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In regards to chemical leavening (baking soda, powder), why can cookie doughs be made 24 hours ahead but wet batters must be baked immediatel

Cookie and biscuit dough vs pancake or cake batter. It seems a combination of acid and heat causes baking soda to react fully? Are wet batters more acidic?

asked by stagneskitchen over 3 years ago
14 answers 9247 views
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added over 3 years ago

Good question. Hope one of the baking experts will answer. But the wet batters you talk about also depend more upon eggs for leavening so that may decrease in effectiveness too. I've had pretty good luck using pancake batter the next day, though I don't think it was as good as when first made (it's been awhile).

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sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 3 years ago

Thats a really good question, I found this online from The Kitchn website it is about freezing cake batter. http://www.thekitchn.com...
I also read that baking powder/soda start reacting to liquids almost immediately which could be a reason why they should be baked pronto. That said I agree with nutcakes I have made pancake batter and refrigerated leftover batter overnight and it was fine the next day.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 3 years ago

The bicarbonate(baking soda) releases CO2 to provide fluffiness to the cookie/cake/etc... upon reaching the right pH and temperature. That's why sometimes one adds buttermilk to force the bicarbonate into the right pH and tehy tell you to bake right away so that you get maximum advantage of the gas release.
Hope this helps.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 3 years ago

But many cookie recipes suggest a better flavor results in an overnight rest in the fridge...

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added over 3 years ago

Many bakeries make huge batches of dough and then use the dough over a period of days with no or very little change in the final product. One bakery I worked in even made bran muffin batter this way. We would use the batter over a period of a few days, and the muffins always came out great. I wonder if refrigeration has some effect on the leavening agents or perhaps thicker batters don't react as quickly and can be aged a bit. This is conjecture on my part, though.

120fa86a 7a24 4cc0 8ee1 a8d1ab14c725  me in munich with fish
added over 3 years ago

Many bakeries make huge batches of dough and then use the dough over a period of days with no or very little change in the final product. One bakery I worked in even made bran muffin batter this way. We would use the batter over a period of a few days, and the muffins always came out great. I wonder if refrigeration has some effect on the leavening agents or perhaps thicker batters don't react as quickly and can be aged a bit. This is conjecture on my part, though.

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boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 3 years ago

Double-acting baking powder is so named because it contains, in addition to baking soda (bicarbonate of soda), two acids. One reacts with water and the other with heat, thereby creating two leavenings. Baking soda, on the other hand as distinct from that contained in baking powder, is proportional to the amount of acid present, and the reaction between the two takes place very quickly. For that reason, items prepared with baking soda, even when it is added above and beyond baking powder, should be baked right away. Simply because you can delay baking for those items leavened with baking powder doesn't necessarily mean you should. You will always get a better result if you bake something relatively soon after mixing. That said, I routinely make huge batches of cookie dough that get scooped and dropped onto baking sheets and frozen immediately.

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boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 3 years ago

Sorry, hit Reply before I finished reading your question. The difference between cake batter and cookie doughs is that the former are wetter than the latter. Cookie doughs are relatively dense and low in moisture. Cake batters are the opposite. Given that one of the acids in baking powder reacts with water, delaying baking of cake batters is probably not the best idea.

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creamtea

Lisanne is a trusted home cook.

added over 3 years ago

Joy of Cooking recommends resting pancake batter overnight to hydrate the flour; Michael Ruhlman recommends resting crepe batter 1/2 hour or overnight; just thought I'd mention it.

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HalfPint

HalfPint is a trusted home cook.

added over 3 years ago

Baking soda in cookies is not for leavening. It is more for browning and crispness. The overnight chill of cookie dough helps the flour to hydrate and the flavor to bloom. I think there is a NY Times article about this in which they tested for the optimum chill time. 36 hours was the optimal amount of time, I think. You rarely see baking powder in cookie dough.
As for cakes, everyone has already pointed out why cake batter needs to be baked immediately. Crepes are rested for 30 minutes or so because it relaxes the gluten and makes for light tender crepes. They aren't supposed to be leavened and fluffy like a cake. I usually don't see an overnight rest for pancakes unless they are the yeasted kind.

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boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 3 years ago

Begging to differ on the issue of baking soda in cookies, it is called for when acidic ingredients are present, most commonly brown sugar and chocolate (molten), also honey. Baking soda reacts with the acids creating carbon dioxide, which creates leavening. It is the principal contributor to maillard browning in carrot cake. Cookie recipes which call for granulated sugar exclusively do indeed tend to call for baking powder, most notably the common sugar cookie and snickerdoodles.

I commonly rest cr?pe batter overnight so that not only are the proteins and starches fully hydrated, but moreover so that the proteins are relaxed, which produces cr?pes which are beautifully tender, never rubbery.

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added over 2 years ago

Hi, soooo I didn't know that baking soda batters need to be baked right away. I usually do anyways but last night I made a complete huge batter for pumpkin bread but left it in the fridge overnight to bake today. Afterwards I realized that might not have been wise and checked online. So now I'm wondering what I can do. I don't want to throw it out entirely. Should I cross my fingers and bake it as is hoping for the best. Or, is there a trick to reviving it? Can I add more baking soda without ruining it altogether? Please any help or pointers soon would be very very appreciated!

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added over 2 years ago

You probably don't need this anymore... But Petitbleu is absolutely right in that bakeries make huge batches in advance for all sorts of goods. We always make the oatmeal muffin batter and coffee cake batter a couple days+ before using it; we just always assemble day-of before baking. We keep the batter in the walk-in, though we as an aside, we keep all the streusel toppings and cake crumbs in plastic ziplock bags in the freezer (and don't thaw before use at all).
Of course we do this with cookie dough as well, which we now mostly leave in third pans in the walk-in, and scoop out to bake. Sometimes we roll logs to slice and bake too, especially if we're going to freeze it.
We do make cake batter in advance so long as it's not an eggwhite based cake (like a white sponge or something) and it works fine, but usually we don't and instead bake off the rest of the batter to freeze or, if we'll use it in a couple days, wrap tightly and stick in the walk-in.
I've heard about resting pancake batter: we actually don't make that ahead if time, but I can't say it would make too much of a difference...

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added about 2 years ago

I was looking for validation for leaving the baking soda out of a cookie recipe. (I was baking with a 5 & 6 year old ... so keeping track of their measurements and teaching equivalents led to a missed ingredient.) The result was rather what I had been looking for. The pumpkin chocolate chip cookies were nicely finished top and bottom but moist and cakey on the inside.