(Sodium bicarbonate): This alkaline compound (base) will release carbon dioxide gas if both an acid and moisture are present. When heated during baking, the carbon dioxide expands to give baked goods their characteristic texture known as "crumb." Heat is not necessary for this reaction to occur; therefore, products made with baking soda must be baked at once to prevent carbon dioxide escaping from batter or dough.
Acids commonly used with baking soda are buttermilk, sour cream, lemon juice, honey, molasses, and fruits high in acid such as citrus.
Prep Note: If more leavening action is needed, add baking powder instead of baking soda. Too much baking soda results in a soapy or bitter taste, and yellow and brown coloring.
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