Too much baking powder in my banana bread. Is it safe to eat?
February 21, 2014 8:55 PM   Subscribe

Too much baking powder in my banana bread. Is it safe to eat? In a former life, I was not a baker.

Accidentally dumped maybe 3.5 tsp of baking powder into a banana bread recipe where it originally called for 1 tsp, and didn't bother to triple the other ingredients. Only when I put it in the oven did I think to Google, only to find out that too much baking powder in a recipe will result in it tasting bitter or metallic.

Well, when it finished baking the result was a flatter than usual cake that isn't as sweet as I expected, but definitely not bitter; but I did taste a vague metallic taste and some tongue tingling.

It's not altogether unpleasant to eat... But is it safe to eat? (overdose of pH levels, who knows...)
posted by elisse to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Your stomach contains more than enough hydrochloric acid to neutralize 3.5 tsp of baking soda. You could probably eat 3.5 tsp of baking soda off of a spoon right now (although why you would want to is another question entirely) and suffer no ill effects. Baking powder actually contains a solid acid (usually cream of tartar/tartaric acid, I think? though if it tastes metallic, it might be alum) in addition to baking soda (this is why you don't have to add a separate acid during the mixing process), and is actually less basic than that. It's fine.
posted by kagredon at 9:02 PM on February 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Baking powder self-neutralizing once it gets wet-- check it out by putting some in your hand, and then adding a drop or two of water. Most of it has headed out of the bread in the form of CO2. If you like the texture and flavor, chow down!

Kagredon, yes, cream of tartar is the stuff. Alum tastes *really* tart; it's an astringent, and I use it after shaving, so I've gotten a taste from time to time.
posted by Sunburnt at 9:19 PM on February 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

Definitely safe. Just not tasting so great.
posted by SLC Mom at 9:46 PM on February 21, 2014

Agreed, it's safe, it just might not be super tasty. But if it's tasty enough, feel free to eat it!
posted by RogueTech at 10:41 PM on February 21, 2014

Toast it under the broiler and slather with butter.

Toasting + butter improves just about everything.
posted by Pudhoho at 10:59 PM on February 21, 2014 [13 favorites]

You could eat a spoonful of baking powder straight up and it wouldn't hurt you; it's just a blend of baking soda and a dry acid (the Rumford stuff uses monocalcium phosphate) that can leaven in the absence of an otherwise acidic dough or batter. It takes a hell of a lot of sodium bicarbonate, usually over a long time, to cause problems. I would imagine that buffering it, as in baking powder, would make a negative outcome even less likely.

That said, if it's messing with the flavor and texture of your banana bread, you might as well just make another batch. No point in eating something you don't enjoy.
posted by fifthrider at 6:31 AM on February 22, 2014

If it tastes good, you're fine. If it doesn't taste good, I advise leaving it out for a few days to get stale-ish, then turning it into bread pudding,* which should mask any residual flavour.

*Just use whatever bread pudding recipe you prefer, but sub the banana bread. Also works with cake fyi.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:36 AM on February 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

You can also use an aluminum free baking powder such as Rumford to eliminate the bitter metallic taste in your baked goods. David Lebovitz has a good explanation here. I also find the sweetness of banana bread can be kind of fickle depending on the age of the bananas used.

I also second Pudhoho that toasting + butter improves just about everything, I have done this with not very sweet banana bread and it's great.
posted by blacktshirtandjeans at 8:38 AM on February 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

N-thing the toasting and butter, and you might either put cinnamon sugar, honey, or just butter and sprinkle a bit of brown sugar on, then pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds.

It will be delish.
posted by BlueHorse at 1:40 PM on February 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

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