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Baking Powder? baking soda? bicarbonate of soda? what's the difference?

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Can anyone help me out here? I've been given an American book of baking recipes which often refers to baking soda and bicarbonate of soda, but never to baking powder. Are these ingredients all the same thing, just called by different names, or is there a difference between them all and what they are used for? 

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baking powder use what the recipe says and using baking soda use a quarter the amount. You can also use baking soda to make plain flour into self rasing flour.

Edited by alan p

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thanks alan p. Having done a bit more digging, I've found out that baking soda and bicarbonate of soda are exactly the same thing. It's just that we Brits call it bicarbonate of soda and the Americans call it baking soda.

Baking powder is slightly different, in that it is made up of one part bicarbonate of soda and 3 parts of an acidic ingredient - usually cream of tartar.

All of them are raising agents and do the same thing, but as alan p said, if you use bicarbonate or baking soda, you need to use a lesser amount and make sure that there's something acidic in the other ingredients you're using  - like lemon juice, for example. 

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