Plse Help Me Understand Leavening Choices in Baking
I have never found a cheese cornbread that I like as much as the one I created long ago. It is very heavy and moist and the large amounts of x sharp cheddar and chopped green chiles help to balance its sweetness. I no longer remember its creation and I have, over the years, wondered how it would change if I made some changes in the leavening. Its key ingreds are: 6 c. combined equal parts cornmeal and flour, 1 c. sugar, 1/4 c. bak.powder, salt, 4 lg. eggs, 12 T. melted unsalted butter. 2 c. buttermilk, 1 c. heavy cream, 3 c. grated cheese, 1 can chopped whole green chiles.
This Epicurious piece is helpful but I am actually still confused:
The Epicurious Blog
Baking powder is a mixture of baking soda, an acid, and cornstarch. In other words, that essential neutralizing acid is built in, so there's no need to include an additional acidic ingredient in the recipe. If you're experimenting and decide to add an acidic ingredient to a baking powder recipe, you'll need to add baking soda to neutralize the acid. Baking soda is about 4 times as powerful as baking powder so using 1/4 teaspoon baking soda for every teaspoon baking powder is a good estimate.
As you've probably noticed, some recipes contain both baking soda and baking powder. In this case the baking powder is doing most the actual leavening, while the baking soda is there to neutralize the acid in the recipe as well as contribute to the rise.>
I searched through MANY cornbread recipes and they almost all called for buttermilk(acid), bak. powder and bak soda.(usually, not always, a 4 to 1 ratio of the last 2). When i compared leavening ratios between all those recipes and mine, they called for more eggs and sometimes more buttermilk/liquid. I am confused because I am trying to understand too many things at once perhaps. i.e. What will likely happen if I:
-- change from 4 T. bak. powder to 3T. bak powder+ 1/2 T. bak soda
-- add eggs
-- add buttermilk
(is butter considered a liquid in this discussion because it can be substituted for oil?)
It's holiday time and there are many more pressing questions out there, but I am in the midst of a cornbread jag, so whenever you can respond, it is much appreciated!