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The chemistry of baking

Scones with jam, cream and coffee

Baking scones

A basic scone recipe can take you a long way. It is fun, easy and a great way to experiment as well. If you do not have all the ingredients you can improvise! Once you have mastered the basics, you can experiment with adding new ingredients.

What’s the STEM?

There is a lot of STEM in cooking. In this activity, we are focusing 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.

Hayley Bates
Article author: Hayley Bates
National Certifications Coordinator

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.

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