I have recently run into a few recipes (one was a pound cake, one was red velvet cake and one was sweet potato biscuits) that in one step of the recipe instruct the preparer to neutralize an acid (sour cream/vinegar/buttermilk) with baking soda before adding it to the recipe. My thinking is that we want those bubbles. Do we not? The cake recipes have no other leavening agent, the biscuits have baking powder. Is this done to minimize rise? Any thoughts or insight would be greatly appreciated?
Neutralizing an acid before putting it in the batter?
Rather than thinking of it as neutralizing the acid (not sure why it would be referred to in that way), think of it as activating the baking soda since it needs an acid to produce lift. You are right, the bubbles created are exactly what you want. As an aside, I love sweet potato biscuits :)