Just about everyone is well aware of just how specific baking can get. From the exact measurements to the testy baking process, getting into baking can be a lot of trial and error and getting used to the idea that things won’t always go right the first time.
Of course, when you are baking, you will also need to make sure that your ingredients are in the best condition they can be.
If your baking ingredients are not in their best condition, then no matter how precise you are in your measurements, your dish can turn out wrong. This can result in poor taste, poor appearance, and so on.
Nobody wants this to happen to their baked goods, making it all the more important for you to know how to store baking ingredients.
Thankfully, most baking ingredients do not have strict storage requirements. For the most part, you will simply want to make sure that you are not storing the ingredients in places that are exposed to abnormal conditions.
This can include massive fluctuations in temperature and sunlight, changes in humidity, and exposure to moisture and the elements.
When you are thinking about how you should store baking ingredients, you will need to think about the ingredients that are the most vital to baking. While sugar, flour, and extract are all important in the baking process, they are quite hardy and it will be easy to tell when it goes bad.
However, some ingredients for baking are more sensitive to changes or have strict care requirements to storage.
Making Sure That Your Baking Powder Is Stored Properly
One ingredient that you will want to pay attention to is going to be your baking powder. Baking powder is a vital part of baking, and without it, many baking dishes will turn out poorly.
The key to making sure your dishes turn out well is to have a good baking powder. This makes it all the more important for you to make sure that you are storing your baking powder properly.
Baking powder is relatively lenient in the way that you store it. As with most baking ingredients, you will want to make sure that it is sealed in a cool and dark place, such as your cupboard.
You should always make sure that it is in a sealed container to prevent other particles from getting inside of the baking powder. Many people use the container that the powder came in. Nobody wants dust in their baked goods.
You should never, ever try to refrigerate or freeze your baking powder. While putting things in the fridge or freezer can extend the shelf life significantly, the opposite is true for baking powder.
Putting your baking powder in the fridge or freezer can end up ruining the powder, making it unusable for baking and meaning that you will have to purchase a new container of it.
This happens because the condensation from a fridge can cause the baking powder to activate inside the can. When this happens, it will not be possible to return the baking powder to its original state, rendering it useless for cooking. A similar event will happen if you choose to put the baking powder in the freezer instead.
The freezer’s harsh environment will damage the baking powder, meaning that you will not be able to use it for cooking anymore. Much like putting it in the fridge, putting the baking powder in the freezer will also put it in an irreversible state, meaning that you will not be able to fix it if you did this by mistake.
This is important to remember if you want to make sure that you do not end up wasting your baking powder.
Testing the Baking Powder for Freshness
As with many baking ingredients, baking powder can go bad. While you might not think about a powder being able to go bad or become unusable past its expiration date, baking powder is unique in the fact that it will not be nearly as effective if it is not fresh.
More often than not, you can use the can’s expiration or best-by date as a guide as to how old your baking powder is.
If you are unable to find the date, or if you put the baking powder into a different container, you might feel at a loss as to how you can check to make sure that your baking powder is still good. Thankfully, there is a method that you can use to test for freshness.
You will want to get about a quarter-cup of water for this test and it can be any temperature. Regular tap water will usually work best for this, as you usually do not want any outside factors affecting how the baking powder reacts to the water.
Once you have the quarter-cup of water, you will then want to mix about half a teaspoon of baking powder into the cup. You can stir it in to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed, but this is such a small amount that you likely will not have to do this.
If your baking powder is still fresh, then you can expect it to begin to bubble up after you stir it a little bit. If it doesn’t react to the water, it might be time to replace your baking powder.
When baking powder goes bad, it won’t be dangerous to your health, so you won’t have to worry about accidentally ingesting it. However, expired baking powder will not be nearly as effective as helping your baked goods rise when they are in the oven. This means that your meals can turn out flat and with the wrong texture.
Depending on what you are making, this may not matter as much. However, for baked goods that rely heavily on rising or on their texture, you should always be using fresh baking powder that is stored properly so that you can get the full effects of it.
When you use the right baking powder, you can rest assured knowing that you are doing everything that you can to make sure that your baked goods turn out the best that they can.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.