Kids baking at Christmas

Bicarb or not Bicarb : That is the Question!

Bicarbonate of Soda (baking soda) or Baking Powder: a quick guide.

Baking has always been a delightful adventure for me, and one ingredient that never fails to add a touch of magic to my creations is bicarbonate of soda. Let me share with you the wonderful benefits of incorporating this kitchen superhero into your baking escapades.

First and foremost, bicarbonate of soda, also known as baking soda, is a leavening agent that works wonders in helping my baked goods rise to perfection. Its ability to produce carbon dioxide gas when combined with acidic ingredients like yogurt or buttermilk creates a light and airy texture in cakes, muffins, and cookies. The result? Fluffy and tender treats that never fail to impress.

But that's not all – bicarbonate of soda is a master at balancing flavours. Its slightly alkaline nature has the incredible ability to neutralise acidity in recipes, making the taste of my baked goods more harmonious. This is particularly useful when dealing with recipes that involve acidic ingredients such as citrus fruits or sour cream.

What I love most about bicarbonate of soda is its magical role in enhancing browning. When used in cookie recipes, for example, it promotes that coveted golden-brown hue on the edges while maintaining a soft and chewy centre. It's like having a secret weapon to achieve that perfect balance of texture and colour in my baked treats.

In addition to its prowess in the oven, bicarbonate of soda plays a versatile role outside of baking. It's a fantastic odour neutraliser, and I often use it to eliminate any unwanted smells in my refrigerator or on my kitchen surfaces. This dual functionality makes it a staple not just in my baking adventures but also in maintaining a fresh and clean kitchen environment.

One aspect that truly sets bicarbonate of soda apart is its cost-effectiveness. It's an affordable pantry staple that goes a long way, making it a budget-friendly choice for any home baker. Knowing that I can achieve excellent results without breaking the bank adds an extra layer of satisfaction to my baking endeavours.

If you don’t get on with yeast or sourdoughs then baking powder or bicarbonate of soda are good substitutes, allowing much faster baking times.

Bicarbonate of Soda

Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and baking powder are not the same. 

Baking powder is made of baking soda, cream of tartar and cornstarch. It can taste quite bitter and floury as you need three times more than when using bicarbonate of soda (baking soda).

For this reason I use bicarbonate of soda in my recipes.

To use with any of our 400g flour mixes just use 5g of bicarbonate of soda, no need for sugar and no proving time.

Combine the flour mix with 5g bicarbonate of soda, salt and water, (oil if the mix calls for it). Mix well till the water is completely absorbed, shape, score the top before putting in a pre-heated oven and bake at the required temperature.


In conclusion, the benefits of using bicarbonate of soda in baking are truly multifaceted. From its leavening prowess to flavour enhancement, browning magic, and beyond, this humble ingredient has earned its place as an indispensable ally in my kitchen. So, the next time you embark on a baking escapade, don't forget to invite bicarbonate of soda along for the journey – your taste buds will thank you!

 Focaccia Bread from Hungry Scarecrow


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