Check baking powder first because baking powder is one of the leavening agents. It can expire unexpectedly, you need to test it. Furthermore, if you are like me and have precious little time to waste on ruining your homemade treats, it makes sense.
What is a leavening agent?
Leavening agents work by adding gas to your baked goods like rolls, pizza dough, cupcakes, cookies and cakes. The three most common are baking soda, baking powder and yeast.
Baking soda needs some type of acid to activate it. This can be buttermilk, juice or vinegar. Carbon dioxide is they byproduct gas created when baking soda is combined with an acid. Hence, you don’t want your cupcakes tasting like carbon dioxide, consequently don’t add too much! Baking soda will also give your baked goods a firm crust, like in an Irish Soda Bread.
Baking powder is a mixture of powders, including baking soda. This mixture of powder includes it’s own acid, cream of tartar and cornstarch. The cornstarch adds bulk and a smooth and dryer texture to the powder. Cornstarch absorbs moisture prolonging the life of the baking soda. In addition, adding the starch to the baking soda, creates a smoother texture in the baked goods. Finally,recipes for cakes and cupcakes use baking powder for a quick rise and soft crumb texture on the inside and baking soda to ensure a stable crust.
Another great idea! You can make your own baking powder, too. Mix 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 2 tablespoons baking soda, and 4 tablespoons cream of tartar. For example, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 1 tablespoon baking soda, and 2 tablespoons cream of tartar. Store in an airtight container for longer shelf life
Testing the baking powder is simple.
So, to test baking powder you only need to grab a few items and you will have it verified in no time flat. I know you have all three items in your kitchen right now. They are baking powder, boiling water and a clean glass. Yes, that’s it. Therefore, let’s get testing.
Place 1 teaspoon baking powder into the glass and pour about 1/3 cup water over the top.