Baking Powder

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How Baking Powder Works – Types of Baking Powder – How To Test Baking Powder

 

Baking Powder is a leavening agent that contains a combination of baking soda, cream of tartar, and a moisture absorber (like cornstarch).  It is used like yeast, but it acts much more quickly.

Baking Powder is used in batters where there is no acid present, such as in: cookies, cakes, pastries, pies, quick bread, etc. It makes the baked goods voluminous by allowing gas formation when an acid comes into contact with it and/or when it isheated.

Because it acts immediately upon the addition of water, a filler (usually cornstarch) is added to absorb the moisture and prevent premature activity.

Learn about the interesting History of Baking Powder.

 

Types of Baking Powder:

Double-acting:  Most baking powders are double-acting, which means it reacts twice;  one acid that dissolves when it comes in contact with water and a second acid that does not dissolve until it reaches a higher temperature.  This type of double action ensures that the finished product is light and fluffy.

Single-acting:  Mainly used by manufacturers and are usually not available for retail sale.

 


Food Chemistry Rule in Using Baking Powder:

When creating a recipes, the food chemistry rule is 1 to 1 1/4 teaspoons of baking powder per 1 cup flour.

If too much is used in your recipe, this produces big bubbles that will run into each other and then rise to the surface and pop.  The result is that the muffins, cakes or quick breads become heavy or sunken.

 

Following are the most common brands found in your local grocery stores:

 

Calumet Baking PowderCalumet Baking Powder is sodium aluminum sulfate – a phosphate powder in which the acid ingredients are sodium aluminum sulfate and calcium phosphate.

Available in the United States. Owned by Kraft Foods.

It is gluten-free and certified Kosher by the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America.

 

 


Clabber Girl Baking PowderClabber Girl is gluten-free and certified Kosher by the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America.

Ingredients:  Corn Starch, Bicarbonate of Soda, Sodium Aluminum Sulfate, Acid Phosphate of Calcium.

Available in the United States. Owned by Clabber Girl Corporation.

 

 

 

 

Rumford Baking PowderRumford is an all-phosphate baking powder (containing calcium acid phosphate – no aluminum).  It is gluten-free and certified Kosher by the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America.

Ingredients:  Monocalcium Phosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda), Food-Grade Cornstarch.

Available in New England and the northeastern United States. Owned by Clabber Girl Corporation.

 

 


Davis Baking PowderDavis is gluten-free and certified Kosher by the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America.

Available in New England and the northeastern United States. Owned by Clabber Girl Corporation.

 

 

 

 

Magic Baking PowderIt is an all-phosphate baking powder (containing calcium acid phosphate – no aluminum).Magic Baking Powder is manufactured by Kraft foods Canada and sold only in Canada. Magic Baking Powder is certified Kosher by the Kashruth Council of Canada.

 

 



How To Purchase Baking Powder:

When buying and stocking up, try to find the most current date available by looking for a manufacturing or expiration date on the product.  Keep in mind when it was manufactured and how long it has been sitting on the store’s shelf, because time weakens its potency.

Just because you bought it last week, it does not mean it was made last week and is as fresh as possible.

Once a can is opened, it should be good for 3 to 6 months.

 


How To Store Baking Powder:

Store at room temperature in a dry place.

A cabinet or pantry away from the sink or heat source (such as the stove, direct sunlight), is a perfect place.

Do not store in the refrigerator as it may shorten the shelf life due to condensation that occurs on the can.

 


How To Test Baking Powder:

Baking powder does lose it’s potency over time, about 6 months.  If you are unsure of its freshness, you should test it before using.

First stir the contents of the can to see if there are any lumps.  Lumps are an indication that it has picked up moisture, and has started a reaction in the can.

Check the code dates on the bottom of the can to make sure it is still in code.  Baking powder has a usual useful life of 24 months from the date of manufacture.

Stir 1 teaspoon baking powder into 1/3 cup of hot water.  If it bubbles gently, it is fine to use.

If you have a can that has been sitting in your cupboard for a year or more – toss it out!

 


How To Make Baking Powder:

If you have run out you may be able to make a substitution by using the following:

For one teaspoon baking powder = mix 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar plus 1/4 teaspoon baking soda.

If you are not using immediately, add 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch to absorb any moisture in the air and to prevent a premature chemical reaction between the acid and alkali.

Remember that a recipe for baked goods is like a formula.  The ingredients work together to create an acceptable finished product.  Substitutions don’t always work as well as the original ingredients called for in the recipe.  Any substitutions that you make come with the risk that the recipe will not turn out as intended.

 

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