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Jan 23, 2014 04:00 PM

Does Baker's Ammonia (Ammonium Carbonate) need a hecsher?

I have seen this ingredient listed in some recipes and wonder if it need a certification? If it does, does anyone know where it can be purchased - Whole Foods, Trader Joe's?

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    1. re: Mashgiach

      Can you explain to me why it doesn't need certification. I am not sure how it is made but it is a powder - is it ground up?

      1. re: lukfam

        Well, old-time Ammonium Carbonate was called hartshorn because it was made from the antlers of a deer (hart).

        Hart's horn (hartshorn) ceased to be involved with the rise of industrial chemistry in the mid-19th century. The modern powder made in an industrial lab from the interaction of carbon dioxide and ammonia.

        So, unless you're buying ammonium carbonate made from grass-fed, pasture-raised, organic, locally produced antlers of male deer for sale at the Park Slope Food Co-op...

    2. My mother used to purchase it at a pharmacy. She made an old German cookie recipe with it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Tripper

        Got mine about two years ago from King Arthur catalog. I think it had a hechsher. .

      2. What recipes is this showing up in?

        1 Reply
        1. re: DeisCane

          Some biscuit and cookie recipes.

        2. in case you're wondering, as counter-intuitive as it might be, the reason why you would be using ammonia in baking would be so the dough would be basic (as opposed to acidic), which can help in browning...this is primarily how pretzels and bagels are baked, although they will use lye which is more basic than ammonia.
          If you can't get your hands on bakers ammonia, you can try milk of magnesia, or even baking soda, which is a lot less basic than ammonia, but if you want, you can actually bake the baking soda which makes it more basic
          (if you're interested, I wrote about it when I made bagels using "baked" baking soda...http://thekoshergastronome.wordpress....)

          1. I just wanted to relay the results of my search efforts. I ended up calling the OU hotline and their response was it did NOT need certification.