Baking is not only an art but the most important activity in every household. Baking powder is one of the most important ingredients in making the art lively. There is often a misconception that baking soda and baking powders are the same. Well, it is actually not.
Both look similar, both are used in baking, and predominantly contain the word ‘baking’ in them. But, both are not the same. Baking powder is the main player in baking. One cup of flour contains as little as one teaspoon of baking powder. But, the one teaspoon is enough to create light-textured and fluffy cakes and muffins. If you leave out the baking powder in your flour, you may end up with flat and dense cakes.
Because baking powder is so important in baking, knowing if it is gluten-free is equally important for those with health issues.
Is baking powder gluten-free? Quite simply: it depends on the brand. Baking powder is naturally free from gluten. It does not contain any wheat, rye, barley, and triticale. However, manufacturers may include starch during production to control the moisture content in the baking powder that may lead to a chemical reaction which makes the baking powder inedible. Check the label before choosing the baking powder. If the starch included is corn or potato starch, the baking powder is still gluten-free. If wheat starch has been included, it is not the right choice for a gluten-free diet.
Baking soda is three to four times stronger than baking powder. The science behind baking soda never fails to amaze us. Baking soda is an excellent base to create a high-raised bake when it reacts with any acid, including buttermilk, brown sugar, yogurt, lemon juice, vinegar, or honey. If your cakes are based on any acidic ingredients, baking soda is much preferred over baking powder.
A gluten-free diet is considered one of the healthiest, especially for people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. While choosing your baking powder, it is essential to make sure you select the gluten-free baking powder for the simple reason that gluten does not contain any nutrients.
What is Baking Powder?
Baking powder is a leavening agent used to make the flour or batter rise for a perfect bake. Baking powder comprises three important raw materials – baking soda, cream of tartar, or dry acid and starch. The starch can be either corn, potato, or wheat starch.
There are two kinds of baking powder – single acting and double acting. The Double-acting baking powder is best suitable for gluten-free baking.
The single-acting baking powder begins the chemical reaction immediately when mixed with wet ingredients that contain acid. The baking tray must get into the oven as soon as you mix baking powder with the flour.
The double-acting baking powder has a two-layered role in baking. Though the chemical reaction begins once mixed with the wet materials, it has a second “high heat” acid. The “high heat” acid is triggered once the baking tray goes into the oven. The second reaction begins only when the heating starts. The double-acting baking powder gives a lighter texture.
It is very important to note that the double-acting baking powder often contains SAS – Sodium Aluminum sulfate. The SAS may give a metallic flavor to your cake if excess baking powder is included in the flour. You can specifically look for aluminum-free brands.
How to make Gluten-Free Baking Powder
If you are still confused if your baking powder is gluten-free or not, you can make it yourself. One teaspoon of baking soda, two teaspoons of tartar, and one teaspoon of corn or potato starch can give you the gluten-free baking powder.
Other uses of Baking Powder
The Acidic content of baking powder gives it a whole different range of uses.
- It can be used as a deodorizer in car seats and carpets while vacuuming.
- It helps in detergent efficacy.
- Acts as a degreaser by removing the stains in clothes and greasy household spots.
- Keeps the insects away from the household.
- Baking powder is mixed with vinegar to remove clogged drains.
Gluten Free Baking Powder Brands
The Gluten-free baking powder can be identified with the product labels. Most of the top brands specified the “Gluten-free” tag on the product label.
While some do not mention the tag, we can identify it by reading the ingredients list. Though the ingredients are gluten-free, there are chances for cross-contamination.
Some brands offer not only gluten-free but also provide aluminum-free, corn-free, and sodium-free baking powder. The details of top brands are as follows:
|BRAND||“GLUTEN-FREE” LABELLED||ALUMINUM-FREE||CORN FREE||SODIUM FREE|
|Bob’s Red Mill||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Hain Pure Foods Featherweight||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Medley Hill Farms||No||No||No||No|
Gluten Free Recipes with Baking Powder
A gluten-free diet fosters a healthier lifestyle. Baking powder is used in dessert and breakfast recipes. The following are some of the gluten-free recipes that you can try out using baking powder.
- Sweet Potato Brownies
- Red lentil Pancakes and
- Red lentil waffles
Substitutes for Baking powder
Are you running out of baking powder while baking? Well, don’t be surprised to know that you can use the following items as a substitute for baking powder.
- Cream of tartar
- Sour Milk
- Lemon Juice
- Club Soda
- Whipped egg whites
- Self-rising flour
Frequently Asked Questions
Baking Powder vs. Baking Soda
Baking powder and Baking soda are leavening agents used in baking for a fluffier and lighter. Apart from being used in edible items, baking soda is also used for other purposes, especially cleaning agents.
Baking Soda is just sodium bicarbonate. We all are very used to this term during our school days. It reacts with an acidic substance to create carbon dioxide. Similarly, baking soda is added to baking flour. It reacts with the acidic substance and produces carbon dioxide, which helps the bake have a good rise. The general thumb rule for baking soda is ¼ teaspoon of baking soda for one cup of flour.
Baking powder contains baking soda, cream of tartar, and starch. Since the baking soda is already neutralized by the cream of tartar or dry acid, the baking powder is widely used in baking which does not involve an acidic ingredient – for example, Sugar cookies. Nevertheless, baking powder can also be used as an acidic-based ingredient.
Baking soda requires an acid to react. Baking powder only needs a liquid to react.
Is Baking Powder and Baking Soda Gluten-free?
Baking powder is naturally gluten-free. Gluten is a substance widely found in grains, especially wheat, barley, and rye. Baking powder does not contain any grains and is perfectly gluten-free. However, the manufacturers widely use starch in the baking powder to enable proper storage and avoid any chemical reaction of the moisture content. If corn or potato starch is used instead of wheat starch, the baking powder is still gluten-free.
Similar to baking powder, baking soda is also naturally gluten-free. There are absolutely no chances of contamination. If you still have confusion about the existence of gluten in your baking soda, you can double-check the product label before buying.
Does cream of tartar have gluten?
The cream of tartar is a potassium salt of tartaric acid. It does not contain any grains to have gluten content. Hence, they are naturally gluten-free.
Baking powder is a very important ingredient in our daily food. It is very important to choose the right brand that offers gluten-free baking powder. We have discussed in detail the gluten-free baking powder and its availability. So, worry not. Go ahead and live a healthy life.