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RiceGuy

Quick-breads Are All Suddenly Failing

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Hi all,

I never had trouble with using baking powder as a leavening agent. However, recently I've found that everything flops, because the baking powder doesn't wait until I get the dough mixed. Instead, all the fizz happens immediately, making the dough expand and get all bubbly and stuff. Before I'm done mixing, there's no fizz left, resulting in no rising in the oven.

Again, I've never had this problem before. I've tried altering the amounts, different recipes, etc. I think the baking powder is in some way different than it used to be (Rumford). I just sent an email off to them, not really expecting a real answer.

Anyone else suddenly having this happen? It started a month or two ago, I guess.

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I've been an avid baker for years but never had this problem until recently. It happened when I was making pancakes that had rice flour and no gum. The first few were fine but I mixed it one more time, by hand and all the air went out and the rest were flat. Next time I'll try to not disturb it and use two pans to make more at once so I get them done quicker. I use Rumford too but can't think that that brand would be a problem. Baking powder can loose it's effectiveness as it ages but that doesn't seem to be our problem either. I wonder if there's some way that we can add it at the very end. It does need to be incorporated well or you'll get bitter spots in your batter. I haven't had this problem with other recipies though. The other things I make have a little more substance to them than this pancake recipe that I had a problem with and I wonder if that has something to do with it.

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Thanks for your input!

I actually did try pancakes, as well as many other items which have all been fine previously, including muffins, breads, biscuits, dumplings, etc. While the gum helps to hold the bubbles, it doesn't keep them from forming. That's where I'm at a loss as to why, since the dough does indeed hold the CO2 bubbles if I don't disturb it. It just happens too darn soon, essentially preventing me from mixing even half way. It's like the flour turns to foam as soon as it gets wet.

I think I'll try chilling the liquid ingredients before adding to the flour, even though that has never been necessary before. If that doesn't work, I guess I have to blame it on sunspots, the ozone layer, or the phases of the moon. Maybe recruit a few natives to perform the ancient "Inca Dance of the Phosphates".

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Why not try a different brand?

Also, are you adding any vinegar? I use baking powder, baking soda, and vinegar in my muffins and haven't had any problems. Of course, I haven't needed to buy any new baking powder lately. I use Great Value (Walmart) brand.

best regards, lm

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Why not try a different brand?

Also, are you adding any vinegar? I use baking powder, baking soda, and vinegar in my muffins and haven't had any problems. Of course, I haven't needed to buy any new baking powder lately. I use Great Value (Walmart) brand.

best regards, lm

Well, vinegar would only be logical for baking soda, to get it fizzing. Baking powder, on the other hand, has a dry acid added in with it. That's actually the main difference between the soda and the powder. Typically, baking soda is used when an acidic ingredient is present, such as milk. I'm not using any dairy, and the powder does fizz a lot. It just does it too soon, as if something it initiating the reaction.

I may end up trying a different brand, as long as it doesn't have aluminum, GMO corn starch, or other questionable ingredients. Either that or I make up my own, if I find a good source for the phosphate.

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Anyone else suddenly having this happen? It started a month or two ago, I guess.

I'm not certain about the "all of a sudden" part of this problem - my first suggestion would be to throw out your baking powder and get a new container (if you haven't already done so), preferably from a different lot number (check the expiry date on yours before you go to the store).

As for cooking quick breads in general, it's important to mix the dry ingredients thoroughly and then in a separate (large) bowl to mix the wet ingredients very well. Then prepare your pans thoroughly (grease muffin cups, pan, preheat oven, fry pan, whatever). THEN mix the dry INTO THE WET ingredients, mixing quickly by hand. It's ok if there are a few lumps. Then transfer to the pan immediately.

The bubbles form immediately upon adding liquid to baking powder, and as we all know leavening is crucial in gluten free baking.

If you are mixing any additives (chocolate chips, blueberries, nuts...) into your quick bread, mix these into the dry ingredients before adding the liquid.

By sticking to these guidelines I've found that my cakes, muffins, and yes even pancakes are more fluffy.

It's important that you not mix again once the ingredients have been mixed that first time. So if you are making pancakes, just scoop a big spoonful off the top of the bowl for each new pancake. Don't dig to the bottom, don't disturb the bubbles. Just gently scoop from the top and slide the batter off the spoon and onto the prepared pan.

Let me know if any of this helps. I've found this method to be an excellent way to keep my gluten free baked goods fluffy.

mamatide

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...throw out your baking powder and get a new container (if you haven't already done so)...

Yeah, did that - same thing happens.

THEN mix the dry INTO THE WET ingredients, mixing quickly by hand. It's ok if there are a few lumps. Then transfer to the pan immediately.

This I honestly have never actually done, even when I baked with wheat flour. Given that the problem just started recently, I didn't attribute it to this though. However, since it is something I've yet to try, I'll be sure to do so. From a scientific viewpoint, it doesn't make sense to me, but I can accept the possibility of my logic being flawed.

It's important that you not mix again once the ingredients have been mixed that first time.

True. I just wish it wouldn't fizzle out in less time than it takes to mix the dough. The amount of bubbles impede the mixing too, as they literally push the dough apart, like a bunch of magnets with like poles towards each other. Imagine the flour is like a set of billiard balls, and the water is the white "Q-ball", which sends them all in different directions immediately upon contact.

Never have I had this sort of trouble making a simple bread dough - very frustrating.

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Yeah, did that - same thing happens.

This I honestly have never actually done, even when I baked with wheat flour. Given that the problem just started recently, I didn't attribute it to this though. However, since it is something I've yet to try, I'll be sure to do so. From a scientific viewpoint, it doesn't make sense to me, but I can accept the possibility of my logic being flawed.

True. I just wish it wouldn't fizzle out in less time than it takes to mix the dough. The amount of bubbles impede the mixing too, as they literally push the dough apart, like a bunch of magnets with like poles towards each other. Imagine the flour is like a set of billiard balls, and the water is the white "Q-ball", which sends them all in different directions immediately upon contact.

Never have I had this sort of trouble making a simple bread dough - very frustrating.

This sounds really wierd, it hasn't happened to me. I have had my dough 'bubble' pretty fast, but the bubble factor doesn't dissappear on me the way it's doing to you. Did it start with a change of season or something wierd like that? Did you switch from dairy to non-dairy at the time this started happening? Just some ideas. Because generally speaking, my baking items are better if I mix them all together and let them sit for a while, except for cookie-biscuit stuff. Any pancakes or muffins or stuff like that, I let it sit for at least twenty minutes after stirring quite thoroughly, it helps get rid of the gritty feeling you can get from rice flour, and I've never had my dough, or batter, lose it's air.

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(Scratching head) I dunno, I don't use baking powder. I have been using baking soda and cider vinegar for leavening, even in recipes that call for baking powder, for a very long time.

I put the soda into the dry flour ingredients and blend it in and don't add the wet ingredients (with the acidity) until they are mixed together separately and everything else is ready to go, oven on, pans set up, etc.

Baking POWDER is just baking soda already mixed with a dry acid powder that is not supposed to be reacting to the soda until moisture is added, and then it is supposed to work more slowly than straight baking soda, because there is another acid that is supposed to react more slowly. (in theory, like I said, I gave up on baking powder because I am happy with the vinegar and soda routine).

They may have either reformulated the brand of baking powder you are using, or they had a batch run that is not performing the way they expected, anyway, I would go to plan B, use something else on a small batch of something and see what happens. You don't HAVE to use baking powder, that's just a myth, you can use soda and vinegar or soda and yogurt, soda and lemon juice. Since you don't eat dairy, you could do what some people do instead, add vinegar to their alternative dairy free milk products, or even water, and use that. Try using a teaspoon of baking soda per 1 to 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour, and adding a teaspoon to a tablespoon of vinegar, depending on whether the other ingredients are acidic. If there is no dairy or fruit juice, go with the tablespoon.

Remember, baking soda gets put in the dry mix and vinegar and the wet ingredients don't get added until stirring, pouring, and baking are about to occur.

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This sounds really wierd

Yeah, it sure is.

Did it start with a change of season or something wierd like that? Did you switch from dairy to non-dairy at the time this started happening?

I did consider this sort of thing, and the only thing that might have changed is perhaps humidity - going down as winter progressed. I've been dairy-free all the while, so no change there or in any other part of any of the recipes. Then I thought maybe the pH of the water changed, so I tried adding some dry acid or baking soda, to see if it would even up the score. You can guess the results.

...generally speaking, my baking items are better if I mix them all together and let them sit for a while...

You know, I have sen some recipes suggest allowing the dough/batter to sit for a specified period before going into the oven. So of course I tried that as well. However, since all the fizz was long gone, it was pointless.

OK, so maybe plate tectonics or melting icecaps have pushed the entire region up into a higher altitude, thereby lowering air pressure, causing more bubbles to escape faster :lol:

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Baking POWDER is just baking soda already mixed with a dry acid powder that is not supposed to be reacting to the soda until moisture is added...
Correct.

You don't HAVE to use baking powder, that's just a myth, you can use soda and vinegar or soda and yogurt, soda and lemon juice.
Yeah, I do have a few dry acids (citric, ascorbic) that I know I can use, and have added to see what effect it would have. Thing is, it effects the taste, as would the vinegar, which I generally avoid so as to not encourage candida. I don't recall trying straight soda and the acid, so I'll give that a test.

Remember, baking soda gets put in the dry mix and vinegar and the wet ingredients don't get added until stirring, pouring, and baking are about to occur.

Correct again. Thanks for all the suggestions. It just befuddles me that what once worked well, and consistently, has suddenly deviated for no apparent reason. I still lean towards the idea that the company had a bad batch or something. Even though the new container exhibits identical behavior.

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Rice Guy,

I also made mine non-dairy, using soymilk. For the pancakes it's the first time making them non-dairy. As for me I know at least part of my problem was as mamatide said, mixing and /or scooping from the bottom.

NEVER in over decade of baking have I had this problem.

I've been using Rumford for years because it's non-aluminum. Whole Foods has another non-aluminum one that comes in a glass jar-can't remember the name and haven't checked gluten status.

What are the chance that we both got a bad batch? Maybe ours are aging and losing their potency and it is more evident with the delicate nature of our gluten-free baking? It just doesn't have what it takes to keep going!

I've been wasting my money lately and buy mine in the small 1/2 size containers so that I can keep it fresh though.

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..... my baking items are better if I mix them all together and let them sit for a while..... Any pancakes or muffins or stuff like that, I let it sit for at least twenty minutes after stirring quite thoroughly..... and I've never had my dough, or batter, lose it's air.

I've been doing that also for a long time now. But I use all kinds of milk, eggs, butter, buttermilk powder, milk powder, sour cream etc., in addition to the baking powder, baking soda, and vinegar.

best regards, lm

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Well, the can I have is fresh, so that's not it. Also, I've been making mostly bread items, so it's a dough, not a batter, thus no scooping issues.

So tonight I tried chilling the liquid before adding to the dry...same thing again :angry:

OK, IMO it must be defective baking powder. A bad run from the company. I see no other way that this could happen so many times. So next I'll try using baking soda and an acid, and post the results tomorrow.

Thanks everybody.

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Well, the can I have is fresh, so that's not it. Also, I've been making mostly bread items, so it's a dough, not a batter, thus no scooping issues.

So tonight I tried chilling the liquid before adding to the dry...same thing again :angry:

OK, IMO it must be defective baking powder. A bad run from the company. I see no other way that this could happen so many times. So next I'll try using baking soda and an acid, and post the results tomorrow.

Thanks everybody.

My vote's with the tectonic plate theory. :)

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Well, tonight I tried straight baking soda, combined with a dry acid. I chose ascorbic acid. It certainly fizzed up, but it also fizzled out, just like the baking powder :angry:

So, what's left? I'm wondering if it might possibly be the flours, somehow. I guess I'll have to try a different set of flours - none of the ones I normally use, just to make sure. It doesn't make much sense, but I'm running out of suspects. That attempt will be tomorrow.

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Well, tonight I tried straight baking soda, combined with a dry acid. I chose ascorbic acid. It certainly fizzed up, but it also fizzled out, just like the baking powder :angry:

So, what's left? I'm wondering if it might possibly be the flours, somehow. I guess I'll have to try a different set of flours - none of the ones I normally use, just to make sure. It doesn't make much sense, but I'm running out of suspects. That attempt will be tomorrow.

Maybe somebody put a hex on you.

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Maybe somebody put a hex on you.

Yeah, I don't doubt that. This is really driving me bananas!

So I tried the different flours...AAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!

Even more ironic, is that I had just refined my recipes to the point where some really nice things became possible. So a hex might not be far from the mark. Maybe "they" don't want me to enjoy a decent bread :(

So what's next? Mix with a different spoon? I guess I could try adding the dry to the wet, though I never had to before. Heck, at this point I'll try mixing with my bare hands if it would work.

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Well, I just got a reply from the Clabber Girl company (makers of Rumford Baking Powder).

Here's what they said:

I am very sorry you experienced poor results when using Rumford Baking

Powder. I assure you we have not changed the formula. I am sending you

a replacement can of baking powder and a cookbook in the hope you will

remain a loyal customer.

So I guess I'm hoping the cans I have both got a bad blend of ingredients, and that the new can will resolve this. I'll be sure to post the results.

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