Baking powder and baking soda, hmm baking powder or baking soda??..both have a lot in common. both are used as leveners for baked good which do not consist yeast.
how do these leveners work? when added to batter there is chemical reaction in which produces gas that bubbles up the batter and results in the crumb texture and rise.
Why cant one use one or the other without giving a second tought?
because they work diffrently even though they bring in almost the same results.
Baking soda produces gas when it comes in contact with a liquid and an acid- like citrus juices, yougurt, vinegar. The tricky part is that the reaction begins as soon as the levener is mixed with the other ingredients i.e liquid and acid. So, important thing to remember is that whatever you are baking should spend as little time as possible outside the oven, once the ingredients are mixed.
Baking owder on the other hand only needs moisture to activate, no acid needed. Baking powder generates a double action,
Baking powder is also made of bicarbonate of soda but with a powdered acid—often cream of tartar—mixed right in. What this means is that all baking power needs is moisture for a reaction to occur, no added acid necessary. Much of the baking powder you find on the market is called “double-acting,” meaning it has a two-part reaction. The first occurs immediately when the powder dissolves in the batter, but the second occurs more slowly when heated. Baking powder allows for more flexibility because you can let the batter or dough sit for a little while before baking and still get the rise you’re after.