Baking soda is a commonly used ingredient to increase the volume and soften the dough.
Sodium Bicarbonate is the basic ingredient in baking soda. For health reasons and taste, many of us like to use natural substitutes for baking soda.
Sodium Bicarbonate is not agreeable to many individuals as it may produce side effects such as :
- Congestive heart failure
- Muscle spasm
- Increased level of body ph
- High levels of sodium in the blood
- Swelling in feet, ankles, and lower legs.
Substitutes For Baking Soda
There are a few good substitutes for baking soda for those who want to avoid sodium bicarbonate for health reasons, taste, or lack of availability. Here are 5 wonderful alternatives:
1. Baker’s Yeast
Baker’s yeast is a fantastic replacement for baking soda.
It converts the fermentable sugars present in the dough into carbon dioxide and ethanol.
Baker’s yeast is either active dry yeast (where the east remains dormant due to lack of moisture) or compressed fresh yeast (where the yeast is alive and susceptible to perish soon).
Yeast produces different acids that aid in the fermentation of the dough.
Baker’s yeast is available in different forms according to the various levels of moisture content in them.
The various types of baker’s yeast are cream yeast, compressed yeast, active dry yeast, instant yeast, and rapid-rise yeast.
Nutritionists recommend the baker’s yeast as a healthy substitute for baking powder. Bread and other baked goods fermented with yeast taste better and do not possess the bitter flavor of baking soda and powder.
According to the needs of the recipe and rising time, you may use as little as 1 teaspoon or up to 2 1/4 teaspoons (sometimes more) of instant yeast per pound (about 4 cups) of flour.
2. Baking Powder
Instead of baking soda, you can use baking powder.
Using baking powder instead of baking soda is advantageous. It contains a proper blend of both sodium bicarbonate and acid needed for a strong leavening effect.
Baking powder needs to be used 2-3 times more than baking soda; if your recipe needs 1 tsp baking soda, then you have to use 3 tsp baking powder instead.
Some brands of baking powder also come with added flavor that gives a better taste to the baked goods.
Do not use salt in the dough mixture together with baking powder as it will hinder the leavening effect of the baking powder. If needed, you can add salt while baking the leavened dough.
For more details, also check out the article Baking Powder Vs Baking Soda.
3. Potassium Bicarbonate
If you are wondering what to use instead of baking soda, then you can try potassium bicarbonate.
It is also a healthy option for people who have health issues with sodium intake and heart.
Potassium bicarbonate can be used for low sodium applications.
You can use exactly the same amount of potassium bicarbonate (1:1) instead of the sodium bicarbonate required for baking.
However, potassium bicarbonate does not go well with acidic liquids like sour cream, vinegar, buttermilk, yogurt, or citrus fruit juices. You can use water or plain milk instead of acidic ingredients.
4. Club Soda
Club soda is a carbonated beverage that contains sodium bicarbonate.
You can use club soda in your recipes as a leavening agent instead of baking soda and baking powder.
However, the amount of sodium bicarbonate present in club soda may not be sufficient for preparing some of the recipes.
Bakers usually do not use milk or water in the recipe while using club soda.
Club soda is also beneficial for adding extra volume and lightness to the baked goods; suitable for making fluffy and moist pancakes.
5. Self-Rising Flour
If you do not want to take the trouble of mixing baking soda or powder with batter for baking, you can use the self-rising flour.
Self-rising flour is specially processed with a required amount of baking powder and added flavor to make your baking process easy.
Instead of using sodium bicarbonate, simply replace your regular flour with self-rising flour.
Related Article: 7 Effective Substitutes For Baking Powder
How To Choose The Best Baking Soda Substitutes?
Most baking soda substitutes will alter the taste and color of the baked goods.
When choosing the alternative to baking soda, you must pay attention to the flavor of the baked cakes or other goods.
For example, using molasses can make baked goods sugary, and thus it cannot be used for savory bread. But it can go well with sweet desserts and pancakes.
Using vinegar can give a sour taste to the baked products. It is not suitable for use in sweetened cakes. White vinegar may go well with the baking mixture that requires a very little amount of baking powder.
You also have to pay attention to other ingredients used in the recipe while choosing an alternative to baking soda. Make sure that the ingredients in the recipe are bendable with the baking powder substitute you are using.
It is important to adjust the liquid requirements of the dough mixture if you are using a liquid form replacement for baking powder.
The Bottom Line
Baking soda is a necessary ingredient commonly used by bakers for leavening.
In place of baking soda, there are a few chemical or organic substitutes you can use.
However, using replacements for sodium bicarbonate or acidic substances may change the taste and color of the final products.
When using any of the alternatives to baking soda, you may have to make a few reductions or additions to the recipes.