I usually mix the flour and leavening ingredients together before adding them to the fat, sugar and eggs, but I'm wondering...

if there is a scientific reason for mixing the baking soda and powder with the milk before adding it to the already incorporated flour? Both baking soda and powder react with the milk. They also react with molasses and eggs. Usually the batter is poured and baked as soon as possible after these leavening ingredients are added. Is adding these ingredients one step later done simply to shorten the amount of time between mixing and baking? And, does it really make that much difference in the rising?

Mary Colson
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Demon Cake
Recipe question for: Demon Cake

1 Comment

Lori T. January 22, 2020
I imagine the reason behind mixing the soda and baking powder into the milk, and then folding it in to the batter does have something to do with determining when the leavening begins to happen. According to the recipe intro, this was a very old recipe that has been reclaimed. Old style baking powder was single sort, and began reacting like the baking soda- nearly instantaneously. So you didn't want much time between mixing, pouring and baking. Modern baking powder is generally double acting, with a second leavening action triggered by the heat of the oven. Mixing either one into milk isn't actually going to get you much of a reaction, unless your milk is sour- but it does let you have a shot at more evenly distributing the leaveners in the batter in a shorter amount of time. If you added them in with the dry ingredients, you would get the reaction started pretty quickly, thanks to the molasses. Then when you stirred in the milk, you'd be mixing and letting some of that needed gas escape, before you hit the baking pan and oven. I don't know how detrimental it would be, it would depend on how quick you were in the milk mixing and transfer. You could certainly give it a try- but just be prepared for a more dense cake if you do. My best advice would be to prepare to move quickly, once the dry ingredients start meeting the wet.
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