Picture it: You wake up from a good night's rest with a specific craving for something sweet. You head to your kitchen to bake, your palate ready for the delectably moist, sweet taste of your favorite banana bread. You open your pantry, and then you remember you threw out the last of the baking soda a few days ago when you spilled the box all over the refrigerator. Or, worse yet, it's been over 18 months since you last used baking soda, and it's expired ... which means no banana bread for you. Wrong!
The good news is that there's a perfectly acceptable substitute for baking soda in banana bread that will deliver you a loaf that's equally as light and fluffy. The even better news is that you likely have it readily accessible in your pantry: baking powder. That's right, while banana bread -- like other quick breads -- typically depends on baking soda to rise, with a few important adjustments to the measurements, you can swap in baking powder for baking soda, and be on your way to total banana bread heaven.
Baking Powder Vs Baking Soda
Since baking soda and baking powder are both chemical leavening agents, when they are combined with an acidic ingredient — like bananas — they produce a chemical reaction that releases carbon dioxide and causes dough or batter to rise. However, while using the two almost interchangeably can indeed yield similar results (yes, you can even use a small amount of baking powder mixed with water for light cleaning), it's important to note that baking soda and baking powder are different.
The main difference is that baking powder already contains an acid in the chemical mixture, while baking soda needs an acidic ingredient to create that rising reaction. So when swapping baking powder for baking soda in banana bread, the importance of using the appropriate measurements comes into play. Baking powder as a substitute for baking soda is not a one-for-one swap, and failing to understand that can mean the difference between a deliciously improvised quick bread, and a hilariously unfortunate story you tell your friends.
The general rule of thumb, according to Arm & Hammer, is that you simply add "triple the amount of baking powder for the amount of baking soda a recipe calls for." So 1 teaspoon of baking soda means 3 teaspoons of baking powder. Due to baking powder's acidity, it may slightly change the flavor profile of your bread, but it's likely to make it a little lighter and fluffier, too!
Other Baking Substitutes For Baking Soda
If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation where you have neither baking soda nor baking powder on hand, don't fret. The baking gods aren't punishing you, and we promise there's still hope. In addition to baking powder, some other commonly used substitutes for baking soda in banana bread and other quick breads are club soda, baker's ammonia, potassium bicarbonate, whipped egg whites, and self-rising flour. Note that self-rising flour should be used in place of all of the dry ingredients, not in addition to the regular flour in the recipe.
These substitutes will also work well as leavening agents with the bananas and help your banana bread rise beautifully. Learning which baking ingredient substitutions can be made in a baking bind, while it can sound a bit daunting, will get you much closer to baking like a pro — and it'll make your everyday baking easier, too.
So now you have a better idea of how to handle a banana bread baking soda bind. And don't forget to add some creative banana bread mix-ins too. Chocolate chips, chopped walnuts or pecans, cinnamon, and even peanut butter can take your banana bread to the next level, add a dose of complexity to the flavor profile, and just be plain fun.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.