4 Ways to Test If Your Baking Ingredients Have Gone Bad

Does baking soda expire? Wondering how to tell if baking powder is still good? Here are four hacks to test if your baking ingredients, from flour to yeast, have gone bad.
Bruce and Jeanne Lubin
2-minute read

4 Ways to Test If Your Baking Ingredients Have Gone Bad

The Baking Powder Test

Did you know baking powder loses potency over time? If you can’t remember when you bought yours, run a test before using it. Here’s how: Put ½ teaspoon baking powder in a small bowl, then pour in a quarter cup of hot tap water. The more vigorously the baking powder bubbles, the fresher it is. (Try this test on a fresh box of baking powder so you know what to look for.) Also, when buying baking powder, be sure to check the expiration date on the box. Once opened, it will remain fresh for about a year.

See also: 20 Kitchen Items You Should Never Pay For

The Baking Soda Test

If you’re not sure how old your baking soda is, test its activity level. Stir a quarter teaspoon of baking soda into about two teaspoons of white vinegar. If it doesn’t bubble vigorously, throw it out.

Flour Test

Not sure whether the flour in your canister is self-rising or all-purpose? Taste it. Self-rising flour is a bit salty because it contains baking powder.

Yeast Test

Is your yeast too old? Proof it to be sure it’s not ready for retirement. Dissolve a little sugar in some warm water, then sprinkle in the yeast. The mixture should begin bubbling within five to seven minutes. If it doesn’t, the yeast is too inactive to provide the leavening function, and you should throw it away.

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About the Author

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin

Bruce Lubin and Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin are the proud parents of three boys and more than a dozen books. After saving thousands per year using everyday tips and simple lifehacks, they started their own business in the hopes of sharing their knowledge with others. They have been known to go into their friends' refrigerators to turn their eggs upside down so that they last longer.