Baking soda, Glossary and Terms, Meat, Fish, Fruit, Grocery Food Stores

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"Baking soda"

Baking soda, which is the alkaline element bicarbonate of soda, is used solely as a chemical leavener in baking. Because it is not premixed with an acid, as is baking powder, it is used alone in baked goods where other ingredients, which also contain acid, are present (yogurt, buttermilk, lemon juice, or sour cream). When the baking soda and acid are combined, they neutralize each other, causing carbon dioxide gas bubbles to form. The bubbles make the dough or batter grow bigger, or rise. Baking soda is more volatile than baking powder because it begins to act the minute you moisten it with the wet ingredients. You must put whatever you are baking right in the oven once the baking soda has been activated. See also bicarbonate of soda.
History: Baking soda was previously known as saleratus, a combination of the Latin "sal" (salt) and "aeratus" (aerated.) John Dwight of Massachusetts and his brother-in-law, Dr. James A. Church of Connecticut, started the manufacture of bicarbonate of soda in this country in 1846. The first factory was in the kitchen of his home with baking soda put in paper bags by hand. A year later, in 1847, the firm of John Dwight and Company was formed, and subsequently Cow Brand was adopted as a trademark for Dwight's Saleratus (aerated salt) as it was called. The standard package at that time weighed one pound. The cow was adopted as a trademark because of the use of sour milk with saleratus in baking.
In 1867, James A. Church began marketing sodium bicarbonate as baking soda under the Arm & Hammer label. He formed a partnership known as Church & Company, doing business under that firm name with his sons James A. Church and E. Dwight Church.

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