That’s what I thought when I first discovered it a few days ago while researching Tea Breads. Although I have no interest in the ancient origins and histories of food, quirky things intrigue me and I had to know more. The advantages to making your own include freshness, no chemical taste in the finished baked goods, avoidance of GMO’s by purchasing organic cornstarch, and aluminum free baking.
My off the shelf baking powder contains calcium acid pyrophosphate, cornstarch, sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, and monocalcium phosphate. Some baking powders also contain aluminum compounds which create a metallic taste in food.
We’ll take these ingredients one at a time:
Calcium acid pyrophosphate is a chemical compound formed by the reaction of pyrophosphoric acid and calcium phosphate. It is often used as an abrasive in toothpaste.
Cornstarch is how it sounds.
Sodium bicarbonate is baking soda.
Potassium bicarbonate is often added to bottled water to affect the taste.
Monocalcium phosphate is phosphate rock treated with calcium carbonate and is used as a fertilizer.
If you make your own, these are the three ingredients you will need:
Baking soda, cornstarch, and cream of tartar, which is potassium bitartrate, a crystalline residue that forms in wine casks during fermentation.
Your homemade baking powder should be made fresh each time you bake or make pancakes. If you keep the 3 ingredients together (I have mine in an antique metal berry bucket – so cute) along with a small sifter, you’ll be all set to go at the drop of a hat or some drop biscuits!
- ½ teaspoon cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- Sift together all of the ingredients and use immediately.
- Makes 1 teaspoon. Increase proportionately as needed.
It could be that I’m a super-taster with an extra helping of tastebuds, but I really can tell the difference in my baked goods now that I’m making my white stuff from scratch. If not, at least the delusion is satisfying.