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Baking Powder - Defined with Recipes

Royal Baking Powder Vintage Ad

Royal Baking Powder Vintage Ad © 1921

Baking Powder Is better made than bought; the following receipt is cheap and effective: five pounds of tartaric acid, eight pounds of bi-carbonate of soda, sixteen pounds of potato flour, mixed and rubbed through a fine sieve. By the addition of a quarter of an ounce of turmeric to eight pounds of baking powder you produce EGG POWDER, which saves eggs and gives richness of color.

Miss Princine Pure Phosphate Baking Powder Vintage Ad

Miss Princine Pure Phosphate Baking Powder Vintage Ad © 1920 The Southern Manufacturing Co.

THEN If you have sour milk or buttermilk, which costs nothing. Baking-Powder manufacturers say: “ Do not use Cream Tartar and Soda,” and then expatiate at length on the danger of adulteration, and the liability of housekeepers using these articles in the wrong proportion, even if obtained pure, thereby making cookery heavy or yellow, with an alkaline taste.

Whereas, the fact is that the best Baking Powder is composed of a mixture of these two identical substances (Cream Tartar and Soda), with the addition of starch enough to repel moisture.

Now, Soda or Saleratus is an article which, by the improved modem methods of manufacture, can be made so pure and cheaply that it does not pay to adulterate it. With Cream Tartar it is different.

This acid, when pure, commands so great a price that it becomes a strong temptation to the unscrupulous dealer to adulterate. The price of one pound of good Baking Powder will furnish a large family with Soda enough for some months.

The farmer’s wife has always an acid free to her hands in the shape of sour milk or buttermilk, which can be used both as an acid to neutralize the Soda or Saleratus, also as a means of wetting the dough. Why, then, should she go to the expense of buying Baking Powder or Cream Tartar when she only needs Soda?

THE large increase in the use of Baking Powder off A late years has induced unscrupulous persons to enter into the manufacture of cheap and inferior Baking Powders, producing deleterious effects on the health of families using them.

One eminent chemist, after analyzing nearly fifty different brands, determined tha fifty per cent, were grossly adulterated. The question however, arises, “ What is adulteration in Baking Powder?” as the best goods manufactured must contain about twenty-five per cent, of starch to repel moistures, which, of course, takes one-quarter of the strength the powder away.

Ryzon Baking Powder Vintage Ad

Ryzon Baking Powder Vintage Ad © 1920 General Chemical Co.

The sole value in Baking Powder is the rising property, or carbonic acid gas, which is contained in the Soda or Saleratus alone. It follows that a11 other materials comprised in Baking Powder are adulterations.

The safest and most economical plat, ia to use only Church & Co.’s Arm and Hammers Brand Soda or Saleratus, or, if Baking Powders are preferred, housekeepers can make the best quality at home.

Any good cook, by a few experiments or trials with Sour Milk and Soda, can form recipes of her own, which will be more delicious and tasteful than when made by the use of Baking Powder, and have the additional satisfaction of knowing what materials there are in the cookery, and consequently a knowledge of its absolute healthfulness.

In using Soda or Saleratus in recipes containing molasses, remember always to put the dry Soda in a bowl and pour the syrup on to the Soda. It will dissolve quickly, foam up, and make your cake or pudding a beautiful golden yellow. Hot lard can also be poured on the Soda to dissolve it, but never boiling-hot water in recipes for baking.

Baking Powder Biscuits

Baking Powder Biscuits © 1917 The Business of Being a Housewife

Baking Powder Biscuit I

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon lard
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup milk and water in equal parts
1 teaspoon salt 
1 tablespoon butter

Mix dry ingredients, and sift twice. Work in butter and lard with tips of fingers; add gradually the liquid, mixing with knife to a soft dough. It is impossible to determine the exact amount of liquid, owing to differences in flour. Toss on a floured board, pat and roll lightly to one-half inch in thickness. Shape with a biscuit-cutter. Place on buttered pan, and bake in hot oven twelve to fifteen minutes. If baked in too slow an oven, the gas will escape before it has done its work. Many obtain better results by using bread flour.

The Ladies' Home Journal "Kitchen Movie:" Making Baking Powder Biscuits

The Ladies' Home Journal "Kitchen Movie:" Making Baking Powder Biscuits © 1916

Baking Powder Biscuit II

2 cups flour
2 tablespoons butter
4 teaspoons baking powder 
3/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix and bake as Baking Powder Biscuit I.

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Epicurean Cooking Terms

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