This is really worth doing! I love to bake and I do it often enough that it’s worth it to mix up a small batch of homemade baking powder.
So why bother? Because you really can taste the difference. Commercial baking powders contain a preservative called aluminum-sulfate, which lends a metallic taste that is not very appetizing. I can’t imagine that it does your body any good either. This is especially prevalent in baked goods like scones, muffins and quick breads (angel biscuits, anyone?). I find it so much more gratifying to serve up baked goods that don’t contain this metallic aftertaste!
Homemade baking powder contains just three ingredients: Cream of tartar, baking soda (bi-carbonate of soda) and corn starch (corn flour). All you need is some measuring spoons, a couple of bowls and a small sifter.
The main raising agent is the baking soda. Cream of tartar is very acidic, so it helps the baking soda react well when mixed with a wet batter. This ensures a good rise. The corn starch prevents the mixture from absorbing too much moisture so it stores well.
By the way, do you know what cream of tartar is? I realized I’ve been using it for years and didn’t have a clue. The not knowing began to drive me crazy, so…..baking nerd alert! It comes from grapes and it’s a by-product of the winemaking process. There you go!
Here’s how you make it: Measure out 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar, 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of corn starch into a small bowl. Sift the mixture back and forth between the two bowls until the ingredients are very well incorporated.
Store the sifted mixture in an airtight container or well-sealed jar. The baking powder will keep in a dark pantry or cupboard for about 6 weeks. This recipe will yield 3 tablespoons (or 6 teaspoons) of baking powder, but you can easily double or halve the quantities in the recipe to get the amount you need.
- Cream of tartar: 2 tablespoons
- Baking soda (bi-carbonate of soda): 1 tablespoon
- Corn starch (corn flour): 1 teaspoon
- Combine the ingredients in a small bowl, then sift back and forth between two bowls three times, or whisk vigorously for at least 30 seconds.
- Store the baking powder in an air tight container. The baking powder will keep for about 6 weeks in a dark cupboard.