Does baking powder go bad/loose its potency? I want to make some banana bread, and have a can that I opened almost a year ago but only used a couple teaspoons out of. (Obviously I don't do much baking). The can says "best if used by Oct 2007", but does that mean only if it is unopened? Is there a way to check its efficacy?
I think baking powder will last a very long time. But, if you are unsure, either make your own, or test your commercial powder. ("Best used by" doesn't mean "Has to be used by".)
* Exported from MasterCook *
Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1/2 cup cream of tartar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup cornstarch
Sift. Cover tightly in a tin. Makes 4 cups.
To test your baking power and baking soda - (Meaning, open partially used, containers)
Get out two small glasses or bowls and fill one with 3-4 tablespoons of white vinegar and fill the other with 3-4 tablespoons of room temperature water.
Add about 1/2 teaspoon baking soda to the bowl containing the vinegar and the same amount of baking powder to the water bowl. Each mixture should fizz up, with the soda/vinegar producing a bigger reaction.
If they both work, mark the containers with the date and check again in 6-12 months, (if not used them up by then) to make sure they're still active. If they don't fizz up, buy new.
HI Vancouver Lori....
Please discard it. As a former pastry baker...it is well known in the industry that old baking powder will lead to more baking failures. It does not last indefinitely. It is not worth compromising your time, money and efforts. Replenish it...baking powder is not expensive. Additionally, if you would like a banana bread to make pronto, find one that uses baking soda. There are plenty of recipes that use baking soda with buttermilk for acidity to create the leavening action. Make sure a baking soda leavened pastry goes in the oven for baking ASAP. And make sure you buy an aluminum free baking powder.
BUTTERMILK BANANA BREAD
1/2 c. butter (softened)
1 c. sugar
3 ripe bananas (better if skins are at least 80% black)
2 eggs (room temp)
4 tbsp. buttermilk
1 tsp. soda
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. chopped pecans or walnuts
Cream butter and sugar in mixer. Add bananas and mix well. Add eggs and continue mixing. Add soda that has been dissolved in buttermilk. Sift in flour and salt. Fold in nuts. Bake in 1 large (about 60 minutes) --or 2 small greased and floured loaf pans (check with toothpick after 40....should not be wet but have a few moist crumbs clinging to it) --350 degree oven.
Last edited by dneilson; 11-19-2006 at 11:03 PM.
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