Sour milk. Picture: Supplied
Sour milk. Picture: Supplied

3 handy substitutes for baking powder

By Lutho Pasiya Time of article published Apr 14, 2020

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The Covid-19 crisis has left cities around the world in lockdown. With restaurants closed and millions indoors, many people have gotten back to home-cooking and baking. 

So, say you are in the middle of making pancakes, and you realise that you are out of baking powder, what do you do? The question, however, is: what can you substitute with so that your baked goods will still rise properly? 

According to Elisabeth Almekinde on The Diabetes Council, below are alternatives to baking powder that you can try. 

Buttermilk. Picture: Supplied

Buttermilk 

Buttermilk is fermented. It has a sour taste similar to yoghurt and is made when the cream is churned. Bacteria is added when it’s manufactured commercially, which allows the product to ferment. 

Fermenting the cream turns it from mostly sugar to acid. You can get your baked goods to rise by using buttermilk mixed with baking soda. For any recipes, you will want to add a half cup of buttermilk and a quarter teaspoon of baking soda to your mixture. This will be a great and equal substitute to one teaspoon of baking powder.

Plain yoghurt. Picture: Supplied

Plain yoghurt

Plain Greek yoghurt can also be used to substitute baking powder in your baked goods. It is similarly manufactured as the buttermilk where a fermentation process is used to turn it to an acid. The sugars get broken down which increases the release of lactic acid. 

You will want to use the plain variety, as flavoured varieties can move the pH of the mixture to a more “basic” level. You can use plain yoghurt in your baked goods by swapping out one teaspoon of baking powder with one-quarter teaspoon of baking soda and one-half cup of yoghurt.

Sour milk. Picture: Supplied

Sour milk

This may sound strange, but you can use soured milk in your recipes in the place of baking powder. Why? Because soured milk already contains the bacteria in it that turns it to an acid chemically. You will get the same rising ability in baked goods as you would with baking powder. 

Again, reduce the number of liquids in the recipe like you would do when substituting buttermilk or plain yoghurt. It’s still a half cup of sour milk that you will use to substitute for one teaspoon of baking powder, plus a fourth or quarter teaspoon of baking soda.


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