01 Mar Baking Powder
Better baking powder for the boat. Okay, maybe it’s not something you were worried about. Or at least you weren’t until your biscuits were better suited to anchoring the dinghy than being eaten.
The grocery store near me recently began selling Rumford Reduced Sodium Baking Powder and yes, two of the three reasons I like it are valid anywhere, not just on a boat:
- Lower sodium. Just half the sodium of other baking powder, but no change in how it works. You use the same amount as the recipe calls for and I haven’t noticed a bit of difference in how things turn out. Dave and I both have to watch our sodium and I know many TBG readers do, too.
- Aluminum-free. There are at least some studies that seem to link aluminum in food to Alzheimer’s. I’m certainly not an expert, and don’t want to stir up a big controversy here, but if I can get something that works just as well without the aluminum, why not?
- Smaller cans. Most baking powder is sold in 8-ounce cans, and the Rumford Reduced Sodium comes in a 4-ounce can.
It’s this last fact that makes it particularly good on a boat. You see, most baking powder is what’s called “double acting” — it reacts once with moisture and once with heat. And if it has already reacted with moisture in the air (and we all know that boats tend to be in humid places), it won’t react with the liquid ingredients in the recipe and you’ll have disappointing results.
With the larger cans — and I did everything I could to protect them from humidity — I almost always had to throw the can away before it was empty. Not the case with the smaller cans.
Even with the small can, be sure to put it inside a Ziploc and only take it out briefly while you measure out enough for your recipe. Read more about testing your baking powder to see if it’s still good and substitutions in case it isn’t.