Yeast vs. Baking Powder

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by Carlos Tortosa, May 19, 2010.

  1. Carlos Tortosa Member

    Spanish Spain
    Hi everyone,

    Does anyone know what's the difference between yeast and baking powder? (if any).

    Both terms are translated as levadura in Spanish but some recipes use one term while others use the other one.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. galesa Senior Member

    english wales
    Baking powder is a dry chemical raising agent , it is used instead of yeast
    I would use Levadura en polvo for baking powder and just levadura for yeast.
  3. Palomius Member

    Málaga (Spain)
    In Spain, we usually use the words "levadura fresca" (if it's fresh, in cubes) or "levadura de panadero" (if it's dry, in powder) when we refer to "yeast".

    Baking Powder would be the typical one you find in supermarkets from the brand "Royal". It's dry (powder) and it's white (while the dry yeast is kind of brown). We call it "levadura", even if it's not. So:

    -Yeast= levadura de panadero or levadura fresca
    -Baking powder= levadura

    When baking, yeast is much more stronger than baking Powder. So, for instance, you can't bake a loaf of bread with baking powder; you need yeast. But if you just want to bake a sponge cake, you can use baking powder.
  4. Carlos Tortosa Member

    Spanish Spain
    Thanks Palomius. This is exactly the answer I was looking for.
  5. dross Senior Member

    English – UK
    En México, se usa "bicarbonato" o "bicarbonato de sodio" para "baking soda" también. La marca mas reconocida es Royal también, y se emplea genéricamente, como "durex" dicen para "scotch tape/sellotape."
    Me perpleja que emplean en España la palabra levadura para bicarbonato de sodio, ya que son totalmente distintos!
  6. doomedbutenergetic Member

    Canada & Chile, English & Spanish
    My experience in Chile was that yeast was called levadura, whereas baking powder was called "polvos de hornear" (literally, baking powder).
  7. caupolican Member

    English and Spanish
    I agree with doomed. Levadura = yeast
    baking powder = polvos de hornear
    baking soda = bicarbonato (bicarbonato de sodio) all three are used as rising agents, but are very different one from the other.
  8. Palomius Member

    Málaga (Spain)
    Well, baking soda and baking powder are not the same. We call Baking powder "levadura" (even if it's not) and we do NOT call it "polvos de hornear" in Spain.
    So, in Spain it would be like that:

    Yeast= levadura fresca (if it's fresh) or levadura de panadero (if it's dry)
    Baking powder= levadura
    Baking soda= bicarbonato (sódico)

    So, if in Spain you want to buy "yeast", you have to ask for "levadura de panadero", not just "levadura".
  9. dross Senior Member

    English – UK
    De acuerdo! Disculpa mi pobre conocimiento de cocinar.

    Investigué y Baking soda (bicarbonato de sodio) es bicarbonato de sodio puro, y requiere un agente acidificante (i.e., zumo de limón) para que produzca el CO2 que leva al plato. Baking powder ("polvo de hornear" en Mexico, y no "polvos", o "Royal") ya tiene el agente acidificante y no requiere limón o miel, etc.

    Supongo en España cualquier ingrediente que hace levar al pan o pastel se puede llamar levadura. ¿Es así?
  10. silvermoon Senior Member

    Dross, tal vez no entendí bien tu respuesta, pero "Royal" sí se usa para baking powder en Mexico.

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