If you have run out of baking powder and need to make a batch, it’s not too difficult. It takes just two ingredients, cream of tartar and baking soda, and you can store it in a jar for up to a year.
The key to making sure your homemade baking powder stays as fresh as possible is to mix it right before use. This will prevent the two ingredients from reacting prematurely, clumping up, and losing their potency.
To make baking powder at home, combine level 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar (potassium bitartrate) and 1/4 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda). If you’re not planning to bake with it immediately, you can add a pinch of cornstarch or arrowroot powder to stop the ingredients from clumping up and extend your storage time.
Once mixed, place the baking powder in a small container that has a tight-fitting lid and store it in a cool, dry place. It’s also a good idea to label the container and the lid so you don’t forget what it contains.
Baking powder is usually double-acting, which means it will react with the liquid in the recipe and help the batter or dough rise. If you want to know if your baking powder is single-acting, just look for the ingredient list and see if the first two ingredients are monocalcium phosphate and sodium bicarbonate or sodium aluminum sulfate.
It is important to measure the amount of baking powder you need carefully, as too much can cause the batter or dough to flatten. This is especially true if you’re using an acidic ingredient to activate the baking powder.
In a pinch, you can also add a splash of lemon juice, vinegar or yogurt to the recipe to help it activate the baking powder. The acid will create carbon dioxide gas, which will make the batter or dough rise.
How to Measuring Dry Powder
You can use a measuring cup or spoon to measure the amount of baking powder you need. Most sets of measuring cups and spoons come with 1 tablespoon, 1 teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon and 1/4 teaspoon sizes. To measure smaller amounts, you can also use a straight edge or the back of a knife to level off the top of the measuring cup or spoon.
When measuring dry powders, such as baking powder, you should always measure in a spoon & level manner. This is because powders like baking soda tend to clump up, so they can become difficult to measure with a spoon.
Once you have measured your desired amount, add it to a clean bowl or a measuring cup and use a level to check that it is evenly distributed. If it isn’t, it may need to be mixed a little more thoroughly with your hands before you transfer it to the container for storage.
When you’re ready to bake with your new baking powder, simply add it to the dry ingredients and stir to distribute them properly in the recipe. It will only take a few seconds to do so and your baked goods will be fluffy, light, and delicious.