Being a bit sensitive to some ingredients has drawn me further into the pursuit of making things myself, from scratch. The curious world of store-bought may have been a brief history so far, but I’m regularly amazed to discover how rarely I know the source and process of foods, and only know the products. Many products I thought were complex can be simply made, often more economically, and of a better quality. Baking powder is a curiousity like this.
Baking powder, a rising agent, is extraordinarily easy to make. If you’d like to make a jarful to store til you’re next baking biscuits and cakes, you’ll need three ingredients:
1 part sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to 2 parts cream of tartar to 1 part starch.
I use potato starch as a substitute for corn starch. Shake them very well. That last ingredient extends the life of the mixed powders, so if you just want to assemble what you need fresh, leave that part out. I’m not sure why adding aluminium to baking powder was a good idea, precisely, but if you’re determined to buy the stuff, there are aluminium-free versions. It’s unlikely I’ll make my own baking soda and cream of tartar from scratch, but you never know.