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The chemistry of baking

Posted on May 4th, 2020 in Quirky curious, STEM gems

Baking scones

Scones with jam, cream and coffee

What’s the STEM?

There is a lot of STEM in cooking. In this activity, we are focussing on the chemistry of cooking by analysing the raising agents and how they work. It links very well to the red cabbage chemistry activity but can also be a stand-alone activity.

Baking powder is a mixture of powders – sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and powdered acid. Most have a filler that helps it stay dry and keeps it fresh. If you eat gluten-free you need to be careful as some baking powder contains wheat products. You can make baking powder by combining baking soda and citric acid powder or tartaric acid powder. Baking soda is alkali and mixing it with acid causes a reaction which releases carbon dioxide which adds the bubbles in cakes, pancakes and, of course, scones.

About the author:
HAYLEY BATES, National Certifications Coordinator

Hayley Bates

Hayley has an insatiable thirst for learning – about everything! Her sheer joy of discovery and passion for professional development makes her the perfect person to run the Little Scientist’s House Certification program.

Never happier than seeing what happens to balloons in the freezer or exploring the projects submitted by services for certification, her enthusiasm is complemented by her background in science and maths making her the ideal coordinator for our Little Scientists Houses.

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