won’t be an issue. But when it comes to cakes and muffins, this smell will affect the overall smell and taste of the food.
5. Egg Whites
Egg white is one of the most easily available baking soda substitutes. It is completely natural and acts as a leavening agent in baking. If your recipe doesn’t need much raising, you can definitely try this egg white!
While using egg white as a baking soda substitute, make sure to give it a good beat before adding it to the batter. Egg white brings puffiness and softness to the recipe. Most of the baked recipes call for the egg as one of their substitutes, so if you don’t have baking soda, skip it!
6. Sour Milk
Sour milk is one of the best leavening agents that can be used in place of baking soda. Sour milk undergoes a process called acidification. It produces a similar leavening effect as that of baking soda.
Thus if you have some raw milk or sour milk at home, use it as a baking soda substitute. It can be used in most dishes as baking soda. Since sour milk is in liquid form, adding sour milk takes care of the consistency of the food.
Short Recap Of Baking Soda Substitutes
After going through the many baking soda substitutes, you must choose one according to your convenience. However, if you still need clarification about what to choose, I’m here to help! In this session, let’s sort each of them according to convenience.
Most Suitable Baking Soda Substitute:
- Baking Powder
- Potassium Bicarbonate and Salt
Easily Available Baking Soda Substitute:
- Sour Milk
- Egg White
Least Suitable Baking Soda Substitute:
- Bakers Ammonia
Baking soda is an amazing and widely used leavening agent used all across the world. Baking soda has now become a ubiquitous name. However, there might be some situations where we will run out of baking soda.
In such a situation, a good substitute comes in handy! Baking soda, baker’s ammonia, and egg white are some of the widely available baking soda substitutes we can use in cooking.
However, baking soda is unique, and it’s hard to replicate. Thus, if your recipe calls for baking soda, in particular, try using baking soda itself.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can you substitute baking soda?
Yes. Baking soda can be easily substituted with baking powder and egg whites.
Can baking soda substitute baking powder?
Yes. Baking soda can be easily substituted with baking powder and vice versa.
How often should you replace baking soda for baking?
Baking soda doesn’t have an expiry date. However, baking soda should be replaced after six months of opening.
What happens if baking soda is too old?
Expired baking soda won’t activate the batter, and thus it won’t cause the desired effect.
What happens if excess baking soda is used?
Excess baking soda can cause vomiting and diarrhoea.