Please help, bitter tasting bites of baking soda or powder in my baked goods :(


Eliza78

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I had this pancake mix (from scratch) I've made for years. Suddenly, out of nowhere, on one occasion the pancakes had little bitter balls of what I assume to be baking soda or baking powder in them. I replaced each with new packages and tried to make the pancakes again. I tried on at least 10 occasions to recreate the recipe I made for years--with new product, new brands, using a mixer. Nothing worked. I've made these for years!! What the heck is going on?!?! So I gave up on my delicious homemade recipe and make not so yummy ones from a box (my kids will eat them, I won't).

Fast forward to tonight, my daughter made banana bread. SAME THING. STUPID tiny bitter balls of the baking powder or soda. I've had it and have given up completely on baking and cooking.

Please give me suggestions--what can I do to eliminate this nasty stuff? All this food goes in the garbage, no one wants to eat it. Does not taste good!
 
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Norcalbaker59

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I had this pancake mix (from scratch) I've made for years. Suddenly, out of nowhere, on one occasion the pancakes had little bitter balls of what I assume to be baking soda or baking powder in them. I replaced each with new packages and tried to make the pancakes again. I tried on at least 10 occasions to recreate the recipe I made for years--with new product, new brands, using a mixer. Nothing worked. I've made these for years!! What the heck is going on?!?! So I gave up on my delicious homemade recipe and make not so yummy ones from a box (my kids will eat them, I won't).

Fast forward to tonight, my daughter made banana bread. SAME THING. STUPID tiny bitter balls of the baking powder or soda. I've had it and have given up completely on baking and cooking.

Please give me suggestions--what can I do to eliminate this nasty stuff? All this food goes in the garbage, no one wants to eat it. Does not taste good!
If you’re experiencing a bitter taste from the leavening it is baking soda not baking powder. Baking powder is mixed with acids to activate, so the acids will neutralizes the sodium bicarbonate in baking powder.

Baking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate. It requires an acid to activate, which in turn neutralizes it. If you are adding baking soda to your batters and there is no acid, and the baking soda is not properly blended into the flour, you will end up with a terrible bitter taste.

So here's a couple of general rules on chemical leavening.

1. Baking powder, no acid required.

2. Baking soda, acid require. So in a pancake recipe you’re going to need something like buttermilk if you are using baking soda. In banana bread, you’ll need something like yogurt or kifer to activate the baking soda.

3. One or the other. Both chemical leavening agents are not required. There are many cake recipes that call for both but one or the other will work fine.

4. Baking powder:
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder for up to 1 1/2 cup flour.
- If your recipe also contains at least 1 cup of sugar or fat, add 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder per cup of flour. So if your pancakes recipe is 2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup butter, then add 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder.

5. Baking soda: use 1/4 the amount
- 1/4 teaspoon per cup of flour
- requires an acid to neutralize it or you will get a bitter taste.

6. Examples of acids used to neutralize baking soda:
- buttermilk
- sour cream
- yogurt
- kifer
- brown sugar
- molasses

7. Sift your dry ingredients at least two times. People think sifting is some antiquated, unnecessary, waste of time. Sifting is absolutely necessary to disperse the leavening evenly throughout the flour. Sift, not once but twice. I in fact sift three times, especially when it comes to cake.

Look at your recipes.

Are you using baking powder or baking soda or both?
How much are you using?
Is the amount of leavening within the general guidelines or are you using more than you need?
If using baking soda is there an acid to neutralize it?
Are you sifting?
 

ChesterV

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I was going to say..................maybe you should try sifting it a couple of times before adding wet ingredients.

I've only ever gotten "bitter balls" when I used a dry ingredient that had been absorbing some moisture and developed hard little pellets over time, which were not noticeable to the naked eye, but developed into "bitter balls" after being mixed and baked.

If you feel your baking powder or baking soda, and it feels like it's gritty, then it could possibly be that your dry ingredients have been exposed to some moisture over a period of time and developed those tiny pellets.

If your dry ingredients seem ok and dont feel like grit or sand, then maybe they are just clumping for some reason when you mix the batter. I would try double sifting before adding wet ingredients and see if that helps.
 

Kathleen Fitzgerald

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I had this pancake mix (from scratch) I've made for years. Suddenly, out of nowhere, on one occasion the pancakes had little bitter balls of what I assume to be baking soda or baking powder in them. I replaced each with new packages and tried to make the pancakes again. I tried on at least 10 occasions to recreate the recipe I made for years--with new product, new brands, using a mixer. Nothing worked. I've made these for years!! What the heck is going on?!?! So I gave up on my delicious homemade recipe and make not so yummy ones from a box (my kids will eat them, I won't).

Fast forward to tonight, my daughter made banana bread. SAME THING. STUPID tiny bitter balls of the baking powder or soda. I've had it and have given up completely on baking and cooking.

Please give me suggestions--what can I do to eliminate this nasty stuff? All this food goes in the garbage, no one wants to eat it. Does not taste good!

I have recently had the same problem with baking powder turning into tiny clumps in cake batter in recpies I have used for years without any issues. These tiny clumps have a horrible bitter taste and leave a dry feeling like alum in your mouth. It is an absolutely horrible taste and I am afraid to bake for anyone. They can be randomly dispersed through the food items. I sift the dry ingredients together and add them alternatiing with the liquid to the creamed butter/shortening,egg, and sugar mixture. I just threw out my baking powder hoping buying name brand and not this store brand would solve the problem-but it looks like new products did not fix it for you. I have been baking for 40 years and never had this problem until the past three batches of cupcakes for the holidays. You cannot even rinse that horrible taste out of your mouth-it's like Russian Roulette with cupcake bites.
 

cglass

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I am so glad to see this, I thought I was doing something wrong....... all of a sudden, which didn't make sense. I first noticed this at Christmas when I made my pizzelles. All of a sudden you would taste this horrible bitter taste. Last week i baked some cookies and the same thing happened. Both are recipes I've been making for years. So I'm with you, what the heck is going on? I'm baking again today and feel like I'm taking a risk. Yesterday I bought new baking powder and hopefully this will resolve but after reading the above posts, I'm not so sure. We'll see.
 

Norcalbaker59

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I am so glad to see this, I thought I was doing something wrong....... all of a sudden, which didn't make sense. I first noticed this at Christmas when I made my pizzelles. All of a sudden you would taste this horrible bitter taste. Last week i baked some cookies and the same thing happened. Both are recipes I've been making for years. So I'm with you, what the heck is going on? I'm baking again today and feel like I'm taking a risk. Yesterday I bought new baking powder and hopefully this will resolve but after reading the above posts, I'm not so sure. We'll see.
That’s very interesting. What brand do you use? I’ve baked with Rumford for the past 20 yrs without any issues. Let us know if the new can produces the same bitter bits b
 
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anangelstamper

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I'm in the same boat! This started happening to me recently as well and I can't figure out what is going on! I have been using Baker's Corner brand (from Aldi). Have tried more than one can from there with same results. Was thinking of going back to a name brand to see if that would help. I've always been a great baker but now I'm scared every time I make something with baking powder. Wonder what it is...
 

Kathleen Fitzgerald

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That’s very interesting. What brand do you use? I’ve baked with Rumford for the past 20 yrs without any issues. Let us know if the new can produces the same bitter bits b
I'm in the same boat! This started happening to me recently as well and I can't figure out what is going on! I have been using Baker's Corner brand (from Aldi). Have tried more than one can from there with same results. Was thinking of going back to a name brand to see if that would help. I've always been a great baker but now I'm scared every time I make something with baking powder. Wonder what it is...
I changed or Rumford brand thanks to info from another person's posts. The Rumford does not contain aluminum. The taste I was getting was dry and bitter tiny clumps like alum-which is aluminum too (I think). Since I changed to Rumford I have had NO bitter bits or bad bites of anything. Thanks Norcalbaker59!
 

Norcalbaker59

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I changed or Rumford brand thanks to info from another person's posts. The Rumford does not contain aluminum. The taste I was getting was dry and bitter tiny clumps like alum-which is aluminum too (I think). Since I changed to Rumford I have had NO bitter bits or bad bites of anything. Thanks Norcalbaker59!
Im so glad to hear the Rumford is working for you. I’m so committed to this brand that I had a near heart attack when my local Target changed to that other brand. :eek: I dashed to another store and purchased 2 spare cans of Rumford to stash in my pantry. Since I bake 3-4 times a week I plow through this stuff. :rolleyes:
 
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Norcalbaker59

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I'm in the same boat! This started happening to me recently as well and I can't figure out what is going on! I have been using Baker's Corner brand (from Aldi). Have tried more than one can from there with same results. Was thinking of going back to a name brand to see if that would help. I've always been a great baker but now I'm scared every time I make something with baking powder. Wonder what it is...
Try Rumford.
 

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