Friday, October 13, 2006

Baking Powder and Substitutes

Here are several ways to make baked goods rise without using corn or other allergens, with hypoallergenic baking powder or other substitutes:

Corn-Free Baking Powder from The Complete Food Allergy Cookbook by Marilyn Gioannini

"It is easy and economical to make your own baking powder. The basic ingredients are cream of tartar and baking soda. Cream of tartar is an acid, and baking soda is a base, and when they are mixed with liquid, bubbles form. Arrowroot powder is added to help keep it free-flowing. If the mixture cakes, mash it with your finger in the measuring spoon.

"To make your own corn=free baking powder, mix together 2 parts cream of tartar, 1 part baking soda, and 2 parts arrowroot powder. Store in an airtight container, and substitute in any recipe calling for baking powder. It is more economical to buy cream of tartar and arrowroot powder at a natural foods store, especially if they are sold in bulk.

"This is a single-acting baking powder. That is, all of the rising occurs as soon as the liquid is added to the dry ingredients. For best results, mix all of the dry ingredients well, mix the wet ingredients separately, and have the pan and oven ready to go before mixing them together. Keep mixing to a minimum."

I believe you can also use tapioca flour, potato flour, or another kind of starch instead of the arrowroot.

Or you can just leave out the starch altogether and substitute 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar and 1/4 tsp. baking soda for each teaspoon of baking power called for in the recipe.

If you are allergic to grapes or glutamates, you should be aware that cream of tartar (a.k.a tartaric acid) is a grape-derived acid salt that is a byproduct of the fermentation in wine-making.

You can often substitute vinegar (but not white vinegar if you're allergic to corn) , lemon juice or any other edible acid for cream of tartar in recipes. You'd use 3 parts vinegar or fresh lemon juice to substitute for 1 part cream of tartar, and would probably need to lessen the amount of other liquids in the recipe accordingly.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to say but Cream of Tartar contains cornstarch.

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Kaos said...

I have done research on cream of tartar, and nowhere on the web can I find anything indicating there is cornstarch in it, including on sites that specified what cream of tartar is (and is not).

Kaos said...

Oh, and I also went to several sites for corn sensitivities, giving lists of what foods and products contain corn. Cream of tartar is not listed on any of them.

purple_kangaroo said...

I have never been able to find anything saying that Cream of Tartar contains any corn derivatives either.

Here is a page explaining in some detail how it is refined and turned into a powder with the use of Potassium Hydroxide:

Many highly corn-sensitive individuals use cream of tartar on a regular basis. I am pretty sure it does not contain cornstarch.

Here's another very detailed description from OK Kosher (ellipses are where extraneous information was included):

"Cream of tartar is produced from the argols or white stone which is the reddish incrustation of crystallized cream of tartar upon the inner walls of wine vats during fermentation. These argols are removed from the walls with a torch. They are as hard and as dry as a rock. After this they are allowed to dry in open burlap bags (not plastic) for two to three years. . . . . They are then placed in a furnace of 800 to 900 degrees. . . . After the argols are baked in a furnace, they are ground to powder form. Part of the powder is put into sulphuric acid and part into carbonate of soda. Then they are blended. The color is removed by carbon, it is filtered and then dried. The final product is a white powder that has no wine taste."

Anonymous said...

I agree that none of my research has shown that Cream of Tartar would contain cornstarch. I do, however, have a significant and obvious reaction to Cream of Tartar and not to grapes or wine. The only things I react to are grains, in fact. I am thinking it may be possible that some companies might add a grain based substance for preservation? Or maybe some brands process them on the same lines?

Anonymous said...

I can not find any information regarding allergies to cream of tartar but I think my son is allergic to it. Any resources that can help

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