Saturday, March 23, 2013

Making your own baking powder at home

Many of you might not know that it is so simple to make your own baking powder using common household kitchen ingredients. To keep it from clumping just add 1 teaspoon of corn starch or Potato starch if you can not have corn, to your mixture.

  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon potato starch or corn starch

I found this information while searching food storage solutions and thought I would pass it on to those of you who can not use regular baking powder.

Why Do We Use Baking Powder?

baking powderWhat is Baking powder?

Many of us use baking powder all the time but never really consider what it is. All we know is that is needed in this recipe.
The dirty quick definition is that baking powder is a combination of an acid and an alkali
with starch added to keep the other two ingredients stable and dry. Baking powder is a dry chemical leavening agent used to increase the volume and lighten the texture of baked goods.

How does baking powder work?

Baking powder works by releasing carbon dioxide gas into a batter or dough through an acid-base reaction, causing bubbles in the wet mixture to expand and thus leavening the mixture. The powder reacts with liquid by foaming and the resulting bubbles of carbon dioxide can aerate and raise dough. Almost all baking powder now on the market is double acting, meaning it has one acid that bubbles at room temperature and another acid which only reacts at oven temperatures.

Single Acting

It is called single action because it only contains one acid. Single acting baking powder reacts when the acid reacts to a liquid at room temperature. This means the bulk of the leavening action occurs as soon as the batter is mixed. If there is a delay between mixing an baking, some of the gas may escape and cause deflation.

Double Acting

Baking powders that contain both fast and slow acting acids are called double acting. Double acting baking powders work in two phases; once at room temperature, and once when heat is added, like cooking the oven. By providing a second rise in the oven, double acting baking powders increase the reliability of baked goods by rendering the time elapsed between mixing and baking less critical, and this is the type most widely available to consumers today.

Why do we use baking powder?

We use baking powder as a yeast subsitute for end-products where fermentation flavors would be undesirable or where the batter lacks the elastic structure to hold gas bubbles for more than a few minutes. Because carbon dioxide is released at a faster rate through the acid-base reaction than through fermentation, breads made by chemical leavening are called quick breads.

What is baking powder made up of?

Most commercially available baking powders are made up of an alkaline component (typically sodium bicarbonate, also known as baking soda), one or more acid salts (like Tartaric Acid), and an inert starch; either cornstarch or potato starch are the most commonly used. Baking soda is the source of the carbon dioxide, and the acid-base reaction can be generically represented as NaHCO3 + H+ → Na+ + CO2 + H2O, for us non scientific people all that looks like is a bunch of letters and numbers.
The inert starch serves several functions in baking powder. The main function is to absorb moisture, to prolong the shelf life by keeping the powder’s alkaline and acidic components from reacting prematurely. A dry powder also flows and mixes more easily and the bulkiness helps for accurate measurements.

What is the difference between fast acting & slow acting?

Fast Acting

A fast-acting acid reacts in a wet mixture with baking soda at room temperature, common low-temperature acid salts include cream of tartar and monocalcium phosphate (also called calcium acid phosphate).

Slow Acting

A slow acting acids will not react until heated in an oven. High-temperature acid salts include sodium aluminum sulfate, sodium aluminum phosphate and sodium acid pyrophosphate.

Dos and Don’ts for baking powder

Don’t expose baking powder to steam, humid air, wet spoons, or other moisture.
Do store your baking powder in a air tight container for no more than a year. Even when kept dry it will eventually loses its potency. To test its strength, measure 1 tsp powder into 1/3 cup hot water. The mixture should fizz and bubble furiously. If it doesn’t, throw it out.

No comments:

Post a Comment