Baking soda is a product that is sure to be in every home. It is worth it in a bag or in a jar on one of the kitchen shelves — it seems to be at hand, but more like in the shade: it’s just soda, a product with a limited set of functions … Is that what you think? Then you don’t know anything about soda. It is truly an indispensable product in cooking. Let’s figure it out!
What is soda?
- There are three types of soda: technical, food and pharmaceutical.
- Technical soda (not to be confused with caustic!) is not dangerous, but it is practically unrefined, with a large amount of impurities. It is used for cleaning, washing …
- Baking soda (aka drinking soda) is widely used in cooking, used for cosmetic procedures at home, for various household purposes.
- Pharmaceutical soda — the most purified, the finest grinding. It is added to some medications, used in medical procedures.
Where is baking soda used?
Baking soda, aka sodium bicarbonate, NaHCO3 most widely used in the food industry. Do not look for any of the mentioned names on the product label: in the labeling of ingredients, soda appears “under the pseudonym” E500. And this “E” is completely safe for both humans and the environment.
Cooking and cooking hacks with soda
Soda is a real magical remedy: it loosens, softens, cleanses, neutralizes acid, and kills bacteria, and kills unpleasant odors. These properties of it have long been known and successfully exploited in everyday life, and in medicine, and in cooking.
To make it easier to wash leafy vegetables or tender fruits, add soda to the water, 1 tbsp. l. for 1 liter of water.
When cooking, so that the vegetables retain both their shape and color, add soda to the water, 1 tsp. for 1 liter of water.
When boiling cabbage or turnips, add a pinch of soda to the water: this will help remove the bitterness inherent in vegetables.
To make bitter grapefruit or overly sour rhubarb more palatable, sprinkle it with a tiny pinch of baking soda. It neutralizes the acid, but does not harm the natural taste.
Need to get rid of the bad smell in your fridge? Put a small jar of soda on the shelf on the door: the smell will go away quickly and imperceptibly.
Airy muffins and muffins, biscuits, pies, tarts, melt-in-your-mouth buns — soda is indispensable here. But soda itself is a very mediocre baking powder. For high-quality work, it needs acid — lemon juice, sour milk (kefir), table vinegar … By the way, if you come across the expression “extinguish soda with vinegar” in the recipe, you should know: it’s just a matter of collecting the right amount of soda in the dining room spoon, pour the required amount of vinegar on it. Soda will foam, hiss … There will be a reaction in which soda will decompose into salt, water and carbon dioxide. This very carbon dioxide will loosen the dough, make it lush and porous.
Sometimes soda is added even to yeast dough. There, its function is to soften the water, for the quality of the dough this is a very important point, in addition, by interacting with gluten, it makes baking porous and fluffy. And one more side effect: a pinch of soda will dull the “yeasty” flavor of baking.
How to add soda to the dough?
The rule is very simple. If the recipe requires adding soda by itself, for example, to kefir dough, then soda is mixed with dry ingredients, flour. If soda quenched with vinegar is added to the dough, then add it at the end of laying all the ingredients and mix the dough thoroughly.
Mini-cakes with raw smoked sausage, sweet peppers and olives
Cooking time: 50 min.
For 8–10 products:
- 1 sweet pepper
- 100 g smoked sausage
- 50 g pitted olives
- 180 g flour
- 1/2 tsp soda
- 1/2 tsp vinegar
- 3 eggs 100 ml vegetable oil
- 125 g milk
- 100 g hard cheese
- Butter and flour for greasing/sprinkling molds
- salt pepper
Heat the oven up to 180C. Grease the baking molds with butter and sprinkle with flour.
Wash the pepper, dry it, remove the seeds and stem. Pour hot water over the prepared pepper pod and peel. Cut the pulp of the pepper into thin strips.
Remove casing from sausage, cut into slices approx. 1 cm and cut each into 4 pieces. Coarsely chop the olives. Cheese grate on a coarse grater.
Sift flour into a deep bowl. In a separate bowl, shake the eggs like an omelette, pouring vegetable oil and milk in a thin stream. In portions, mix the liquid mass into the flour. Soda extinguish with vinegar and add to the dough. Add cheese, bell peppers, sausage and olives, salt and pepper and mix well.
Pour batter into prepared molds and bake cakes for 20 minutes. Serve chilled.
Mini Lemon Cupcakes
Cooking time: 1 hour
For 8–10 products:
- 3 lemons
- 40 g ground almonds
- 180 g flour
- 1/4 tsp soda
- 150 g butter
- 150 g sugar
- 3 eggs
- butter and flour for greasing/sprinkling molds
Heat the oven up to 140C. Grease the baking molds with butter and sprinkle with flour.
Grate the zest of 1 lemon, squeeze the juice from all citrus fruits.
Soften butter at room temperature. Sift flour with ground almonds and baking powder.
In a separate bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy. Mixing thoroughly, add one egg at a time and mix in the flour mixture in small portions. Add lemon zest, 3 tbsp. l. leave the lemon juice for the icing, the remaining quench the soda and pour into the dough. Mix the dough well, pour into molds and bake mini-cupcakes for 45 minutes.
For glaze 3 tbsp. l. Beat lemon juice with powdered sugar, mixing it in small portions.
Allow the cupcakes to cool completely and use a pastry brush to coat them with frosting. Allow glaze to harden for 20 minutes at room temperature.
Warm green bean salad with mustard dressing
Cooking time: 20 min.
For 4 servings:
- 800 g green beans
- 2 small onions
- 3 art. l. medium spicy mustard
- 4 tbsp. l. wine vinegar
- 6 spoons of olive oil
- green onion
Peel the onion and chop finely. Combine mustard with vinegar, add salt and pepper to taste and mix thoroughly with a whisk, pouring olive oil in portions. Stir in the chopped onion into the sauce.
Rinse the beans in a sufficient amount of water with soda (1 tsp of soda per 1 liter of water) and dry, remove the tips of the pods. Prepared beans cook for 4–5 minutes — until half cooked. Put the beans in a salad bowl, pour over the sauce and season to taste. Serve the salad warm, sprinkled with chopped green onions.
Cooking time: 30 min.
For 18 items:
- 110 g flour
- 50 g oatmeal
- 90 g softened butter
- 100 g sugar
- 1 egg
- 100 g chocolate drops
- 1 small ripe banana
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 50 g chopped hazelnuts
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp soda
- 1/2 h. l. year
Sift flour with soda and salt. Dry chopped nuts in a pan without fat. Peel the banana, mash with a fork and sprinkle with lemon juice.
Beat the softened butter with a mixer with sugar in a fluffy mass. Whisking continuously, beat in the egg and fold in the banana puree. When the mass becomes smooth and homogeneous, carefully add flour, oatmeal, cinnamon, chocolate drops and nuts.
Heat the oven up to 180C. On a baking sheet lined with parchment with a tablespoon, place small portions of dough at a sufficiently large distance from each other. Bake cookies for 10–15 minutes.
Remove the finished cookies from the oven and let them cool at room temperature. Store cookies in a sealed box for 1–2 weeks.
Vegetable salad with green sauce
Cooking time: 25 min.
For 4 servings:
- 150 g green beans
- 150 g peeled young peas
- 100 g young green peas
- 1 head of broccoli (approx. 200 g)
- 1 bunch of young radish
- 2 stalk celery
- 1 bunch of young green onions
- 2 tsp soda
- 150 ml of olive oil
- juice of 1 orange
- juice of 1 lemon
- a few sprigs of tarragon
- 1/2 bunch of chives
- salt pepper
Wash vegetables, sort and dry. Disassemble the broccoli into small inflorescences, cut off part of the tops with leaves from the radish, cut the celery stalks into slices. Chop green onion.
Rinse the tarragon and chives, sort, dry and finely chop. Heat oil in a small saucepan, add citrus juice, lightly salt and pepper. Remove the sauce from the heat and let it cool down.
Bring 2 liters of water to a boil in a saucepan, add baking soda and a pinch of salt. Blanch radishes in boiling water for 3 minutes, add broccoli, celery, beans and peas and cook for 4 minutes.
Drain the blanched vegetables in a colander, transfer to a salad bowl and mix with chopped green onions.
Stir the chopped tarragon and chives into the cooled sauce and pour the dressing over the salad.