Oh how exciting, a post about baking powder, what’s next a video of paint drying?
Hang on, there is some good information here.
Baking Powder is one of those make or break ingredients in a recipe. Baking powder and baking soda are not the same. Yes they are both leavening agents, but they should not be used interchangeably.
First, freshness is important, fresh baking powder will produce nice, fluffy baked goods, old baking powder can cause them to fall flat. A good rule of thumb is to replace your baking powder once a year, when you are getting ready to do holiday baking is a good time to toss any leftover baking powder and buy new, it’s cheap enough, and much less expensive than wasting expensive ingredients should your recipe fail. It is best stored in its original container in a cool dry place.
Baking powder is a double acting leavening, meaning just that, it reacts twice. The first reaction is when it comes in contact with moisture, and the second is when it reacts to heat. You will see this first reaction if you make a batter, like a pancake batter, let it set for a few minutes, and then stir, you will see that the batter is more fluffy with lots of bubbles. Of course the second reaction is more obvious, when it rises during baking.
There are two widely available types of baking powder, ones with aluminum compounds and those without. I prefer the ones without, they have a much cleaner taste, and they are really not any more expensive. Two popular brands that can be found almost everywhere are Rumford (my personal favorite) and Argo, both are aluminum free. You’ll notice the taste difference in things with a lot of baking powder like biscuits and scones.
Now if you can’t remember when you bought your baking powder, toss it out and put it on your shopping list! Write the date on the new one, just in case!