Baking Powder Bread


Royal Baking Powder Co.

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Tonight, we’ll read  from “The New Royal Cook Book by Royal Baking Powder Co.” published in 1920.

When the first truly American cookbook was published in 1792, the recipes included used three possible types of leavening: baker's yeast, emptins (from the leavings of brewing beer), and pearlash.

The effectiveness of such leavenings varied widely. At that time, reliable commercial products were not available.  

The creation of shelf-stable chemical combinations of sodium bicarbonate and cream of tartar is seen as marking the true introduction of baking powder later in the 1800s. Although cooks had used both sodium bicarbonate and cream of tartar previously in recipes, they had to purchase the ingredients individually from chemists and store them separately to prevent them from reacting prematurely.

Regardless of the expiration date, the effectiveness can be tested by placing a teaspoon of the powder into a small container of hot water. If it bubbles vigorously, it is still active and usable.