Why Is Baking Powder Used In Baking?

Baking powder is one of the most commonly used ingredient to put in baked goods. So we’re going to talk about why it’s used.

Baking powder is used in baking to activate your recipe especially if the recipe is non-acidic. Since baking powder already has baking soda in it there isn’t a requirement to have an acid ingredient in order to get it working. Baking powder will help whatever you’re baking to rise. 

It is known to take longer to rise so it’s activated once heated but lasts longer. This is the very reason why you would see most recipes call for baking soda (sometimes both) for cookies that take 10 minutes to bake versus baking powder used in cakes because it takes longer to bake (50 minutes+).

Baking powder gets activated as soon as it’s mixed with a liquid. It will release gases as soon as it’s mixed with a recipe with liquid. To get perspective baking soda is more active than baking powder. For example, you would need to put more baking powder in a recipe to get a similar rise with baking soda  If you used up to one teaspoon of baking powder you would usually use about a quarter of a teaspoon with baking soda.

A good thing to remember about baking powder is it is used to help your baked good rise whether that’s a cake or banana cake and baking soda is used to spread. 

There’s so much to talk about when it comes to baking powder so we’re going to talk all about the cost of baking powder. As well as if it’s actually cheaper to make baking powder yourself and how to make it.

Is It Cheaper To Make Your Own Baking Powder

Is it cheaper to make your own baking powder? It is confirmed that it is not cheaper to make baking powder but because there are so few ingredients required to make baking powder it’s a very cost-effective recipe to make if making your own baking powder is something that you would like to do.

Here was a breakdown of how much each ingredient costs and totals:

Though making your own baking powder will be more expensive as you are purchasing the ingredients individually. For some making baking powder at home is a preference and prefer to have the choice to be able to create it themselves.

No matter what if you buy ready-made baking powder you will always end up saving more money because they make the product at a bigger volume. In the comparison above even if you got the 8.1 Oz or to 1 lb it would still end up being cheaper. 

You only need three ingredients to make baking powder and that is baking soda, cream of tartar, and cornstarch (optional). The baking soda is considered alkaline and the cream of tartar is an acid if you wanted to prove this use a litmus test strip you would see it come up as orange which would mean it is acidic. 

The cornstarch in the recipe is what will preserve your baking powder once mixed and you have extra. if you know you’re going to use the baking powder that you just made right away you don’t need the cornstarch. The cornstarch also helps with avoiding clumps And prevents the two ingredients from interacting with each other so it doesn’t get activated.

Recipe to make Baking powder:

  1. Two parts of baking soda new line
  2.  one part of cream of tartar
  3. Then add one part of cornstarch

You will mix the ingredients together and then put it into a jar or container that’s airtight this is very important that you don’t allow any more shirts to get inside. to keep the freshness of it. 

Why Would Someone Make Baking Powder

The reason why people would make baking powder is because of convenience. It’s a very easy thing to make and it’s not very hard to do. This is perfect if you run out of baking powder when you’re in the middle of a baking recipe and if you already have the ingredients in your pantry it is as easy as mixing it together and boom you have baking powder. 

The ingredients that baking powder calls for are usually something that most might already have in their cabinet and the ingredients are very interchangeable of how it can be used. So for some bakers it would be worth it to make especially how it can be made fresh every time. 

How Much Does Baking Powder Cost?

Prices will range depending on where you decide to purchase from but this is the average price to buy depending on the type and size of baking powder that you get. 

Baking Powder Brand Name Price AVG
Clabber Girl -Double Acting $2.57
Hain Pure Foods- Featherweight Baking Powder$5.94
Bob’s Red Mill, Double Acting Baking Powder$4.93 

What Happens If You Don’t Add Baking Powder?

Not adding baking powder to whatever you are baking that requires a rise to happen, won’t rise properly. Using baking powder allows it to act as a leavening agent that helps your batter or your dough rise accordingly. Baking powder makes baking easy because it allows the baker to not have to worry about adding acidic ingredients. If the recipe doesn’t call for it. 

If you choose to use baking soda instead you would have to make sure that the recipe has some type of ingredient that is acid based such as buttermilk, sugar, yogurt, or lemon juice. Baking soda only has one rise so as long as the recipe is acidic it will rise once. 

With baking powder, you get two rises because it activates once you mix it with liquid or a mixture with liquid and it also activates once you put it in heat so you get a second rise. And the rise for baking powder tends to last longer. 

For example, if you were to mix a recipe and you left it on the counter there would be some grace to the time you wait between putting it into the oven. Whereas if there’s just one rise you need to mix your recipe and put it into the oven right away or else the leavening agent will lose its effect.

Why Use Baking Soda And Baking Powder Together?

Sometimes some recipes will call for both baking soda and baking powder. The baking powder helps neutralize the acid in the recipe and helps give it a more of a rise especially if you’re not using enough acidic ingredients. If a recipe can’t afford to have more acidic ingredients as it would compromise the recipe baking powder is added to substitute for the rise needed in order for the recipe to be a success.

For example, if you were to bake a cookie some people prefer to use both baking powder and soda because it gives it a spread and rise. If you exclude baking soda which nothing is wrong with that one cookie will rise more and not spread and if you just use baking powder, the other cookie that uses baking soda will just spread and not have the rise. It comes down to preference and how you like your baked goods.

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