Le Foodist Paris Cooking Class

What is the Function of Baking Powder in a Pastry?

Read more about our Baking Classes here

Baking powder is one of the necessary ingredients almost all pastries need in order for them to rise and be edible.

While it might not seem like this delicate white powder would do much, it surprisingly has a great impact on how a homemade pastry will turn out. For instance, it can help a dough or mixture to rise when baked and can even help to give the pastry a soft, fluffy texture.

This article will highlight this common ingredient by diving more into what exactly it is, how it reacts with items like flour and sugar, and what its function is in pastry making. 

what is the function of baking powder in pastry

What is Baking Powder?

Read more about our Baking Classes here

This is a mixture of sodium bicarbonate and cream of tartar. It basically takes the place of yeast in dishes and helps the pastry to rise quickly. You'll find it often called for in recipes like cake and bread ones. 

This baking ingredient is often confused with baking soda. However, this is made up of only one thing: sodium bicarbonate. It reacts with an acid like the other option, but doesn't help the pastry to rise like the cream of tartar does. Because of this subtle yet huge difference, it's important to consider taking a culinary class to help you grow your knowledge more in this delicate culinary area. 

gastronomy pic mobile

How it Works

Read more about our Baking Classes here

This ingredient is able to help a recipe rise slightly because it reacts with the liquid and sugar put into the dough. The acid creates a bubbling form which helps the leavening of it. This in return can help the pastry to have a flaky crust and soft texture. When you go shopping for this ingredient you'll usually find two types: single-acting and double-acting.


Read more about our Baking Classes here

The single-acting choice is one of the most commonly used because it reacts immediately when put into contact with liquid and flour. It will produce massive amounts of bubbles in the flour, unlike double-acting. However, the one downside with this type is that you have to use it quickly. The bubbles will eventually start to deflate if left out too long before putting it into the oven which can drastically affect the pastry. 


Read more about our Baking Classes here

The double-acting selection does react with liquid, but not as much as single-acting. When it comes into contact with the liquid in the dough it will start to form small bubbles but won't fully rise until it's put into the oven. This makes it ideal to use if you don't want to immediately bake your pastry. This type is often used in cooking classes because it's more forgiving if the pastry mixture is left out for too long or baked at an incorrect temperature. 

No matter which one you use though, it's important to store it away in a cool and dry place to prevent any moisture from seeping into the mixture and ruining its effects and taste in your pastries. 

This is a crucial ingredient when it comes to making pastries. When taking a culinary class you'll discover that it's very different from baking soda and is the secret behind what will make your pastry have a smooth and mouthwatering texture. 

For more information, please refer to the following pages:

gastronomy pic