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What's the Best Baking Powder?

David Kahn Apr 21, 2008 11:51 AM

Is Rumford still considered the best? (This is for biscuits, if that matters.)

  1. j
    Judi0044 Apr 21, 2008 04:27 PM

    I've found it doesn't matter as long as it's fresh - that's been the operative in all the years I've been baking.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Judi0044
      FoodFuser Apr 21, 2008 11:15 PM

      Rumford. I tuck a paper silica gel pack in the can, because it degrades over time due to humidity.

      1. re: FoodFuser
        alkapal Apr 28, 2008 05:24 AM

        very cool tip, food fuser (drier cousin of sponge bob!)

        that is a great use for those packets that i usually just throw away! now i will think of repurposing them in lots of ways.

        would a packet be fine for salt shaker, too?

        1. re: alkapal
          FoodFuser Apr 28, 2008 10:38 AM

          I still use white rice in the salt shaker, because it gets constantly agitated.

          The silica gel packs are for stationary jar storage: dried mushrooms, pasta, nori, home-dried onions, and dried chili pods.

          You can zap the gel packs in a microwave in 20 second pulses to dry them out and restore their dessicating power.

          Thanks for this thread, folks. It has prompted me to also put the can of Rumford into a small screwed top jar, for further protection against the upcoming humidity.

          1. re: FoodFuser
            lupaglupa Apr 28, 2008 02:13 PM

            The Baker's Catalog sells a tin with a glass top expressly for storing baking powder. I've been wondering if it was worth it.

            1. re: lupaglupa
              j
              jlafler Apr 28, 2008 08:33 PM

              It depends on where you live. If you live in a very humid climate, then it might be worth it.

              1. re: lupaglupa
                toodie jane May 16, 2008 11:33 AM

                the old baking powders used to come in cool round tins. Wish I had one now. I use a small mason jar.

                1. re: toodie jane
                  Candy May 16, 2008 02:11 PM

                  Rumford comes in a tin. It also has an edge inside to help you level off the measuring spoon.

      2. s
        suse Apr 21, 2008 04:59 PM

        I actually use a German baking powder called Weinstein - it's phospate-free and doesn't have that weird aftertaste. Haven't been able to find it in the States though. Does anyone know of a phosphate-free baking powder in the U.S.?

        3 Replies
        1. re: suse
          Caitlin McGrath Apr 21, 2008 09:12 PM

          Rumford has no aluminum phosphate. Definitely my preference, as well.

          1. re: Caitlin McGrath
            s
            suse Apr 22, 2008 05:27 AM

            No, but calcium acid phosphate.

            1. re: suse
              Caitlin McGrath Apr 28, 2008 08:20 PM

              Well, you could always mix up your own single acting BP from soda and cream of tartar...

        2. ChefJune Apr 21, 2008 05:01 PM

          I use Rumsford's... if there is any better one available, I haven't heard of it.

          1. b
            bakergal Apr 21, 2008 08:13 PM

            I very much dislike the taste of Calumet. Rumsford is much better.

            1. lupaglupa Apr 22, 2008 05:37 AM

              Another vote for Rumsford - ever since I worked as a baker and my boss pointed out the metallic taste of most baking powders I have used Rumsford. Sometimes I get commercially baked things and can't eat them due to the taste! Probably in my head as the amounts are so small......

              1 Reply
              1. re: lupaglupa
                Gio Apr 22, 2008 06:00 AM

                I have used Rumford but presently use Davis. I can't tell the difference. Both do what they're supposed to do.

              2. k
                karykat Apr 22, 2008 08:07 AM

                I like Rumsford because it doesn't have the aluminum. I can really taste the aluminum in the other stuff. It is supposedly double-acting (starts rising on contact with moisture and again in the oven with heat) but supposedly rises more in the first phase and less in the oven. I didn't know this until recently. Thought the different kinds acted the same. Here's what the company says itself:


                "As an all-phosphate baking powder, Rumford Baking Powder does not contain any aluminum. This property makes it somewhat faster acting than typical double-acting baking powders. You’ll still see a boost of leavening in the oven, but most of the reaction occurs in the mixing bowl. While this makes a more delicate crumb structure in the finished product, do not dawdle. You’ve got to work quickly for best results."

                Even though they act a little differently, I would stick with Rumsford for better taste.

                1. Antilope Apr 22, 2008 08:12 AM

                  You will get a lot of individual opinions, but after a Google search, I couldn't find any reviews of baking powder brands.

                  1. g
                    Grape Nut Apr 22, 2008 08:50 AM

                    Epicurious has a recipe for baking soda - 2 parts cream of tartar to 1 part baking soda, sifted together well.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Grape Nut
                      w
                      Whyputaname Sep 15, 2013 06:38 AM

                      Thank you for the info ;)

                      I think that making it yourself is the best way to go considering what the Store Bought has in it.. Some the first ingredient is Salt and for some people who don't read the label they add extra salt that the recipe calls for then wonder why the recipe comes out salty..

                      Advice: Read the labels people!

                      I learned that from Emeril Lagasse...

                    2. alkapal Apr 28, 2008 05:28 AM

                      somewhere else on chow, people were lauding clabber girl. i bought some, but haven't used it yet. opinions?

                      also, if it is unopened, does it still age to ineffectiveness?

                      1. Candy Apr 28, 2008 01:29 PM

                        Rumford, Calumet and Clabber Girl are all made by the same company in Terre Haute, IN. Rumford is thier best with the highest carbon dioxide yield. CG the lowest. Though I keep min tightly covered, I use Damon Lee Fowler's suggestion that you shake the tin well before using. I just stir it up from the bottom. It helps to keep the raising power more even.

                        In foods class in college many years ago our prof. made us bake identical recipes side by side by side trying each baking powder. The differences were significant and the muffins we baked with Rumford had better flavor too.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Candy
                          MMRuth Apr 28, 2008 01:31 PM

                          Thanks for that - I'd read your tip elsewhere about stirring it up, and that makes perfect sense.

                          1. re: Candy
                            j
                            jlafler Apr 28, 2008 08:38 PM

                            Interesting. Good tip about stirring the powder.

                            The other thing I do to minimize any metallic/bitter flavor is sift the baking powder through a very fine strainer when I add it to the other dry ingredients. I don't usually sift other dry ingredients, but breaking up any lumps of baking powder (or baking soda) is essential.

                          2. Jennalynn Apr 28, 2008 01:39 PM

                            To make your own baking powder combine 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda.

                            This is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of commercial baking powder.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Jennalynn
                              p
                              peppatty May 17, 2008 10:34 AM

                              I just used my homemade baking powder in pancakes (used 4 tsp. and not buttermilk pancakes) and it worked beautifully. It does not have a metalic taste like commercial baking powder.

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