ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How Do Yeast and Baking Powder Differ as Leavening Agents?

Updated on September 11, 2016
baking powder and active dry yeast
baking powder and active dry yeast

According to documentation, yeast, a live, single-cell fungi, became a leavening agent by accident. To the contrary, baking powder-the modern version anyway- was deliberately created. Through the action of fermentation, yeast organisms change sugars into carbon dioxide gas which, when added to dough, gets trapped in its matrix and causes it to rise and stretch. It also reacts with other compounds in the mixture to produce the unique flavor we taste in bread. Baking powder is the combination of acid carbonate, cream of tartar, and moisture filler. The acid carbonate could be calcium phosphate/ baking soda, sodium aluminum sulfate or sodium bicarbonate. The filler is almost always corn starch.

Baker’s yeast or Brewer’s yeast, as it is called to distinguish it from the other 1,400 members of its species, is used primarily in breads. There are two types of yeast: (compound) fresh yeast and (active) dry yeast. The dry is further divided into regular dry yeast and quick-rise, instant or bread machine yeast. The second group works the fastest and requires no added sugar or water for fermentation so, there is no wait period for rising as there is with the dry kind. Instant yeast was actually made for use in bread machines.

Ancient Egyptians were the first to discover yeast’s fermentation property some 5,000 plus years ago. Unbeknownst sugar-containing microbes in grains and fruit were the responsible culprits. Once discovered, the Egyptians began to secure bits of dough to use as leavener in new dough. Later on, bakers used the by-product from brewing alcohol. In the mid-19th century, Louis Pasteur proved yeast to be the organisms responsible for the fermentation and subsequent leavening. Mass production of it began early in the 20th century. Yeast provides protein, B-vitamins, and minerals for good nutrition.

There are three kinds of baking powder: two single-acting and one double-acting. In the latter, the chemical reaction occurs twice: first with water and again with heat. Double-acting baking powder is the one most commonly used as a leavening agent and is found in cakes, pies, cookies, muffins, quick-breads or any baked goods that does not have heavy enough batter to sustain gases. This agent, unlike the dormant dry yeast, has a shelf life of about one year. And though it acts much faster, it is not very potent.

Single-acting baking powder was discovered and sold in the first half of the 19th century. The man responsible, based on the article, “The History of Baking Powder” by Linda Stradeley for the website, www.whatscookingamerica.net, was British chemist, Alfred Bird. The first American manufacturer of the leavening agent was George F. Wilson and Company which later became Rumford Chemical Works. The double-acting powder was first made 30 plus years later by William M. Wright and George Campbell Rew. They sold it under the name, Calumet Baking Powder. There is little nutritional value in baking powder though it contains small amounts of calcium, sodium, iron, and phosphorus.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)