Baking powder is a staple in pantries across the world. It’s chemical leavener that provides a quick rise to quick doughs. It’s such a simple ingredient that works well. “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” that phrase comes to mind and in many cases that could be true for baking powder. But what if there was a way to prevent the reaction from happening so quickly. The moment you add baking powder is hydrated in a dough or batter the reaction begins. This isn’t a bad thing but it’s not quite ideal for that late rise. In doughs that are leavened with yeast there is a “last hurrah” during the baking process. This final rise that happens during the baking process gives breads that final boost it needs to create that signature shape. Baking powder attempts to do the same but it never quite works out the same way. But is there a way to improve upon the already great baking powder?
“What if there is a better baking powder?”
The Proof is in the Proof
Baking powder is a mixture of a base (sodium bicarbonate aka baking soda) and an acid. Think of this like a childhood science experiment when you added vinegar to baking soda to simulate a volcano. When the sodium bicarbonate reacts with the acid it creates carbon dioxide gas. This is similar to how yeast works, as it eats sugar and creates carbon dioxide gas. This happens quicker with baking powder than it does with yeast, hence the term “quick bread”. A word of advice, this doesn’t happen with all base solutions and an acid. Most other base culinary solutions (sodium hydroxide baths for bagels) will become neutralized when an acid is added rather than cause a reactions.
I’m Free Baking Powder is baking powder as we know it encapsulated in a thin layer of vegetable fat that doesn’t react until it is heated. The encapsulated baking powder are still fine enough to be a free flowing powder. This means they will be evenly distributed throughout the dough or batter. This works exceptionally well for gluten free baking that tends to result in dense bricks rather than airy loaves. Gluten free bread can benefit from using yeast, baking powder, and I’m free baking powder at the same time. In gluten free baking the dough needs as much help as it can get since gluten is a building block of traditional bread. As the fat is melted off of the baking powder it will react later in the baking process creating more air pockets and a softer texture. As for traditional breads this can be added as a way to significantly cut down proofing time as you can see in our 2 hour pizza recipe found here. A small amount of I’m Free Baking Powder can be added to any bread recipe that contains yeast too. This gives a final boost to the dough to ensure a more consistent loaf. This ingredient doesn’t replace baking powder all together, we actually like using it in conjunction with other leveners to get the best results possible out of every recipe. If you wanted to try it out in one of your favorite recipes we suggest starting out by replacing 50% of the baking powder in a current recipe with I’m Free Baking Powder. This is a good starting point to see how it can benefit your recipe. Or check out two of our recipes below!
Ready to get Cooking?
Give our Speedy Sicilian Pizza from Scratch recipe a try! Think a pizza that’s dough to done in under 2 hours is for the wishful thinker only? Think again!. This pizza recipe does it all from scratch, dough and even the sauce! Tuck into an airy focaccia-style Sicilian slice that’s anything but dense. How do we do it? It’s the I’m Free Baking Powder that gives it an extra-extraordinary lift in the oven without all that waiting around proof time. Bonus: Want to make it vegan? just top it with vegan mozzarella cheese instead.