Your butternut squash, eggs and milk are ready to be turned into delicious butternut squash pancakes, and then, just as you reach for the bowl to combine the dry ingredients, the unimaginable happens: you realize your baking powder has expired or, even worse, you're all out! Before you make an emergency trip to the store, take another look in your cupboards. It's likely that everything you need to make your own baking powder is right under your nose!
No, it's not that your kitchen pantry needs to be organized. In fact, the solution to this common baking problem is simple: baking powder doesn't need to be bought in the store if you have the two ingredients you need to make your own: baking soda and cream of tartar.
How To Make Your Own Baking Powder
Baking soda is a leavening agent in its own right. Baking soda is used in quickbread or cookie recipes as a quick-acting leavening agent that usually reacts with acids, like yogurt, lemon juice or chocolate.
Cream of tartar is an acid; when combined with baking soda, it makes baking powder. Because cream of tartar has been added to the mix, baking powder needs no other acid, which is why it can be used in recipes that contain no acidic ingredients.
In order to create your own baking powder for use in recipes, combine one part baking soda to two parts cream of tartar. Use immediately. If you'd like to make more for use later, add one part cornstarch. However, bear in mind the fact that while baking soda has no expiration date, baking powder does. It's therefore best to always make and use in the same sitting.
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Image: Nicki Dugan