Flours, Baking Powder, Baking Soda etc.
What does all of this white powder stuff do and how can I make it if I run out?
Self Raising Flour
The self raising flour that we buy in supermarkets is a mixture of plain flour with the addition of a leavening agent (and sometimes salt), used to achieve the desired leavening in cooking and baking.
Self-raising flour in the UK is actually different to self-rising flour (US). The UK version includes flour blended with a generous helping of baking powder whereas the US version is a blend of flour, a small amount of baking powder, and salt.
So if you don’t have self raising flour (UK) all you need is plain flour and baking powder to make your own.
How to make self raising flour?
Combine 1 cup of plain flour and 2 teaspoons of baking powder in a glass bowl and mix together then sieve again into another bowl.
Baking powder is used to increase the volume and lighten the texture of baked goods. It works by releasing carbon dioxide gas into a batter or dough through an acid reaction, causing bubbles in the wet mixture to expand and thus leavening the mixture.
Baking Soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate or bicarbonate of Soda is widely used in baking as it has leavening properties, meaning it causes dough to rise by producing carbon dioxide.
Cream of Tartar
Cream of tartar consists of tartaric acid, which is a wine-making byproduct. Baking powder contains cream of tartar along with baking soda. The cream of tartar, as well as being a stabiliser, reacts with the baking soda to release carbon dioxide bubbles that result in its leavening action.
How do I make baking powder?
Combine half a teaspoon of cream of tartar and a quarter teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. This provides the equivalent of one teaspoon of baking powder.
All of these added ingredients can leave an after taste if you add too much. If a recipe calls for a teaspoon or half teaspoon, it means a level spoon. Run a knife across the powder.