Henry Jones of Bristo is credited with being the inventor of self rising flour. Author Eugene Byrne said ” A baker and confectioner in Broadmead (Bristol), Jones patented his self-raising flour in 1845.” He also applied for and received an American patent in 1849.
Interestingly, it was this event that created a whole new industry for pre-packaged mixes for breads, cakes, pancakes, etc. It was around this time too that U.S. flour companies wanted to market their self-rising flours using, Jones’ patent. One of the methods used to market their products was recipe writing, this method is still used to this day to give customers tasty uses for their wares.
So, to go along with our series of substitutions, this time we are covering baking powder. I don’t use baking powder very often, so sometimes it is expired by the time I am ready to use. Here is some good information if you don’t have any to use.
Here we go again. We are baking something and need powdered sugar and, yep you guessed it, you discover you done have any.
Oh by the way powdered sugar is also called confectioner’s sugar, and icing sugar, and frosting sugar.
Anyway, what do you do if your out?
A little history may help with figuring out what to do. Back “in the day” using sugar in baking and cooking was not just a matter of taking it out of the container, measuring it, and using it in a recipe. Sugar needed to be ground or powdered first, especially in frosting and the like. Then In 1851, Oliver Chase (of NECCO Wafer fame) developed a mill for powdering sugar and things got a lot easier.
But something was still needed to keep it from clumping up. So it was decided to add cornstarch to white granulated sugar. It works out to about 3% starch, cornstarch. The cornstach also thickens the sugar into a proper paste. (Arrowroot powder is a good substitute for those avoiding corn products) which is ideal for frosting and glazes.
So back to our original quest
For our purposes you can make powdered sugar as follows:
Combine 1 cup of granulated sugar with about two tablespoons of cornstarch in a blender (about 227 grams of sugar and 57 grams of cornstarch). Blend until the sugar reaches a fine powder. Let the sugar sit for approximately 15 minutes prior to using, so it can cool and settle.