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but if you use baking soda alone, it will only rise in the oven?
Baking powder normally constitutes of three parts, an acid, a base (baking soda, sodium bicarbonate/NaHCO3) and a filler (like corn starch) these are dry so can be mixed together. When you add water, the acid and base solution reacts and a product is carbon dioxide. When you put it into the oven, the carbon dioxide bubbles tries to escape but are trapped by the other ingredients, this causes the buscuits to expand. People prefer baking powder because yeast takes 1-2 hours to produce its bubbles, baking powder is instant! 
Baking soda alone will break down when you heat it, and one of the products is CO2 gas, which then causes food to rise in just the way C4M has described.I assume this means that if you use baking powder, your food will rise both before and during cooking, but if you use baking soda alone, it will only rise in the oven?
so now we are adding baking soda also?
Sorry Mr C4M..... ***SULK***