Eliminates the acidity of baking soda

Raising agentFood raising agents are organic or chemical substances that are used in baking to loosen the dough. The most common are baking yeast and baking soda. Baker's yeasts are mushrooms that ferment sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Baking soda is made up of baking soda, an acidulant, and starch. Even before and mainly during baking, the carbon dioxide gas is released, which leads to the formation of small bubbles in the dough and thus loosens the dough. The raising agents deer horn salt and potash are only suitable for special baked goods and flat baked goods such as gingerbread or honey dough.

synonymous: leavening agent, baking powder, baking powder, baking soda


For loosening the dough: The formation of carbon dioxide creates small gas bubbles before and mainly during baking, which loosen the dough of bread or baked goods and thus make it easier to enjoy.

Working principle

General reaction of chemical raising agents:

Raising agent + acid + heat + water → gases (carbon dioxide, possibly ammonia) + by-products


1. Organic raising agents:

  • Baker's yeasts are mushrooms of the species Saccharomyces and form alcohol and the gas carbon dioxide from the glucose contained in the flour (alcoholic fermentation). Yeasts are living organisms. So that you feel as comfortable as possible, warm water should be used for the dough and the dough should not be overheated before baking, but left in a warm place. Sufficient liquid and a little sugar support the fermentation process.
  • In the fermentation process, lactic acid bacteria multiply in sourdough and produce lactic acid, acetic acid and carbon dioxide from sugar.
  • Alcohol is also used as a leavening agent because it boils at 79 ° C and evaporates during baking.

2. Inorganic raising agents:

  • Soda (sodium hydrogen carbonate) is the most widely used chemical raising agent and is usually found in baking powder.
  • Potash (potassium carbonate) is suitable for flat and special baked goods such as gingerbread and honey dough.
  • Deer horn salt (ammonium hydrogen carbonate) breaks down completely into the three gases ammonia, carbon dioxide and water when heated above 60 ° C. It is used for flat baked goods such as gingerbread, beaver and cookies and is not suitable for high baked goods (bread, cakes) because the unpleasant smelling ammonia is retained. For detailed information → see under deer horn salt
  • Other carbonates: potassium carbonate, potassium hydrogen carbonate

3. Auxiliary materials:

All leavening agents require water and, in some cases, heat to function.

The carbonates (soda, potash) also require an acid (acidifier, acid carrier). For example, tartar (potassium hydrogen tartrate), tartaric acid, acidic sodium pyrophosphate, monocalcium phosphate and citric acid are used. The acid can be used to control the formation of carbon dioxide. Depending on the acid, the gas is formed before or during baking (so-called fore, main, tail). The "biological" acids potassium hydrogen tartrate, tartaric acid and citric acid react very quickly with baking soda. Sodium acid pyrophosphate and monocalcium phosphate monohydrate develop their effects later.

Baking powder also contains a starch, which is added to increase the shelf life.

Organic baking powder

In addition to baking soda and starches, organic baking powders only contain auxiliary substances from natural sources, for example tartar from wine barrels.

Baking powder without phosphate

Baking powder without phosphate contains an acidifier without phosphate, for example tartar instead of the acidic sodium pyrophosphate.

useful information

Mechanical methods are also used to loosen the dough (beating, stirring, blowing in).

If the baking powder is too weak, additional acid can be added, for example in the form of lemon juice or vinegar.

If, on the contrary, the dough is sufficiently acidic, only baking soda can be used (without acidulants), otherwise the baked goods will become even more acidic due to the acid in the baking powder.

When hot water is added to baking soda, it begins to react strongly and to foam. In contrast to yeast dough, therefore, when using baking powder, warm or even hot water should not be used if it is desired that the pastry does not rise until it is baked.

Reaction of soda with acid: NaHCO3 + H+ → Well+ + CO2 + H2O


Conflicts of Interest: None / Independent. The author has no relationships with the manufacturers and is not involved in the sale of the products mentioned.

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This article was last changed on October 19, 2019.
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