What is Baking Powder

     baking powderBaking Powder: is a chemical compound that consists of Baking Soda, dry acids and fillers (normally starch) that reacts in the presence of liquid and heat.  When working with Baking powder it is important to understand appropriate quantities. Too much baking powder will cause the flour mixture to stretch too far causing the flour walls to break and then collapse whereas, too little will create a compact product. Baking powder is generally used to make muffins, puddings, cakes, waffles, cookies, pancakes, etc. There are two types of Baking Powder:

  • Single Acting Baking Powder:  Contains cream of tartar or tartaric acid (Potassium hydrogen tartrate). They quickly release carbon dioxide when added to liquid. Such mixtures must be baked relatively quickly in order to preserve the released gas and to avoid your baked goods from falling flat.  Quickly baking the mixture ensures that it retains the gas and rises as desired.
  • Double Acting Baking Powder: Contains calcium acid phosphate and sodium aluminum sulfate. This type of leaven is referred to as “Double Acting” primarily because it has a 2-step rising process. It contains 2 types of acids one that reacts to cold liquid and the other reacts to heat. So, when added to a flour mixture, in the first step the baking powder is mixed with a liquid ingredient causing carbon dioxide gas to form causing the mixture to rise.  But it releases only a portion of its gas during the first step and the remaining part is released during the baking process when the mixture is heated causing a further expansion. Read more about different types of Leavening Agents here

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