Is baking soda needed to make oatmeal cookies, and can a substitution ingredient be added instead?

asked 10 Oct '09, 19:42

gokendra's gravatar image

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I feel that baking soda is necessary in any cookie because it gives it a nice fluff to it. It acts as a rising agent instead of yeast. It might not be as good of a cookie without the presence of baking soda.


answered 14 Oct '09, 13:17

jakole2009's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

If you do not use baking soda as required in the recipe, your cookie will be a flat, hard hockey puck. The baking soda reacts with heat to make air bubbles in the cookie to give it the light, fluffy taste.


answered 14 Oct '09, 13:32

Andelisha's gravatar image

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During baking, the baking soda releases carbon dioxide, which "leavens/aerates" the pastry or cookie. When it does this, it forms sodium carbonate, which can taste slightly objectionable if a lot has been used.

Baking powder combines baking soda with another innocuous chemical, which neutralises the sodium carbonate as it is formed in the mixture. You need to use twice as much baking powder to replace baking soda in a recipe, because it contains half as much releasable carbon dioxide. But because you avoid the "objectionable taste component" with baking powder, you can effectively use a lot more to get more aeration.

So if a recipe calls for half a teaspoon of baking soda, you use a teaspoon of baking powder to replace it.

If the recipe calls for baking powder, you can probably get along by adding half the quantity of baking soda - but it might not taste as good.


answered 17 Oct '09, 17:22

klypos's gravatar image

klypos ♦♦
accept rate: 10%

edited 17 Oct '09, 17:27

That would depend on what the ingredients in your cookie recipe are. If there are acids like brown sugar, fruit juice and honey, they would need the baking soda. The baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) reacts to the acids, releasing tiny carbon dioxide bubbles to leaven your baked goods, giving it a bit of a lift.

Substituting with baking powder is generally not recommended. Baking powder is baking soda with added acid (aluminium sulfate and mono calcium phosphate, usually). If the acidic ingredients in your recipe uses up the soda component in the baking powder, you are left with excess chemical acid and a bad, bitter taste (some people say tinny, due to the aluminum) which also affects the texture and the color.

You could inversely substitute baking soda for baking powder, however, if you happen to have cream of tartar (a naturally occurring organic acid) on hand, otherwise you will get a very soapy flavor. But you will get excellent browning as baking soda produces an alkaline environment that makes it conducive to browning.

A good substitute for 1 tsp of baking powder is 1/4 tsp of baking soda, a little over a 1/2 tsp of cream of tartar and some people add 1/4 tsp of cornstarch to keep moisture from activating the mixture too soon. Especially good if you want to mix up a batch to store. You could substitute cream of tartar with liquid ingredients, like buttermilk or yogurt, but that gets even more complicated and probably not recommended for a cookie that doesn?t need too much liquid ingredients.


answered 05 Nov '09, 03:16

user-390%20%28google%29's gravatar image

user-390 (go...
accept rate: 16%

baking soda is somewhat good for health. So good propotions of it is to be added in food.


answered 14 Oct '09, 15:05

Kumar%202's gravatar image

Kumar 2
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Baking powder and baking soda can sometimes be used interchangeably, if you'd prefer to use baking powder. The use of some leavening agent is pretty important, though.


answered 14 Oct '09, 15:57

K-Dawg's gravatar image

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Baking soda is a necessary ingredient in making cookies because the baking soda is used to cook well inside from the cookie.If you want cookies well done from inside use baking soda


answered 14 Oct '09, 16:44

important's gravatar image

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I bake cookies at least once a week and my husband and I love oatmeal cookies. I ran into a dilemma of not having any baking soda or powder one evening and I didn't want to drive to the store just for that, so I tried something new for me. I used self-rising flour. I substituted the self-rising flour for the amount of plain flour called for, deleted the salt and baking powder and soda, and cooked them like that. They were great. I now substitute like that for all my baking recipes, unless I just happen to have everything on hand for the recipe. We have not been able to tell a difference in the cookies. A lot of die-hard bakers are probably cringing as they read this, but it really does work. It also saves time on measuring and mixing everything. Give it a try and if you hate the results, feed the cookies to the birds. It's getting cold out and I'm sure they would appreciate a treat. :)


answered 18 Oct '09, 19:11

adenwar's gravatar image

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Asked: 10 Oct '09, 19:42

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Last updated: 05 Nov '09, 03:16

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