FOOD GLOSSARY - Baking Powders to Bannocks

BAKING POWDERS:  Baking powders are classified according to the acid ingredients they contain. There are three available types: tartrate, phosphate, and SAS-phosphate (usually referred to as double-acting). These terms refer to the chemicals that react with the baking soda in the powder, when liquid is added, to release carbon dioxide gas, the leavening agent. The various brands clearly indicate the type on the labels. Tartrate Baking Powders This type reacts rapidly, almost entirely at room temperature when the liquid is added to the dry ingredients. The gas formed then expands when the batter or dough is heated. Phosphate Baking Powders This type releases most of its gas at room temperature when combined with liquid, but retains some until the batter or dough is heated. SAS-Phosphate Baking Powder This type, often called double-acting or double-action, releases only a small amount of its gas when combined with liquid, then the major portion is given off during baking. The advantages of a "double-acting" baking powder is that it allows a little more latitude in the mixing and a longer time interval between preparing the batter or dough and putting it into the oven. In general, if you use a single-acting baking powder (tartrate) as a substitute for double-acting baking powder, use 1½ times the amount specified in the recipe. Because different brands differ in both activity and bulk, the cook who changes from one brand to another, particularly if it is a different type, may find that her usually successful cake recipe doesn't come out just right. A little more baking powder if the cake doesn't rise properly - a little less if it is too porous - will usually take care of the problem. Many cooks prefer to adjust their recipes to a brand and then stick to that brand.

BAKING SODA:  Baking soda (also known as sodium bicarbonate or bicarbonate of soda) is used alone or with baking powder to leaven cakes and other products made with buttermilk, sour milk, chocolate, molasses, vinegar, lemon juice and other fruit juices, etc. Acid from these ingredients reacts with baking soda to release a leavening gas. When using baking soda, don't delay mixing or baking. One-half teaspoon baking soda plus I cup sour milk or molasses is equivalent in leavening power to 1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder. You can make sour milk from sweet milk by adding vinegar or lemon juice.

BAKLAVA:  A rich very sweet Oriental dessert liked in many of the countries of the Near East. It's a close relative of strudel because it calls for a paper-thin pastry dough very similar to strudel dough. Many layers of the dough are filled with a butter and nut mixture, with syrup poured over.

BAMBOO SHOOTS:  Young shoots of the bamboo plant, much used as a vegetable in China and Japan. They are popular in Chinese dishes. The canned variety are exten- sively used in this country.

BANBURY TARTS:  Small baked pastries often filled with mincemeat, named after a town in England noted for its cakes. Puff or flaky pastry is rolled thin and usually cut in 3-inch squares. A mixture which may consist of raisins, sugar, cracker crumbs, egg, lemon, and butter, is placed in the center and the pastry is folded over to a form a triangle before baking.

BANNOCKS:  Thick, round cakes (Scotch or North England) made of oat, rye, or, barley meal, usually unleavened, and usually baked on an iron griddle. Also a type of Irish soda bread.


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