You Only Live Once . . . Lick The Bowl
Whether it’s a batch of brownies or a short stack of buttermilk pancakes, sometimes you just need to grab a whisk, some eggs, and . . . ruh roh, you’re out of baking powder.
Or are you? [awkward stare]
Believe it or not, you can make baking powder at home with just three ingredients. Here’s how:
- 2 tablespoons baking soda (where to buy baking soda)
- ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) cream of tartar (where to buy cream of tartar)
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder or GMO-free cornstarch (where to buy arrowroot powder, where to buy non-GMO cornstarch)
- If you prefer you can make more or less than this recipe calls for - just mix 1 part baking soda, 1 part arrowroot powder/cornstarch, and 2 parts cream of tartar
- Thoroughly mix ingredients together. Store in a tightly sealed container.
The Difference Between Baking Powder & Baking Soda
If you’ve ever wondered why some recipes call for baking soda and others call for baking powder, here’s what you need to know:
Baking powder and baking soda are leavening agents, “which are used in baking to cause doughs to rise. In the case of baking powder or baking soda, they do this via a chemical reaction that releases carbon dioxide gas. This gas then forms bubbles in the dough, causing it to rise. While the dough is cooking, these bubbles harden as the bread is baked.” (source)
So what causes this chemical reaction? “Basically, baking soda is an alkaline, and when you mix in something acidic, like vinegar, it will release gas. The key here is that baking soda needs some sort of acid to activate the reaction. So it will work in recipes that include acidic ingredients like buttermilk, sour cream, lemon juice, yogurt and so on. Molasses is also acidic, and so, believe it or not, is honey. So any of these ingredients would activate the baking soda.” (source)
“But if you were to try to substitute baking soda for baking powder in a recipe where no acidic ingredient is present, there will be no release of gas and the dough won’t rise. Baking powder, on the other hand, is nothing more than baking soda with some sort of acidic compound (different brands of baking powder use different compounds) already included. The baking soda and the acidic compound won’t react together until they are moistened, which causes the two chemicals to mix.” (source)
P.S. Stale Baking Soda & Baking Powder Can Cause Recipes To Flop . . .
Here’s a quick test you can do to check if yours is still fresh.