Feb 11, 2015

The Difference Between Baking Powder & Baking Soda

Baking powder and baking soda are NOT THE SAME. They can not be substituted for one another. They are both leaveners but they are chemically different.

Baking Powder:Baking SodaBaking soda is used in recipes that contain acidic ingredients like buttermilk, brown sugar, yogurt, lemon juice, honey, vinegar, or chocolate (except Dutch process). The acid in the recipe reacts with the baking soda, allowing your baked goods to rise. Baking powder is generally used when there is no acidic ingredient in the recipe. Bottom line: baking soda needs an acid; baking powder does not. – Jenny Jones

17 Comments on "The Difference Between Baking Powder & Baking Soda"

  1. Tammy Mahar

    Why do some recipes call for both baking powder and baking soda?

  2. Nilly

    Hi Jenny, found you on you tube. Wow was I blown away by ur rolls & dutch oven bread. I was even more blown away when I saw ur last name and I quickly thought no it can’t be the Jenny Jones from the TV show. What a pleasant surprise. I always wondered what ever happen to u.
    Glad ur cooking & baking, I love your blog too.
    Jenny, I need help. Can’t find YEAST anywhere, not even online. Been home for over 3 months. Just about ran out of everything. Good thing a neighbor finally got me a loaf of sliced bread. Both my mom & I were so happy to receive the bread, we almost cried.
    I truly want to bake your rolls. I have some AP flour, no yeast, but I do have Baking powder. Can I use BP as a substitute for the yeast?

    Thank you Jenny I love your blog & YouTube

  3. Mimi

    I currently don’t have yeast. Can I substitute Alsa baking soda to make your Faster No Knead Bread? Thank you

  4. SusiC

    I was wondering if one could “over knead” the bread. Will it get tough if too much kneading occurs?

    • AndyB

      In theory, yes. In practice, no. If you’re kneading by hand, you’ll find that when dough is getting close to over-kneaded, it will get stiff and hard to fold. You’ll tire yourself out long before you reach the point of over-kneading.

      With a food processor or mixer, you certainly can over-knead, but that will take 4 or 5 minutes of mixing. Imagine how long you’d have to knead by hand to reach that state.

  5. Tyra

    Hello Jenny,

    I just found your sight 2 weeks ago
    Love your u tube videos

    Am basically just beginning to find my “Cooking Legs” … lol

    I’ve found an interest in baking bread for my family.

    The first 2 recipes I tried had me proof the yeast before adding it to the flour


    I have 2 questions:

    Why do some recipes call for putting the yeast in the hot water covered for 5-10 minutes before adding it to the flour mixture & in your wheat bread recipes you just add everything in the bowl all together from the start?

    I’ve just started to bake bread
    Have only baked it 3 times.

    (2 French Baguettes & 1 Artisan Beer Bread)


    Why do we have to let the bread rise one time in for some breads & 2 or 3 tines for other breads?

    Well I guess now I actually have 3 questions. ..lol

    How will I know if you replied to my question. ..can you send your reply to my email address?

    I really am interested to know the answers to my questions before I go to deep into this rabbit hole because I want my bread to be delicious

    Thank you very much,


    • Jenny Can Cook

      Today’s yeast is more sturdy than it used to be and proofing is not necessary unless you’re not sure if it’s fresh. As long as you keep yeast in the freezer, it will stay fresh. Rising bread twice may develop more flavor but I prefer using instant yeast, which works quite well with just one rise.

  6. David

    Jenny – thank you for your terrific website and outstanding videos! You’re now my favorite cooking channel next to Food Wishes!

    One can “make” baking powder by combining half a teaspoon of cream of tartar and quarter of a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. This provides the equivalent of one teaspoon of baking powder. I used this workaround when I was out of trusty Calmut and all was wel!


  7. Carol

    Hi Jenny,

    Is it possible to use baking powder for your One Bowl Lemon Brownies?
    I just got a whole new tin of baking powder… and really wish to use it…

    • Jenny

      No, they are not the same. Please read the article above.

  8. Marlene

    I forgot to mention when no knead bread is done why is it a little wet and sticky still when I cut it. My oven is hot enough and bakes for 35min. My dutch oven was put in cold and heated for 35min so it was planty hot. Is there something im doing wrong? Yeast is RED STAR quick rise instant dry yeast ( gluten free) witch I just realize. I don’t cut it til the next day.

    • Jenny

      Can you please list each ingredient you are using, the type of Dutch oven (what metal), the type of oven, and I will try to help.

  9. Pete

    Hi Jenny, how are you?
    Thank you for your receipies. They are very clear and helpful.
    One thing I am not good with Iis the conversion of Farenheit to Celsius.
    please include Celsius
    regards Peter

  10. ~S

    So is it ok if I use baking powder even if there is an acid in the recipe, due to a lack of baking soda in my country?

    • Jenny

      Baking is an exact science so depending on the recipe, it may not turn out if you change it. There are many different recipes for almost everything so to avoid disappointment I would suggest you choose recipes that do not call for baking soda (unless you can purchase it online). I can try to help further if you send me the recipe.

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