When it comes to baking, baking soda is often a key ingredient. However, too much baking soda in cookies can mess up the consistency and taste.
In order to ensure you are getting a delicious cookie, it is important to watch how much baking soda you add. Too much can completely change the recipe, resulting in an unappetizing cookie. It is important to get just the right amount to guarantee a tasty final product.
What Is Baking Soda?
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a salt made of sodium cation and a bicarbonate anion. Its natural form is crystalline, but in baking, it is as a powder.
When combined with an acid, baking soda produces carbon dioxide gas. The bubbles that form get trapped in the dough or batter, leading it to inflate or rise. Most commonly, acids such as cream of tartar, buttermilk, yogurt, vinegar, brown sugar, cocoa powder, honey, and lemon juice, cause the reaction.
In addition, baking soda will also produce gas from the heat by decomposition. In this case, no acid is necessary for this reaction to take place. The only thing needed for the reaction to happen is a temperature above 176 degrees Fahrenheit.
Baking Soda Vs Baking Powder
Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate and needs a liquid and acid to activate. Baking powder, on the other hand, contains baking soda and acid. Baking powder only needs liquid to activate.
Though baking soda and baking powder are similar, they do different things in baking. They are both leavening agents, baking soda is generally only used with acidic ingredients.
What Baking Soda Does In Cookies
In cookies, baking soda works to spread the dough by raising the mixture’s pH, which in return slows protein coagulation. This allows the dough more time to set before the eggs do, resulting in a more evenly baked cookie. It gives cookies a lovely soft, fluffy texture.
Too Much Baking Soda In Cookies
Some cookie recipes will call for baking soda, some will call for baking soda and baking powder, and some use just baking powder. Baking soda is about three times stronger than baking powder. However, more baking soda doesn’t necessarily mean more lift.
When making cookies, too much baking soda can create a metallic, soapy flavor. This creates an unpleasant tasting cookie, so it is important to use the exact amount the recipe calls for. Too little and your cookies won’t form correctly while baking.
In cookies, too much baking soda will give them too much air, causing almost a cake-like texture. They won’t have the classic chewy texture that cookies have.
If you notice that you have added too much baking soda, you can double all the ingredients. If you notice that you added too much baking soda right after adding it, then you can scoop it out. However, if your cookies are already in the oven once you notice, there’s, unfortunately, nothing you can do to fix them.
The Importance Of Using Fresh Baking Soda When Baking
No matter what you are baking, it is important to make sure you are using fresh baking soda. Once you open the box, you should use aim to use it within 30 days. This will ensure that the baking soda will properly work in your recipe.
When your baking soda has expired, it will not react properly to heat acid. This will result in your baked goods not rising properly, leading to them falling flat.
How To Test If Baking Soda Is Still Good
If you can’t remember the last time you opened your baking soda, there is a simple test you can perform. This will let you know whether or not your baking soda will be able to properly work in your recipe.
To test if your baking soda is still good or not, pour three tablespoons of white distilled vinegar into a small bowl. Next, add a 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to the bowl and lightly stir it together. If the mixture begins to rapidly bubble, then the baking soda is still good, if not throw it out.
The Key To Good Cookies
To ensure your cookies turn out the right texture, you want to make sure you add just the right amount of baking soda. Be careful not to add too much, otherwise, your cookies may be too thick with a metallic, soapy taste.
Did you have any questions about this article on adding too much baking soda to cookies? If so, please ask your questions in the comments down below.