In this article, we're talking all about baking soda, from what it tastes like to how you can use it in surprising ways.
Let's take a look...
What Does Baking Soda Taste Like?
Baking soda has a strange, almost soapy flavor. It's mostly bitter, but it also has a saline essence. It's almost as if baking soda itself does not have a flavor, but rather embodies the essences of bitterness and saltiness in some way.
Many baking recipes include baking soda as a leavening agent, and the right amount will leave no particular flavor. However, adding too much can impart those bitter and salty qualities.
Is Baking Soda Sweet?
While baking soda itself is not sweet, it's sometimes added to black tea as the chemical combination with the tannins in the tea reduces the bitter flavor of the tannins.
So, even though baking soda is not sweet and is actually quite bitter, it can help to create sweetness when mixed with acidic elements.
Baking Soda Texture
All by itself, baking soda is soft and powdery to the touch but gritty if you rub it between your fingers. However, if you mix a little with a substantial amount of water, it will quickly dissolve, leaving no trace of grainy texture.
If you mix baking soda with just a little bit of water, it will make a paste that retains its grittiness, which can be desirable as a cleaning agent.
How Does Baking Soda Taste with Water?
Some people occasionally mix a tiny bit of baking soda with water to curb heartburn. Dissolved in water, baking soda tastes the same as it does in powder form: bitter and slightly salty. The more water you use, the more diluted these flavors will be.
Though the flavor of baking soda can come through strongly in water, it may not in different liquids. It all depends on the chemical reaction.
How Do You Get Rid of the Taste of Baking Soda?
As we touched on earlier, baking soda flavor can be neutralized by acidic ingredients. You can use lemon juice, cream of tartar or even applesauce.
Remember, though, that ratio is also important. A large amount of baking soda will likely be overpowering no matter what.
How to Use Baking Soda
Baked goods are where baking soda shines. You can use it in anything from vegan breads to cakes and muffins, but watch the videos below for a preview of some of the most exciting ways to bake with baking soda.
In this video, we're learning how to make traditional Irish soda bread the vegan way. Irish soda bread is a quick bread that replaces the usual yeast with baking soda to make the bread rise, creating an almost biscuity texture. For this recipe, you'll need whole wheat flour, sea salt, baking soda, mixed seeds, plant-based milk, flax "egg" and lemon juice.
Here's an excellent recipe for soft, squishy vegan sponge cake. In it, the baking soda combines with apple cider vinegar to help create a super soft, moist texture. Most of the ingredients are probably already in your kitchen, including baking powder (not to be confused with baking soda!), vegan milk, vanilla extract and a neutral-tasting oil.
Baking soda is bitter and salty, but it can take on different flavors when mixed with acidic ingredients. Sometimes it's used to get rid of heartburn, but it's mostly relied upon as a leavening agent in baking recipes, making baked goods puffy, fluffy and soft. If you're new to baking with it, vegan Irish soda bread is a great starting point for exploring the wonderful effects of baking soda.