Make your own baking powder

I have been reading a book called Kitchen Science – A Guide to Knowing the Hows and Whys for Fun and Success in the Kitchen by Howard Hillman (I got mine from the library – 1989 edition).

The beauty of this book is the facts are laid out in FAQ-style , so don’t expect it  to be a science text book or encyclopedia. I think it is perfect for people who have short attention span of a goldfish – like myself. That said, my mind did wander a bit whenever Howard went into details about scientific stuffs like molecules and gas. Feel a little like Chemistry classes in high school? Yeah,  I think so. :P

It covers  all areas of cooking and baking starting from understanding your cooking equipment, cooking methods, baking, beverages to nutrition and health. Although I must admit I have conveniently skipped the  last part. *cough*cough* Boring!

My favourite chapter would have to be baking. In my opinion,  baking is more technical knowledge demanding than say, making stir frys – no offence to Chinese sifu chefs.

Anyway, here’re two of the many things I’ve learned from the book (all baking powder related in order to stay true to my post title):-

To make 1 tsp of commercial baking powder, you’ll need:-

  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cornstarch (add this if you plan to store it as cornstarch absorbs moisture in the air and therefore prevent a premature chemical reactions between cream of tartar and baking soda)

A quick note – you have to work quickly when using homemade baking powder.

To check the potency of baking powder kept over some time

  • Pour one quarter cup of hot tap water over one-half teaspoon of baking powder. The fresher the baking powder, the more actively this mixture will bubble. In other words, no bubble no rising to occcasion!

That’s all about baking powder and thanks for reading. Unfortunately, I have to return this book to the library today (reluctantly) before I start packing for my big move tomorrow. Oh well.

7 Responses to Make your own baking powder
  1. Amy Bakes Everything
    January 16, 2011 | 6:31 am

    This is really awesome! I love knowing this – if I’m ever in a pinch for some baking powder, I can probably make my own. Love your photos!

  2. chocolatesuze
    January 16, 2011 | 7:41 pm

    good luck on the moving dude!

    • Emily
      January 17, 2011 | 12:09 am

      Thanks Suze!!!! :D

  3. lynne
    January 16, 2011 | 8:53 pm

    thanks for the info! it’s great to know just in case i ever run out of baking powder!

  4. Christina
    January 17, 2011 | 1:01 am

    How cool is this?!?

  5. Tiffany
    January 17, 2011 | 2:19 am

    Very cool! Why buy it if you can make it from everyday ingredients we have in our pantries! I love it!

  6. Josie
    February 23, 2011 | 6:33 pm

    Another good book written in the same style is “What Einstein Told His Cook: Kitchen Science Explained” and “What Einstein Told His Cook 2″ written by Robert L. Wolke. Fun reads!

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