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


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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?
No it's not the baking soda,it's the powder, I just finished eating pancakes and every time I used baking powder I got that bitter taste


It's to only be in the center of the pancakes and I get that in Biscuit dough to and I use buttermilk in both recipes and the same results

Going to stope using baking powder all together
 
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I THOUGHT I WAS LOSING IT. THANKFULLY SAW THESE POSTS!! No problems with baking for 40 years, never even had to sift baking powder and flour, all my baked goods turned out great. I used everything from Clabber Girl to bulk baking powder and no problem. About 2 years ago, something changed and I have little bitter bits in everything from homemade pancakes to biscuits to quickbread. I sift and sift and sift and still they have this bitter aftertaste. Same recipes I've used for years and they were fine, but now they taste awful. I think that something has changed in baking powder ingredients. I'm scared to bake for anyone. I am going to give up on baking powder altogether. I may print off this whole list of postings and send to baking powder manufacturers. They have to do something.
 
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I wonder if something changed in the ingredients of the baking powders that have started creating the bitter flavors? Sounds like something is either not dissolving as it should or the necessary acid in the baking powder is insufficient or otherwise bound up already? There are only so many chemical suppliers to make the baking powder ingredients. If one of them produced a problem batch is might eventually find its way into multiple brands - store brands in particular.

FWIW, I have only used non-aluminum baking powders for years. Rumford was my main brand in fact, until I chanced to run out one day only to discover my local grocer didn't have any. Had to spend a few minutes reading ingredient labeling on what they did have to find another non-aluminum baking powder which is how I discovered Argo (the cornstarch people) makes one now. Not having any other non-aluminum choice at the time I tried it and discovered I got a very good rise with it! Now Argo is all I buy though if perchance it was to disappear from the market I'd go back to using Rumford again.

In fact this is exactly what happened just before the pandemic started. Suddenly none of my local grocers had any more nor did they have any Rumford! Had to go back to Clabber Girl which is what I used to use before deciding to go to the non-aluminum stuff. Finally both the Argo and Rumford showed up again before I finished the one can of Clabber Girl I had bought. I immediately bought five cans of the Argo stuff as a just-in-case.

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I think you are on the right track. I am guessing that all the baking powder manufacturing relies on 2 or three sources of "something", the acid or the carrier and something has changed. Recipes I used for years are failing. In the past, I carelessly sprinkled the baking powder in on top of the flour and they turned out just fine, now even with careful sifting and resifting, even putting the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl with a whisk for up to 5 minutes (I was both desperate and angry at this whole situation) still have a bitter taste or bitter spots in them. I will try the Argo ASAP. I think that rice starch has been used in some and I'm wondering if that is the problem.
Thanks so much for getting back to me.

NKM
 
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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 just had a muffin from the store and it has the exact thing and it tasted horrible more horrible than a horror movie
 
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What store did you get the muffin from? I'm guessing there is one or maybe 2 major suppliers that all the baking powder manufacturers buy from and they have changed what they are doing,

I also had it happen with a box of Krusteaz Pumpkin Spice pancake mix. The last can of baking powder I bought was Winco store brand. It was horrible. I had to throw away a big batch of banana bread. Before that, I had used their bulk baking powder and made a bunch of gift jars of cornbread mix and cookie mix using their bulk baking powder. I am so embarrassed. I made a batch of each and they were inedible. I called and had to get them back from relatives. I put one batch in my mixer with a whisk and whisked the dry ingredients together for 5 minutes and then made the cornbread with it. It was the same, little areas of bitter tasting yuck. I wrote to Winco and told them about it. They did the usual "Thank you for your letter" response but at least they replied. I threw away probably $50 worth of gift jar contents.
I bought a can of Rumsford baking powder and am making some simple biscuits in a few minutes to see what happens.

Do you have any idea what's going on? I think the cream of tartar ingredients have changed. It worries me because I hope that the companies have not decided to cut corners and use non-food grade chemicals in this.

Please keep in touch with me.
 
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So finished the spice cake and took "core" samples from all over. I used Rumsford baking powder. No problem. Biscuits were fine, no bitter taste.
 

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