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I have a couple of recipes from a reputable publication called "Recipes Only" (a magazine published in the eighties) which calls for merely 1 tsp. of baking powder and 1/2 tsp. of baking soda for 2 cups of dry ingredients and 1 cup of yogurt/buttermilk, 1 egg, etc. This didn't seem enough to me, but I tried the first recipe (Apple Cranberry Muffins), and sure enough they rose very little. They're delicious, though, and I'm using them as little puddings served with custard, but I'm leery of trying the recipe again or trying the other one, Apple Cheese Muffins. I'm wondering if I should just up the baking powder to 3 tsp. |What do you think?

  • I'd say it is a pretty low barrier, low risk experiment! Maybe try bumping it up to 2 teaspoons and see how you like the results. – Michael Natkin Oct 28 '14 at 5:41
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1 tsp of baking powder and 1/2 tsp of baking soda to 2 cups dry ingredients is actually more baking powder and soda than I found in the first 10 random recipes I checked from Food Network and America's Test Kitchen. That suggests to me that the recipes are fine. Could it be that your leaveners are losing potency?

You can check them.

From Chemistry.About.com:

How to Test Baking Powder

Baking powder is activated by a combination of heat and moisture. Test baking powder by mixing 1 teaspoon of baking powder with 1/3 cup hot water. If the baking powder is fresh, the mixture should produce lots of bubbles. Be sure to use warm or hot water; cold water will not work for this test.

How to Test Baking Soda

Baking soda is meant to produce bubbles when mixed with an acidic ingredient. Check baking soda by dripping a few drops of vinegar or lemon juice onto a small amount (1/4 teaspoon) of baking soda. The baking soda should bubble vigorously. If you don't see a lot of bubbles, it's time to replace your baking soda.

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    As for "...and sure enough they rose very little." - with muffins, a high rise isn't necessarily a good thing. Sure, flat or sunken muffins are wholly undesirable, but I would argue that huge cresting muffins are perhaps more the exception than the rule. As long as the texture and taste are desirable, then you got your muffin mojo working. Too much leavening can actually result in deflated muffins. Keep your mixing to an absolute minimum - and make sure your oven temperature is hot (at least 400° F). Consider resting your batter 30 minutes prior to baking if you want a little extra lift. – Stephen Eure Oct 27 '14 at 23:12

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