What is Baking Soda?

Being from Australia we have different terms for some products. Please can you tell me if baking soda is bi-carbonate of soda, or is it what we call baking powder, which is used when we want plain flour (no rising in it) to rise? Do you have self-raising flour too, which is flour that needs no raising agent, since it is included in the flour? I get really muddled up at times. Thank you.

Leah from Queensland, Australia

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March 2, 20090 found this helpful
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Yes, baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. Also, we do have self rising flour here in the U.S. You can also purchase all-purpose flour and add baking powder.

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March 2, 20090 found this helpful
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Yes, we have self-rising flour but I think (may be wrong) that most bakers use plain flour and add things to make baked goods rise. At least I do.

My box says that Baking Soda is Sodium Bicarbonate. Baking Powder is corn starch, bicarbonate of soda, and several other things.

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March 2, 20090 found this helpful
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Self-rising flour is plain flour with baking POWDER and salt. Thanks.

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March 2, 20090 found this helpful

Hi Leah (that's my daughter's name, too). In the USA, baking soda is, indeed, Bicarbonate of Soda ... or Sodium Bicarbonate (both are the same).

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March 2, 20090 found this helpful

Baking Soda is Bi-Carbonate of Soda

Hope that helps.

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March 2, 20090 found this helpful

I'm an American living in Brisbane.Baking soda is bicarb. Baking powder is baking powder. All purpose flour is plain flour and has nothing alse added. Self rising has other stuff in it, but you will rarely see it in American recipes.

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March 2, 20090 found this helpful

It is bi-carbonate of soda. Baking powder is something else.

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March 2, 20090 found this helpful

Baking soda would be bicarbonate of soda.

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March 3, 20090 found this helpful

The reason bicarb or 'baking soda' is confused with the powder, apart from the name, is that it's IN baking powder, with either potassium bitartrate (cream of tartar) or [double-acting] sodium acid pyrophosphate to act with it to make the bubbles without yeast.

Why anyone would want to put chemicals in their food like that is a wonder, but it's all linked to Liebig and artificial fertilizers that have so depleted the soil.

We're also just starting to realize that nutrients in food behave differently from the 'same' nutrients in pills. Wisdom sure takes a long time...

And by the way, 'washing soda' is sodium carbonate, just to add confusion.

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March 3, 20090 found this helpful

Hello everyone,

Thank you so much for your very informed posts. NOW I know what it all means. I have written the basics down, so I don't have to ask again. LOL.

Again, thank you all so much for your responses,

Leah from Australia.

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March 4, 20090 found this helpful

Baking soda is bicarbonate of soda, and yes, we(USA) do have self-rising flour.

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July 9, 20110 found this helpful

Even if you are using self-rising flour when you add buttermilk or sour milk you ad a tsp. of baking soda. By the way you can write or call the baking soda people on the box. I use Arm & Hammer brand and they will tell you its uses and the difference. Either way the big bag can be used in the kitchen like the box and in the pool and to clean etc. and to raise bread made with sour milk or make your skin smooth in a bath.

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