How to make baking soda at home? (+5 substitutes)

In this article, we will answer the question “How to make baking soda at home?”, and what are the substitutes for baking soda?

How to make baking soda at home?

It is not safe to make baking soda at home since NaOH is one of its constituents and is highly corrosive in nature. It is manufactured on an industrial scale by specific machinery. However, a brief description of how It is made is given below.

First, the NaOH is dissolved and water and is allowed to sit for weeks so that It captures the carbon dioxide from the air. When the pH of the solution reads as 6.5 or 7, you will have pure baking soda. 

After that, you will have to evaporate the water. Make sure you do not heat the baking soda above 200℉ in the oven to evaporate water or else you will end up with sodium carbonate. Therefore, you need to heat it at a low temperature.

What is baking soda?

Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is a salt. It has an alkaline ph and a salty taste. Apart from its culinary uses, it is used as a fungicide and a deodorizer due to its disinfectant properties. It is also known for its uses as a buffering agent, teeth whitener, fire extinguisher, and preventing indigestion when combined with water.

Substitutes for baking soda

Baking powder

Baking powder is made up of baking soda and an acidic component typically cornstarch. Although baking powder looks a lot like baking soda, the leavening power of baking powder is less than baking soda. To compensate, use greater amounts of baking powder.

Baking powder has two types:

  1. Single-acting baking powder
  1. Double-acting baking powder

A double-acting baking powder will leaven the batter in two stages, first at room temperature as a result of coming in contact with moisture and second when heated in the oven.

Home bakers usually use the single-acting baking powder that leavens the bread in one go.

Potassium Bicarbonate and salt

If you are watching out for your intake of sodium due to health-related issues, this substitute is the way to go. However, consider adding more salt to your recipe to compensate for the low levels of salt in potassium bicarbonate. Some uses of this salt include:

  • Potassium bicarbonate is known for its use to lower uric acid levels and dissolve kidney stones.
  • It is also used as a supplement to help maintain normal levels of potassium in the blood. Low potassium will result in fatigue, upset stomach, irregular heartbeat, and muscle weakness.
  • Just like baking soda, potassium bicarbonate is also used as a buffering agent, fire extinguisher, fungicide, and as an additive by the wine industry.

Baker’s ammonia

It is also known as Ammonium carbonate and its use remained very prevalent in the 13th century. Present age bakers use this to make baked products that have a thin texture like crisps or cookies if you want them to be a crispy texture.

Do not use it to make cakes, doughnuts, muffins, or any baked product with a thick crumb structure, to avoid trapping ammonia and ending up with an end product that tastes like ammonia.

Self-rising flour

Self-rising flour is made up of all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. When using self-rising flour, avoid adding an acidic ingredient because you have already added it in the form of self-rising flour(baking powder). 

Egg whites

Egg whites, when whipped, help incorporate air into your batters and serve as an excellent leavening agent. Make sure you whip your egg whites to just the right extent and fold gently into the dry ingredients to avoid popping the air bubbles.

How long does baking soda last?

In the pantry 
Baking soda (unopened)3 years past the Best-by date 
Baking soda (opened)6 months 

How to tell if baking soda has gone bad?

  • If baking sodas been in contact with moisture, it will develop mold growth. In this case, it needs to be discarded immediately.
  • If the baking soda has been sitting in the pantry for too long, or If it is mishandled after opening the package, it will quickly lose its potency as a leavening agent.

The best-by date on the baking sod package does not indicate safety. It rather tells you how long the baking soda will perform best. Eating cookies made p of expired baking soda won’t make you sick. But It might not perform its best job in baking if it was not potent enough.

Other FAQs about Baking Soda which you may be interested in.

Can you use baking soda after it has been in the fridge?

Can you use baking soda in pancakes?

What can I substitute for baking soda?

Conclusion

In this article, we answered the question “How to make baking soda at home?”, and what are the substitutes for baking soda?

References

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/baking-soda-substitute
https://www.thepioneerwoman.com/food-cooking/cooking-tips-tutorials/g33957485/baking-soda-substitute/

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.