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Thread: Testing for effectiveness of baking powder...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Burnaby, B.C.
    Posts
    217

    Testing for effectiveness of baking powder...

    Could someone please tell me how you test your baking powder to see if it is still effective. I know I saw it on this BB one time and knowing how forgetful I am, I should have written it down but then again, I probably forgot!!!

    If someone could let me know how you go about testing I would really appreciate it.

    Thanks a million. (P.S. Just baked 6 dozen cookies and they are flat as a pancake. Don't know if the baking powder is the problem or the cook!)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Delaware
    Posts
    118
    Take a glass of hot water, and add some baking powder to it. If it's still good, it will bubble. Also, look at the bottom of the can. The expiration date is usually embossed on it.

    (To test baking SODA - not powder - add it to vinegar. If it's good, it will bubble).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    rural southern NJ and NYC
    Posts
    2,273
    they are so NOT costly (and usually during on sale nov-dec) that i still just buy new ones each year. this year i'm paying about 50 cents for the Baking Soda and about $1 for the BP. since i use more BS, i recyle it 3x/year. when i renew my baking soda stash, i toss the fridge container down the disposal drain and let it soak, and refill my everyday baking soda into an 8-oz Ball jar, and then also put the open box back into the fridge.

    in my view, if i'm spending some substantial $$ on the other ingredients, then it would be preposterous not to buy a fresh batch of each.
    What one understands is only half true. What one does not understand is the full truth. ~ Zen saying

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    12,171
    I think she wants to just test her baking powder to see if that was the reason for the flat cookies.

    I don't think she is looking to be a cheapskate.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Hollywood, California
    Posts
    10,883
    Does baking powder go bad or lose its potency?

    A. It does. Fresh baking powder should be good for three to six months once you open the container. There should be a date stamped on the bottom of the can so you can tell if you're buying fresh baking powder in the first place. It begins to lose its ability to leaven baked foods when it comes in contact with moisture, so storing it is a dry place will increase its longevity. For the same reason, never dip a damp measuring spoon into the can. The reason cornstarch is an ingredient in baking powder is that it helps keep the active ingredients baking soda and cream of tartar or another acid dry. But cornstarch can only do so much and only for so long. If you're not a prolific baker, you should be buying baking powder in small quantities.

    To test the vitality of your baking powder, add a teaspoon of it to a third of a cup of hot water. If it foams and bubbles, it has enough oomph left. If it just sits there, it's time to run to the store or here's a thought you can make your own. Combine a tablespoon of baking soda with 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar and 1-1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch. It may not have the same potency as a good store-bought double-acting baking powder, but it will serve in a pinch.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Burnaby, B.C.
    Posts
    217
    Thanks, Val, you are right, I'm just wanting to see if the baking powder was the reason for the flat cookies but I guess it wasn't as I tested it in hot water and "bubble, it did" so I guess it's okay. And thanks everyone else for your input. It is much appreciated.

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