Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Sodium or potassium bicarbonate used as a leavening agent; baking soda.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Originally potassium bicarbonate, but at present sodium bicarbonate is commonly sold under the same name.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Old Chem.) Aërated salt; a white crystalline substance having an alkaline taste and reaction, consisting of sodium bicarbonate (see under sodium.) It is largely used in cooking, with sour milk (lactic acid) or cream of tartar as a substitute for yeast. It is also an ingredient of most baking powders, and is used in the preparation of effervescing drinks.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun sodium bicarbonate
  • noun potassium bicarbonate

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a white soluble compound (NaHCO3) used in effervescent drinks and in baking powders and as an antacid

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[New Latin sāl āerātus : Latin sāl, salt; see sal + New Latin āerātus, aerated (from Latin āēr, air; see air).]

Examples

  • I found a new diversion today while Googling for "saleratus"--the nineteenth-century name for baking powder.

    Archive 2005-09-01

  • I found a new diversion today while Googling for "saleratus"--the nineteenth-century name for baking powder.

    books and cooks

  • "I suppose you call saleratus bread and salt pork and flapjacks SIMPLE?" said the doctor, coolly; "they are COMMON enough, and if you were working with your muscles instead of your nerves in that frame of yours they might not hurt you; but you are suffering as much from eating more than you can digest as the veriest gourmand.

    Selected Stories of Bret Harte

  • "Wouldn't it take the saleratus out your dough, now?" said Kink

    Too Much Gold

  • "I say, Kink, don't forget the saleratus on the corner shelf back of the stove."

    Too Much Gold

  • "Wouldn't it take the saleratus out your dough, now?" said Kink

    TOO MUCH GOLD

  • "I say, Kink, don't forget the saleratus on the corner shelf back of the stove."

    TOO MUCH GOLD

  • Because biological yeast was unreliable, most bakers supplemented their sourdough starter with saleratus, an alkali bicarbonate of soda that replaced the colonial-era pearl ash or potash potassium carbonate derived from leaching wood or plant ashes.

    One Big Table

  • By 1850, baking powder—combining sodium bicarbonate with cream of tartar—replaced saleratus, making a greater range of baked goods, such as scones, biscuits, and fruit and nut breads, all quick and easy to prepare.

    One Big Table

  • There is one day when all we Americans who are not self-made go back to the old home to eat saleratus biscuits and marvel how much nearer to the porch the old pump looks than it used to.

    Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen

Comments

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  • "Huh," grunted Annixter with grim satisfaction, a certain sense of good humour at length returning to him, "that just about takes the saleratus out of YOUR dough, my friend."

    - Frank Norris, The Octopus, ch. 2

    August 9, 2008

  • Must try using that phrase.

    August 11, 2008

  • What, and gain reknown as a salt-of-carbonic-acid thief? You flabby old dough-deflater you!

    August 11, 2008

  • *thinking*

    No. No, I don't believe I've ever been called a name like that before.

    *thinking some more*

    Definitely not. Dough-deflater, perhaps. Flabby? Most certainly not.

    August 11, 2008

  • There's a first time for everything, rt.

    August 11, 2008

  • Indeed.

    August 11, 2008

  • I love reading early C20 books, where characters have names like Annixter and no-one bats an eyelid.

    August 11, 2008

  • I keep reading this as slateralus.

    August 11, 2008

  • "Take one quart of sour milk, or buttermilk; stir in as much corn meal as will make a pancake batter; take one teacupful of flour, and one teaspoonful of saleratus; beat well together; then add three eggs well beaten...."

    —Susan Williams, Savory Suppers and Fashionable Feasts: Dining in Victorian America (New York: Pantheon Books, 1985), 214

    May 4, 2010

  • Though yeast bread is higher in status

    It's likely to bring on some flatus,

    But nothing will squelch

    The renegade belch

    Like scones or a bread saleratus.

    March 14, 2017