Hi there Bakers and Foodies; today I’ll be sharing four types of raising agents used in baking.
This is a post in our Baking Ingredients series. I’ll be sharing the types of raising agents that are used in baking. These are agents that help your cake or your bread rise. They’re called raising agents or leavening agents. I’ll be sharing two chemical ones and two natural ones.
1. Baking Powder
It is mainly used in cakes and sometimes in cookies.
Baking powder is a mixture of baking soda (an alkali) and an acid. In most cases, cream of tartar is used as the acid.
Baking powder is used in most recipes where cake is being baked or cupcakes, as well as pancakes and even cookies.
This is really easily available in supermarkets. You can buy it anywhere in shops that sell food items or cake supply shops.
2. Bicarbonate of Soda/Sodium Bicarbonate/Baking soda
This is an alkali by itself and it’s mainly used in cake recipes.
Please note that Baking soda is used where there is a highly acidic ingredient in a cake recipe. An example is if there is natural cocoa powder, a lot of vinegar, a lot of buttermilk, or applesauce – in a cake or cupcake recipe.
Please note that you cannot use it all the time in cake recipes. It has to be a tested recipe where there’s a lot of acid and there’s a reason why you need to use the baking soda.
If you do use it the wrong way in a recipe without an acidic ingredient, the cake will still rise, but there will be a soapy (and/or a slight bitter) aftertaste in your cake. This happens since there is no acidic element to interact with the alkali and balance out the taste.
Eggs are a natural raising agent when it comes to cakes and especially in Sponge cake making. By beating/whipping the eggs, they gain a lot of volume and that tends to help you when it comes to cake making – especially when using the egg whites.
Some cakes don’t even need baking powder in them, you can actually use the whipped eggs as the raising agent. In cake-making especially baking Sponges; eggs are used as a raising agent, as well as in Cookie-making e.g. Meringue cookies
Yeast is used in bread making and yeast pastries and it tends to take time because it is a fungus and needs a really specific warm, humid temperature to actually work very well.
It also needs time to slowly proof and rise as well.
I hope this post has been helpful. Make sure to check out our other posts on ingredients here.
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Share this with a baker or foodie friend you know it will help ^_^