In this second week of baking we learned about making pastry dough and various quick breads. All pastry dough and batters have similar ingredients, but it’s the proportions that change per recipe.

Quick breads have no yeast. Here, baking powder and soda are used. Baking powder is actually a combination of baking soda, cream of tartar and cornstarch. It’s also ‘double acting.’ This means the leavening process-a release of CO2-happens in liquid AND heat.

With baking soda, the release of CO2 happens with the addition of acid. These can be, among other things, buttermilk, brown sugar or cocoa powder. It also neutralizes excess acid, so that tang from the acid is lost.

When these two are combined, the baking soda is there primarily to neutralize the acidity of the recipe.