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What is Baking Soda in Ireland?

A cake recipe calls for both baking soda and baking powder. The local stores have baking powder, but nobody has baking soda. What do I do?

No one in Ireland — the absolute center of the universe when it comes to soda bread — has baking soda? How can this be?

In this country, everyone from early childhood recognizes the orange box of Arm & Hammer-brand baking soda, which has a near stranglehold on the market. In Ireland, however, we know it is more commonly referred to by it's formal name: bicarbonate of soda, or, informally, as bread soda. We also know that it has been widely available in your country since the early 1800s, and you probably have a tin of it in your kitchen at this very moment.

On a related subject, if you don't have a favorite soda bread (or soda cake) recipe of your own, you might like to consider Tim Allen's recipe for White Soda Bread, from The Ballymaloe Bread Book.

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