Baking powder is a leavening agent commonly used in baking to help doughs and batters rise. It's a dry chemical leavening agent that typically consists of a combination of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), an acid (such as cream of tartar), and a moisture-absorbing substance (such as cornstarch).
Leavening:Baking powder produces carbon dioxide gas when mixed with liquid and an acidic ingredient, causing dough or batter to rise. This process creates air bubbles, resulting in a lighter, fluffier texture in baked goods.
2. Types of Baking Powder:
Single-acting:Releases gas when mixed with wet ingredients.
Double-acting:Releases gas when mixed and during baking, offering two opportunities for leavening—once when combined with liquids and again when exposed to heat.
Baking Soda:The base that reacts with acids to create carbon dioxide bubbles.
Acidic Component:Such as cream of tartar, sodium aluminum sulfate, or monocalcium phosphate, which reacts with baking soda to produce carbon dioxide.
Stabilizer:Often cornstarch, which absorbs moisture and prevents the ingredients from reacting prematurely.