Determining if baking soda and baking powder are dead

Christmas morning muffins

During this heavy baking season, here are ways to tell if the baking powder and baking soda you're using are still healthy and active:

  • For baking powder, stir 1/4 teaspoon into 1/2 cup of very hot water. The powder will immediately bubble if it's still usable.
  • For baking soda, do the same thing as for baking powder,  but add 1/4 teaspoon of vinegar (any kind)  to the water before adding the soda. Again, you will still want to see energetic bubbling.

And now that you're all set, we thought we'd highlight some of our member's favorite holiday muffins from the EYB LIbrary. We must say that these Christmas-morning muffins from Nigella Lawson, which the library pointed us to, look particularly amazing. Using clementines and cranberries is brilliant. As Jane writes, "Families all need Christmas traditions - mine all seem to be about food. And these muffins are definitely one I'm keeping - I've made these for the last seven Christmas breakfasts and don't see any reason to stop."

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