Baking powder facts for kids
Baking powder is a dry chemical leavening agent used to make baked foods lighter and less dense. Baking powder works by making a reaction between an acid and a base, which produces carbon dioxide bubbles to make the mixture light. It is used when the food should not taste of yeast or when the mixture is not elastic enough to hold bubbles for very long. Because carbon dioxide is made faster by baking powder than yeast, breads made with it are called quick breads.
Most baking powders are made up of an alkaline (usually baking soda), one or two acid salts, and a starch (cornstarch or sometimes potato starch). Baking soda is where the carbon dioxide comes from, and the acid releases it, like this:
- NaHCO3 + H+ → Na+ + CO2 + H2O
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Monocalcium phosphate ("MCP") is a common acid component in domestic baking powders.
Baking powder Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.