Learn About Baking Powder

Author: Chef Toby

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What Is Baking Powder? 

Baking powder is a fine, white powder that is used in cooking and baking, as its name suggests. 

It is a combination of baking soda, an acid, and cornstarch.

How Is Baking Powder Used?

Baking powder, like baking soda, is used as a leavening agent to give rise to cakes, cookies, other baked goods, and batters for fried foods. When the substance is combined with water or a liquid batter, carbon dioxide bubbles begin to form. As the food cooks, the high heat amplifies these bubbles, causing foods to rise. Most baking powder is double-acting, meaning that it chemically reacts twice; first when combined with liquid, and then when exposed to heat.

Learn About Baking Powder

What Does Baking Powder Taste Like?

Baking powder has a bitter taste but it is not commonly consumed on its own. Adding this ingredient to recipes does not alter the flavor of the other ingredients. 

Where Do I Find Baking Powder? How Do I Store It?

You can find baking powder at any grocery store, in the baking aisle. At home, store it in your pantry or in a cool, dry place. Once it has been opened, it will last up to a year. 

Uses Other Than Cooking:

Similar to baking soda, baking powder can be used for cleaning surfaces and removing unwanted odors. However, keep in mind that baking powder is more expensive than baking soda, so it’s best to reserve household uses for baking soda or expired baking powder.

Fun Fact About Baking Powder:

Modern baking powder was first developed in 1856 by a chemist named Eben Norton Horsford, and the acid used in the powder used to be extracted by boiling animal bones!

Did You Know?

If you don’t have your own baking powder, you can make your own! For one teaspoon of baking powder, combine half a teaspoon of cream of tartar, and a quarter teaspoon of baking soda.

Recipes Using Baking Powder

Kids Are Great Cooks Video Cooking Lessons and Recipes That Use Baking Powder

How to make authentic Mexican Bunuelos uses baking powder in its recipe.

how to make mexican bunuelos video

How To Make Mexican Bunuelos

Our Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Video Cooking Lesson uses Vanilla uses vanilla in its recipe.

how to make oatmeal cookies kids cooking lesson

Oatmeal Raisin Kids Friendly Cooking Video

Our How to make scones uses baking powder in its recipe.

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How To Make Scones (with orange zest)

Baking Powder Biscuits

Make a dough using flour, baking powder, sugar, butter, and buttermilk. Combine the dry ingredients first and slowly incorporate the buttermilk. Once the dough is combined, use a rolling pin to get it to 3/4 of an inch thick and cut out rounds of dough. Bake the biscuits on a baking sheet until golden brown on the outside.

Buttermilk Waffles

Use baking powder to make waffles that are fluffy and tender. In a bowl, combine all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, buttermilk, oil, and eggs. Spray a heated waffle maker with nonstick cooking spray and ladle the batter into the waffle maker. Make the waffles according to the waffle iron’s instructions. Top them with maple syrup and fruit for a sweet breakfast.

No Yeast Pizza Dough

Use baking powder to replace yeast when you need pizza dough in a pinch. To make it, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add water and oil to the dry ingredients, combine it with your hands until soft. On a floured surface, roll the dough into a twelve-inch disk and top with tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese, and oregano.

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