Baking Soda

Not sure if I’m posting this in the correct spot - maybe GQ or Cafe? Feel free to move it.

This has bothered me for a long time and I just thought about again this morning as I was taking the box of baking soda out of the cupboard. I was going to bring a container of it to work to get garlic odor out of the fridge.

Why does baking soda come in a flimsy box with no way to seal the container after opening. Baking powder comes in containers that have either a plastic lid or a screw top. IIRC, baking soda loses it’s “power” after a while. Would it not make a difference even if it was sealed tightly? I’ve put the box in a zipper bag in the past. I don’t know if that has really made a difference. I don’t use baking soda that often, I don’t bake a lot. So by the time I go to use it again, I always wonder if it’s even good anymore since it’s been sitting there wide open for months.

Arm & Hammer does make a shaker bottle (similar to a baking powder bottle) that I bought once. I tried to find it the last time I went to the grocery store, but they didn’t seem to carry it anymore.

I got this interesting stuff from

Maybe baking soda comes in boxes because they try to sell it as fridge freshener so they want the baking soda somewhat exposed so it can absorb odors. I think it probably came in boxes before that, though, but it has so many uses they may figure it just gets used up quickly and doesn’t need to be sealed.

Actually, the cardboard box is as old as Arm & Hammer soda…they just never changed it, like baking powder still comes in a round container. Did you know that the man who founded Arm & Hammer was named “Armand Hammer?” I met him once and never got over how they translated his name into the company name he founded. Neat, huh? The idea to use it in the fridge (and sink, etc.) came long after the cardboard box – but they do need to update the darn thing that won’t stay opened right.

Not true.

Nothing to do with the thread, but a helpful baking hint: next time you use up the last of your baking powder, save the container and fill it with baking soda and mark the top accordingly. Makes it way easier to measure out than from that stupid box.

The same thing happened with Mike Rosoff and Sam Sung, they are super rich now. Things didn’t work out so well for Buster Block.

Trader Joe’s puts in in baking powder- type containers.

You forgot Amma Zahn.

I think the cardboard box keeps it cheap. I bought a large amount one time that came in a zip topped plastic bag. I used that for months. It’s a good laundry addition. It is such a helpful product, I don’t know how peeps get along without it.

Let me clarify a little. Baking powder is a mix of an acidic substance and an alkaline substance. When mixed with the wet ingredients, the two react to produce gas to provide lift and fluffiness in the baked dish. Unless tightly sealed moisture in the air will prematurely make the powder react and become useless.

Baking soda remains chemically stable, for use as an antacid or in baking, even when exposed to air. Its ability to absorb odors, though, does fade.

Arm & Hammer’s box has been changed, by the way. It’s now available with removable panels in both side of the box, backed by semi-permeable panels to keep the powder in while letting odors in. I don’t know how effective this “flow-through” package is.

I repackage that and most grains, pasta, dried beans, flour, sugar, salt, etc into glass or plastic containers with a nice tight lid. Here in ant and bug land, it’s the right thing tho do.

I use them at work in a (grocery store type) 3 door freezer. Every few months you can smell seafood and I swap them out. They seem to work well and don’t make a giant mess when they get knocked over.
Plus, assuming air flows through the panels well, and I think it does, you’re probably getting 3 to 4 times the surface area exposed.

I use that type for my fridge and freezer all the time but if you’re using it for baking you have to use the standard box and it sounds like it doesn’t last very long packaged that way. Which doesn’t make sense that for all these years they haven’t come up with something better!

Because the packaging costs money. This costs AU$4 and is only 350 grams
A kilo box is AU$3.36
Decanting it into a canister at home saves money not buying packaging to bring it home in. It’s not expensive, so even buying “fresh” if you don’t cook with it often is also reasonable.

*I heard that! *(US deep South colloquialism for you foreigners)

By far, the best use of baking soda is for making soft pretzels!

I’m originally from Philly (Philadelphia/Delaware Valley), so naturally I love soft pretzels (as well as Italian hoagies, cheese-steaks, scrapple, Ben Franklin … etc.). But, It’s hard to find anything close to Philly style soft pretzels where I’ve lived for the past 30+ years, so I make my own. It’s easy, you just need pizza dough and baking soda (and, of course, course salt and mustard).

Sure, you can make your own pizza dough. It’s not hard to do, but if you have a local grocery store that makes pizza dough well and fresh every day, like I have (Publix: a ball of fresh-made dough costs less than $3.00—enough to make an extra-large pizza, or 4 calzones, or 8 soft pretzels, or 10 bread sticks), why bother? Let them do the work and pay them a pittance for their effort.

Pretzels need a near-boiling alkaline bath for a minute before baking, or else you’ll end up with bread instead of pretzels. This recipe is pretty close to the one I use (except I go the extra mile and make them thinner and tie them into knots … or into animal heads …). Sprinkle with coarse salt and squirt on plenty of yellow mustard. That’s some good eatin.’ Pass a bag of them around at an Eagles or Phillies game and the fans may let you out of the stadium alive.

Bonus: Take that same supermarket pizza dough and make bread sticks superior to any Italian restaurant (do not bathe in baking soda for this recipe, or you’ll end up with pretzel sticks instead of bread sticks). Take your rested pizza dough and cut it into bread stick sized strips. Put ~3 tablespoons of olive oil (good, flavorful oil) in a Pyrex ~3 quart or so baking dish. Sprinkle (sparingly … I learned the hard way, don’t overdo it with the herbs and spices) basil, oregano, marjoram, garlic salt and black pepper into the oiled baking dish.

Pre-heat your oven to 425f. Cut the dough into ~1” wide strips and place into the baking dish. Spray a thin layer of olive oil onto the top of the strips and again sprinkle sparingly with more basil, oregano, marjoram, garlic salt and black pepper.

Put the dish into your oven (when it reaches 425 f) and take it out when the strips are dark golden brown (~20 minutes). Don’t forget to turn your oven off—you don’t want to burn down your house (I learned that lesson the hard way ).

At this point, I sprinkle Parmesan cheese onto my strips (my vegan daughters would castrate me if I attempted to sprinkle it on theirs). Serve with a dipping bowl of your favorite marinara sauce.

Trust me, with this recipe, you won’t be going to Olive Garden for bread sticks any more.

This is just cruelly timed… I went to the german bakery that I recently discovered, and bought a pretzel along with some other things. I was sitting there, when I looked down to see my beloved pretzel on the floor, half-eaten, and my #%&)%^(#^)(#*^ dog. He’d ferreted in the shopping bag which I’d made the mistake of putting down in the kitchen. :frowning: (I want my pretzel!)

Well my #%&)%^(#^)(#*^ cat is still in the doghouse for the stunt he pulled last week.

I was sitting on my bed, re-watching the Breaking Bad episode, “Say My Name” (do you really want to live in a world without classic coke?). I had half an Italian hoagie on the night table next to the bed. About 20 minutes into the show, I reach over to grab my hoagie … but it’s not there. Empty plate.

That’s odd, I don’t remember eating the hoagie. Was I really so engrossed in the show that I didn’t remember eating a large sandwich? Hmm, I guess so.

After the show, I reach around to turn off the light. I see on my pillow a molested hoagie roll and scattered strips of lettuce, onion, banana peppers and tomato. The capicola, prosciutto, Genoa salami and provolone cheese—ALL GONE!

I look at the cat. The cat looks at the dog.

Yeah, I don’t think so cat! The dog’s too old and too small to jump onto the bed. Even if he could, he doesn’t have your stealth mode setting. And that dab of mayonnaise on your nose is all the evidence I need. I hope the prosciutto gives you heartburn, buster!

He once tipped an open box of baking soda onto the floor, too.

My cat broke bad a long time ago.

No of course not - why would I go to Olive Garden when I can go to YOUR house for bread sticks (and pretzels).

Please PM me your address and get baking. I’ll be arriving as soon as I can make the appropriate travel arrangements.

Hmm, I’m sure you’re a nice person and all, but I was simply posting recipes that my family and I enjoy which I thought may be appreciated by the SD community in general. It wasn’t an open invitation for internet denizens to [del] stalk[/del] visit us and demand that I cook for them. Sorry about the misunderstanding. :slight_smile:

… on second thought, if you BYOB and bring a few bottles more for yours truly (Chateau Lafite 1787, thank you very much), well I say, let’s get this party started! I’ll fill your your gullet with bread-sticks and pretzels to your heart’s desire!

Baking soda keeps indefinitely. I’ve never had it not work in a recipe. (I have had the more fragile baking powder fail, even though it has a tighter package and we use it faster.) So I’m quite satisfied with the cheap cardboard box.