We’ve all faced this scenario some time in our life. We start mixing ingredients for a recipe, and we realize there is no baking powder at home. So, what do you do? Do you leave the mixture on the kitchen shelf and rush to the nearest supermarket or do you throw the dough away? Well, the answer is neither. There are many baking powder substitutes that are readily available in our homes that you can use in your baking recipes.
What is baking powder?
Baking powder is a powder which is used in baking recipes to make the final product soft and light. If you do not use baking powder, your cakes and loaves of bread will be flat and hard.
Baking powder is made up of sodium bicarbonate, which is a base. It is mixed with an acid like cream of tartar to counteract it. When we put this mixture in water, there is an acid-base reaction, and this releases carbon dioxide. This carbon dioxide is what gives the baked products the soft and light texture.
Replacement for baking powder
Here are some of the baking powder substitutes.
Yogurt is made by fermenting milk. The fermentation process lowers the ph level of the milk and turns it acidic. The sugars in the milk break down and cause the release of acetic acid.
Plain yogurt works the best as a substitute as it provides the acidity but not the flavor. In fact, the flavored yyogurtshave a more basic pH level.
You can replace one teaspoon of baking powder with help cup of plain yoghurt and one-fourth teaspoon of baking soda.
Sour milk is the perfect replacement for baking powder in a recipe. Sour milk already has the bacteria in it that turns it acidic. You will get the same leavening effect in your baking by using this product as you would get if you were using baking soda. If this case too you must reduce the volume of other liquids in the recipe.
Replace one teaspoon of baking powder with a half cup of sour milk and a quarter teaspoon of baking soda.
Buttermilk is a fermented product which has a sour taste similar to that of yoghurt. It is made when we churn cream to form butter. Bacteria are added when buttermilk is manufactured commercially. Fermenting cream turns it from sugar into acid.
You can use buttermilk mixed with baking soda for your baking recipes. To replace one teaspoon of baking powder in a recipe, add half a cup of buttermilk and a quarter teaspoon of baking soda.
You don’t want your mixture to become too runny, reduce the amounts of other liquids in the recipe to compensate for the half cup of buttermilk.
Cream of tartar
Cream of tartar is a white powdery product that is formed during winemaking. Cream of tartar is used in various baking recipes and is also used to keep egg whites fluffy. Cream of tartar is a natural substitute for baking powder and is readily available in the grocery stores.
Replace one teaspoon of baking powder with two teaspoons of cream of tartar and a quarter teaspoon of baking soda.
Molasses is also produced during the sugar production process and is often used as a replacement for refined sugar. This thick syrupy liquid can be used for sweetening cakes, cookies and loaves of bread.
If you have diabetes you must check with your doctor about using molasses, after all, it is sugar. Molasses, when combined with baking soda, it is a good substitute for baking powder. Make sure you adjust the amount of liquid and sugar in your recipe when you add molasses.
You can replace one teaspoon of baking powder with a quarter cup of molasses and one-fourth teaspoon of baking soda.
Vinegar is also produced through a fermentation process. You can use it in numerous recipes due to its acidic properties. White vinegar is better than apple cider vinegar as it does not have as strong a taste.
Substitute a teaspoon of baking powder with a quarter teaspoon of baking soda and a half teaspoon of white vinegar.
Lemon juice is another option that can replace baking powder in your recipes. Since it contains high amounts of citric acid, it can help with the rising process.
However, lemons also have an overpowering flavour and using too much of lemon juice can alter the taste of your final product. So, use them in recipes that require only a little bit of baking powder.
Replace one teaspoon of baking powder with one-fourth teaspoon of baking soda and half a teaspoon of lemon juice.
Whipped egg whites
The process of whipping egg whites adds air bubbles to the mixture, and this makes the final product light and fluffy. In fact, many recipes use whipped egg whites instead of baking powder for the fluffy and light effect.
You can make souffles, meringues and pancakes by using this technique.
Gently beat the egg whites till they turn foamy. Then turn up the speed of the egg beater and beat them till they form soft peaks. Once you do this, fold in the rest of the ingredients gently.
Club soda contains sodium bicarbonate; in fact, you can call it liquid baking soda. Baking soda can add fluffiness to any baking product. There is a tiny amount of baking soda in club soda, so make sure you use this substitute on only those recipes that require just a small amount of baking soda.
Club soda can also replace water or milk in the recipes as the mixture can become too runny otherwise. It is a good baking substitute for those who have diabetes or are lactose intolerant.
Self-rising flour contains all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. It is a convenient substitute if you don’t have baking powder at home. Just replace the regular flour in your recipe with this flour and follow the rest of the recipe in the same way.
Choose the baking powder substitute wisely
Choose the baking powder substitute intelligently, depending on the recipes you are following and the health of those who have to consume the final product.
Molasses, for example, is an excellent baking powder substitute for baked desserts. However, you should avoid using molasses if you have a person with diabetes in your family.
Vinegar and lemon juice have a dominant flavour, so they should be used as a substitute for recipes that demand very little use of baking powder.
For people who are lactose intolerant, club soda is a great alternative.
Make baking powder at home
If you do not bake very often, you can also make baking powder at home as and when you require it. Baking powder loses its effectiveness in three to four months, especially if you expose it to moisture.
To make baking powder, mix one part of baking soda with two parts of cream of tartar. Add a teaspoon of cornstarch to prevent it from getting clumpy.
Now that you know about so many baking powder substitutes, we are sure your cakes will come out as soft and fluffy as you desire.