What is the difference between baking powder and bicarbonate of soda?

Its lockdown again and lots of people are baking bread again rather than multiple trips to the shops. The question that people are asking is about different rising agents. In particular what is the difference between baking powder and bicarbonate of soda?

Baking powder is made up of bicarbonate of soda( alkaline) and cream of tater (acid). It can be used on its own accord.

If you are using bicarbonate of soda as a raising agent you will need some acid  to get the chemical reaction example buttermilk or yoghurt.

Bicarbonate of soda ( bread soda, baking soda) can also be used in a bake that requires a richer colour like cookies, gingerbread or treacle cake. It’s not used as a raising agent in this case.

If you want to bake a soda bread the best option is buttermilk or yoghurt  with bicarbonate of soda. But if you are really stuck you could also use regular milk and baking powder. Just make sure to throw in an egg or fat for flavour and to get the nice brown colour. Hope that answers your questions!

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