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So I completely forgot to add the flour into this corn bread recipe:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted

Fold wet ingredients into dry until just moistened,
bake in an 8x8 pan at 400F for 20-25 minutes

Everyone liked it and wants me to make it exactly the same way going forward.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

My questions is: Do I still need the baking powder and baking soda?

  • Need? no. But it does help to leaven it, so unless you want to eat a corn brick, I suggest keeping it :p – Nat Bowman Jan 10 '18 at 19:16
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I assume from the ingredients you didn't end up making a corn flatbread. The raising agents will give some rise even without gluten from the flour to form a structure, and the egg will help bind the cornmeal into its raised shape. But its probably rather crumbly (the similar cornbread I make is quite crumbly even with the flour).

One important point though: if they (and you) liked what you made before, I suggest you don't change it.

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Baking soda is a base and reacts with acid, neutralizing it. When it does so it reduces the acidity of the result, changing the flavor, also the reaction creates flavor compounds you'd lose.

Baking powder is a mix of powdered acid and baking soda, it supplies its own acid and reacts with it, so the flavor balance remains largely consistent. It will still leaven the bread you make, how much it's hard to say.

So you might be able to get rid of the baking powder while getting rid of the baking soda will change the flavor. Who knows, it may be better or worse. I'd suggest leaving it alone unless you want to experiment, in which case reduce one thing at a time and see where it gets you.

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