baking powder

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One teaspoon of baking soda

Baking powder is a leavening agent used in baking that releases gaseous carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) under the action of water and heat . The development of CO 2 increases the volume of the dough.


Baking powder is a mixture of a CO 2 source, usually sodium hydrogen carbonate ( baking soda) or potassium hydrogen carbonate , and an acidifier , often tartaric acid , disodium dihydrogen diphosphate (E 450a) or monocalcium orthophosphate (E 341a) as the acid carrier. In addition, a release agent (up to 30%) made from corn , rice , wheat or tapioca starch or wheat flour is added in order to bind moisture and thus prevent the premature development of CO 2 . Phosphate-free baking powders contain tartaric acid, glucono-delta-lactone or calcium citrate as acid carriers. Sometimes vanillin or ethyl vanillin is added for flavoring.

Baking powder is offered in retail outlets for use in households in portion packs ("small letters"). With dough , it is mainly added to the batter . In short pastry (pie crusts, biscuits), the use of baking soda is rather rare. In yeast dough is yeast as a leavening agent used.

For flat long- life baked goods, ammonium hydrogen carbonate is used, for gingerbread and honey cakes in combination with potassium carbonate (potash). Sometimes staghorn salt or a mixture of ammonium hydrogen carbonate and ammonium carbamate in a ratio of 1: 1 is used for gingerbread . From 60 ° C, this decomposes into ammonia , carbon dioxide and water.


When exposed to heat (e.g. oven , waffle iron , deep fryer ) and moisture, the baking soda reacts with the acid and releases carbon dioxide, creating small gas bubbles and loosening the dough . The chemical reactions can be formulated as follows:

Thermal decomposition:

Reaction with acid:

This achieves a similar drive as when using fungi from baker's yeast in yeast dough and bacteria in sourdough , where CO 2 is also produced. The addition of baking powder shortens the preparation time, as yeasts and bacteria need more time to produce CO 2 (between half an hour and a day). However, the types of dough differ considerably in taste and consistency.


The baking powder was invented by Eben Norton Horsford , a student of Justus von Liebig . Horsford initially experimented with acidic calcium phosphate and sodium hydrogen carbonate. The German pharmacist and entrepreneur Ludwig Clamor Marquart was the first to produce and sell a corresponding baking powder on this basis.

In 1854, Horsford founded the Rumford Chemical Works with George Francis Wilson (1818-1883) in the USA to produce baking powder and sold the new product produced there under the name yeast powder ( yeast powder ). Liebig was able to further improve the product by adding potassium chloride , and Horsford patented the product as a baking powder . Since baked goods (including bread) can be manufactured more easily on an industrial scale, the ensuing Civil War (1861–1865) brought great demand for baking powder, and Horsford had to constantly expand its production facilities.

Liebig carried out further work on baking powder and bread baking in 1868 when there was a great famine in East Prussia .

The success of baking powder in Germany finally began with August Oetker , who had acquired the Aschoff'sche Apotheke in Bielefeld in 1891 and who sold baking powder in small portions that were more suitable for private households. He promoted the use for private cake baking in contrast to the previous use in bakeries for bread baking. From 1893 he filled his baking powder Backin , in 1898 he switched to mass production. The trademark was registered on November 27, 1902 . The corresponding process was patented by Oetker on September 21, 1903 and is still in use today.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: baking powder  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Hans-Dieter Belitz, Werner Grosch, Peter Schieberle: Textbook of food chemistry. 6th completely revised edition. Springer, Berlin / Heidelberg 2008, ISBN 3-540-73201-2 , doi : 10.1007 / 978-3-540-73202-0_16 , p. 745.
  2. History of Baking Soda. ( Memento from January 19, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  3. trademark register 56814