Rising ingredients: baking powder and baking soda

Baking powder and baking soda just need a little care to do a lot of work.

Baking powder and baking soda are considered staple ingredients in our kitchens and can be used in a wide variety of ways. Both baking powder and baking soda are shelf-stable which means they can stay in your kitchen cupboards and do not have to be refrigerated.

Michigan State University Extension offers the following tips to get the most out of these two rising ingredients.

  • Baking powder will keep indefinitely when it is kept dry but can be weakened by contamination. Contamination can occur when you have used a measuring spoon in something else prior to dipping it in the baking powder. However, you will often find a best if used by date of 18-24 months on the container.
  • The best if used by date of 18-24 months on the container is also relevant for baking soda. Nevertheless, you can test for the freshness of your baking soda by placing 1 ½ teaspoons of the baking soda in a bowl or cup and then adding 1 tablespoon vinegar. If it fizzes, it is still potent and usable.
  • To test your baking powder simply combine 1 teaspoon of the baking powder with 1/3 cup of warm water. This mixture will bubble if the baking powder is still of good quality and it will have good rising power.
  • Baking powder often comes in a sealed can. Store it in its original can and in a dry place. Above the stove is not the place to store your baking ingredients. The moisture from cooking enters the cupboards and can get into the cans and containers. Moisture rapidly deteriorates both baking powder and baking soda. Moisture actually reacts with and chemically changes baking powder and baking soda.
  • Some people are concerned about aluminum salts in baking powders. If you are one of those people choose one of the many brands now available that do not use aluminum salts.
  • Make sure all of your measuring utensils are dry before dipping into the container of either baking powder or baking soda.
  • Both baking powder and baking soda can be frozen without harming the rising qualities. Low temperatures don’t have much of an impact on baking powder and soda.  However, excessive heat may lead to low-quality performance.

There are a couple of plusses when it comes to these two rising ingredients. One plus is that they contribute next to no calories to the food product they are in. On the other hand, they also contribute very little nutritional value. A second big plus is that there are no major allergies associated with baking powder and baking soda.

Take care of these two ingredients so that when you go to use them they are able to do their job.

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