Debunking the Baking Powder Test

July 05, 2011
By Holly Jennings

Last week I made the buttermilk biscuits from the current DCCC pick, Dairy Hollow House Soup & Bread: A Country Inn Cookbook by Crescent Dragonwagon. This recipe was an opportunity to use some King Arthur cake flour I’d been meaning to try (Crescent Dragonwagon recommends using cake or pastry flour, such as While Lily, for ultra tender biscuits), some of my homemade lard, and something else lingering in my fridge: baking powder that had long outlived its expiration date.

Before just chucking it out, I decided to test it using one of the many baking powder tests found online. The tests are all the same: you pour hot water over some baking powder, and if it fizzes and bubbles, it’s good to use. A typical ratio is 1 teaspoon baking powder to ⅓ cup hot water.