Do you think it is possible to bake a cake or any other baked food without using baking powder? As you probably know, both baking powder and baking soda are leavening ingredients. Leavening is what makes cakes and breads rise as they bake. As they rise, the texture becomes light and fluffy, soft and springy. Without the use of leavening, these same baked foods would turn out flat and hard or gummy textured. So, with that in mind, is it possible to bake without the use of baking powder? Read on to find out the answer to that question. The answer may surprise you.
Reasons to Omit Baking Powder From Your Baking
There could be one of a number of reasons why anyone would even consider attempting to bake without using baking powder. It could be that you or a member of your family could be allergic to one or more of the ingredients in baking powder. Those who are allergic to corn may be interested in knowing that baking powder does contain this ingredient. Some brands also contain an aluminum ingredient called sodium aluminum sulfate. Some people may be sensitive to this ingredient, and it may also cause baked foods to have a slightly bitter taste if too much is added. If this is a concern, there are some brands which are aluminum-free. However, the question here is to determine whether or not you can have good results if you bake without using baking powder.
Delicious Desserts Baked Without the Use of Baking Powder
Leavening is responsible for the moist goodness in brownies, the light fluffiness in cakes, muffins, and biscuits, and the soft, chewy moisture in cookies. How in the world could baking powder be omitted then? Well, the fact is, there are other ways to get that leavened effect in some baked foods. In most cases, your baked foods may not rise as high as those baked using baking powder, but they can turn out quite well. Here is a recipe for delicious brownies that were baked without the use of baking powder.
16 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons butter
Melt these ingredients together over low heat or in the microwave; cool slightly.
1/2 pound butter
1 pound (approximately 2 1/2 cups packed) brown sugar
Melt butter, stir in sugar and add to chocolate mixture. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Then stir in:
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
Optional: 3/4 cup chopped nuts
Bake in a lightly oiled 9×13 pan at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes until center is set. Let them cool completely before you try to cut them — when warm they just sort of fall apart.
Fun fact: Eggs give a slight leavening effect. The air bubbles created when beating the eggs and combining the other ingredients also adds to this effect. Air, as well as steam can help to leaven baked foods minimally. Steam provides enough leavening to make tender, flaky pie crusts.
The raised texture of breads and rolls rely on yeast, which is a leavening agent that works quite differently than baking powder. It works by a fermentation process, and takes a lot longer than the process used in baking powder. Only breads and rolls with a high gluten content are suitable for this type of leavening.
A Classic Baked Desert That Requires No Baking Powder
Most of us enjoy an occasional slice of decadent, delicious New York Cheesecake. This is one baked desert that does not require baking soda, baking powder, or yeast as a leavening agent. The ideal texture of this desert is intentionally dense, as opposed to light and airy, so it needs to be leavened only minimally. The combination of eggs, mixing the ingredients, and heat give cheesecake just enough so that is will be dense, yet light tasting. The following recipe will give you all the steps you need to make a perfectly dense, decadent and delicious New York Cheesecake. Watch the video for a perfect example of how to bake without using baking powder.