Why Do I Have to Add Baking Soda to Boiling Water in This Recipe?

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Q: In making an old ginger cookie recipe, I was instructed to add the baking soda (1 tsp) to a small amount of boiling water, then add the mixture to the rest of the ingredients. Why?

Sent by Faye

Editor: Mixing the water and baking soda may have been a way to start to activate the baking soda. Readers, why do you think this step is in the recipe?