Introduction: Baking Soda - the Magic Kitchen Powder.

About: Like learning food basics.

Baking soda can be a real magic powder. It's a levener, a corrosive, meat tenderizer, fire extinguisher, and etc.

The ancient Egyptians used natural deposits of natron, a mixture consisting mostly of sodium carbonate decahydrate, and sodium bicarbonate. The natron was used as a cleansing agent like soap.  In 1791, a French chemist, Nicolas Leblanc, produced sodium carbonate, also known as soda ash. In 1846, two New York bakers, John Dwight and Austin Church, established the first factory to develop baking soda from sodium carbonate and carbon dioxide

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Step 1: Carbonation Effervescence .

Remember that good old orange drink called Nehi. Well you can sort of bring it back. Add about a teaspoon of baking soda to about a quart of orange juice. Stir well. and you should see the bubble in the drink and the tingle when you drink it. Since orange juice is naturally sweet, you do not need to add sugar.

What happens:
    An acid can lose a hydrogen ion (H+). Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate or NaHCO3. When baking soda dissolves in water it breaks apart and releases the sodium ion (Na+) and bicarbonate ion (HCO3-). The bicarbonate ion is a base, meaning it can take a hydrogen ion from an acid. So the bicarbonate ion "steals" an H+ ion from the citric acid to form carbonic acid, H2CO3.
Carbon acid is somewhat unstable and most of it breaks apart into water and carbon dioxide.

Step 2: Bean Tenderizer.

There has to be a way to cut down on the cooking time of beans and other legumes.  Some people say it can cut down flatulence. Not found that to be true for us. Here the baking soda acts like an abrasive and reacts with the beans to release the sugar in the beans, therefore making them softer.  (picture is of lentils cooked with baking soda.)

Rinse your beans to remove any dirt or plant debris.
Place the beans in a large pot. (A heavy pot that will retain heat works best)
Fill the pot with water so that the beans are covered by about 3 inches of water.
Add 1/8 teaspoon. of baking soda per cup of water.
Boil the beans vigorously for about 5 minutes.
Simmer slowly for the remainder of the cooking time, adding water as necessary. (I usually just cover and turn off the heat but leave the pot on the stove)
Cooking time varies depending on the type of beans you are cooking.
Follow the directions on the beans' packaging.
Plan on cooking them about 1/3 less than the indicated directions, as the baking soda will help them cook faster.

Step 3: Leavener.

We have all eaten pancakes and biscuits. In fact, biscuits are sometimes called soda biscuits becuase baking soda was used the cooking of the biscuits.  Again the goal is to get the soda to release carbon dioxide to get the biscuits to rise. We also like biscuit pizza since you do not have to wait for the bread with yeast to rise before baking.

2 - cups all purpose flour
2 - teaspoon baking soda
1 - teaspoon salt
1/3 - cup unsalted butter or cooking oil, room temperature
2/3 - cup buttermilk (well shaken and fresh)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mix everything into a cohesive dough.
Cut out biscuit segments.
Place on a baking sheet.
Cook in oven for 10 - 12 minutes untill brown and risen.
Pull form over and let cool for a bit.

Step 4: Ramen Noodle Clones.

Not a fan of Ramen noddles but they do hold up better in soup according to some. All you need is some baking soda. No, you do not need to deep fry noodles to get ramen noodles. Here is an alternative. You need sodium carbonate. So where do you get sodium carbonate? You make it, by heating sodium bicarbonate (that’s baking soda) at 250°F for an hour in an oven safe Pyrex dish (not aluminium) with a cover ajar so gases can escape. The baking soda gives off water vapour and carbon dioxide, and leaves sodium carbonate behind. Once you’ve done this, you can make all the ramen noodles you like, which is just what I did. (The potassium carbonate isn’t strictly necessary.) Take about 1/4 teaspoon of the sodium carbonate per cup of dough you usually make.

Eggless noodles:

1/4 - teaspoon sodium carbonate
1/4 - teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 - teaspoon cooking oil
1/3 to 1/2 cup water.

Make the dough.
Cut the noodles. (Pasta machine time unless you know how to stretch pasta)
Boil till done.

Add them to whatever you like.

Note: even if you d not make super thin noodles, this process works great on eggless noodles. The are so easy to foll out with little flour and are not wimpy when you eat them.

Step 5: Bubble Candy

3/4 - cup sugar
2 - tablespoons honey
2 - tablespoons water
1-1/2 - teaspoons baking soda


Grease a cookie sheet. (You can use oil, butter, or non-stick cooking spray.)

Add the sugar, honey, and water to a saucepan. You can stir the mixture.

Cook over high heat, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 300°F. The sugar will melt, small bubbles will form, the bubbles will  become larger, then the sugar will start to carmelize to an amber color.

When the temperature reaches 300°F, remove the pan from heat and whisk the baking soda into the hot syrup. This will cause the syrup to foam up. (With the pan off the stove start with a pinch to see what happens.)

Stir just enough to mix the ingredients, then dump the mixture onto the greased baking sheet. (Don't spread out the candy, as this )ould pop your bubbles.)

Allow the candy to cool, then break or cut it into pieces.

Store the honeycomb candy in an airtight container.

Step 6: Meat Tenderizer.

Baking soda is an effective meat tenderizer. It can be added to stews or rubbed directly on a cut of meat, and then rinsed off before cooking, to make the meat more tender.

Step 7: Fire Extinguisher.

Like when you put baking soda in water, fire will heat up the baking soda and carbon dioxide is created to snuff out the fire form getting oxygen. Using vinegar and or juice can speed up the process. When heated, baking soda undergoes a chemical reaction that gives off carbon dioxide, which makes it useful in extinguishing small grease or electrical fires.

Fire extinguisher:

Bottle with screw top.
Baking soda
Porous Tissue paper
Measuring tablespoon
Small rubber band

1. Fill a clean bottle one-third full of white vinegar.
2. Dry the top half of the bottle on the inside to remove any moisture from the vinegar.
3. Place a piece of tissue paper over the mouth of the jar.
4. Push down on the tissue paper (but not all the way in) to create a little sack inside the jar.
5. Put a rubber band over the tissue paper around the outer rim of the bottle.
6. Place two tablespoons of baking soda into your tissue paper hammock.
7. Screw the lid on the bottle tightly, being very careful not to mix the vinegar and baking soda together.
8. If a fire occurs, shake the bottle, mixing the liquid and powder.
9. Point the jar in the direction of the fire and remove the lid. (Do so quickly or the bottle may explode.)

Step 8: Other Uses.

Baking soda’s finely gritty texture makes it an excellent, gentle abrasive cleaner. It is inexpensive, environmentally friendly, fragrance-free, and safe for nearly all surfaces, making it ideal for household use. As a mild abrasive agent, baking soda can also be used in place of toothpaste. Sprinkled around the exterior entrances to and foundations of homes, it may prohibit ants and other insects from crawling in, as it is irritating to their chitinous exoskeletons and they avoid it.

As an acid neutralizer, baking soda has long been favored for its various first-aid applications. Dissolved into a lukewarm bath, it will soothe the discomfort of sunburn and the itch of poison ivy. Made into a paste with cool water and applied directly to the skin, it will ease the pain of bee stings. One-half teaspoon baking soda mixed into 4 ounces (120 ml) of water can be taken as an antacid. Note: Those taking prescription medications or following a reduced-sodium diet should check with a physician before consuming baking soda.

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