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Baking powder is an essential ingredient in many breads and cakes. It contains both acidic and alkaline components, which react with each other when wet, when exposed to heat in the oven, or both. This reaction releases carbon dioxide bubbles into the batter, causing it to rise.
See the power of baking powder firsthand by conducting a simple comparison experiment. Make four batches of cornbread, all identical except for one tiny ingredient: baking powder! One will have no baking powder, one will have the normal amount, one will have twice the normal amount, and one will have baking soda instead. This is a great way to put your kids' math, science, and cooking skills to work, and get a hands-on lesson on how baking powder works.