Like cornstarch, baking powder is one of those small ingredients that’s easy to overlook. Most commercial versions contain cornstarch as the filler that keeps the base (sodium bicarbonate) and the acid (usually sodium aluminum phosphate) from reacting with each other while stored on your shelf. But it’s very easy to make your own thus avoiding the cornstarch and ingredients that have the word “aluminum” in them and give baking a metallic taste.
So this week’s recipe is simply how to make your own healthier, better tasting baking powder for immediate use or longer term storage as follows:
- one part baking soda
- two parts cream of tartar (a natural substance made in the fermentation process of grapes)
- one part arrowroot – optional if you plan to make enough to store for future use
If you are only making enough for a one-time immediate use, just mix the appropriate amounts of baking soda and cream of tartar together to meet your need. Substitute evenly for any recipe that calls for baking powder.
If you wish to scale up and store about a half cup of BP for future use, then mix 1/4 cup cream of tartar with 2 tablespoons baking soda and 2 tablespoons arrowroot. The latter will extend the shelf life of your leavening for up to 3 months. After this amount of time, it would be wise to test the efficacy of the baking powder before using it by placing a half teaspoon in a small bowl and then pouring about a quarter cup of boiling water over the powder. If it bubbles happily, it is still good.