Experiment verschillende rijsmiddelen

to find the best raising agent, or combination of raising agents, to create light and fluffy American-style pancakes

Ingredients for pancake batter (see below)
Bicarbonate of soda (sodium bicarbonate)
Cream of tartar (tartaric acid)
Large measuring jug

Weigh out 125g plain flour (it is essential that you do not use self-raising flour for this experiment as it already contains raising agents) and sieve into a bowl, or a large, wide-mouthed measuring jug, with half a teaspoon of salt and two tablespoons of caster sugar. In a separate jug, measure out 125ml milk. Add one lightly beaten egg and one tablespoon of vegetable oil to the milk and whisk briefly with a fork. Pour the milk and egg mixture into the flour and whisk with the fork until you have a smooth batter. If you used a bowl then transfer the batter back to the measuring jug so you can see the total volume of your batter. You need to divide the batter among four clean bowls - divide the total volume by four so you know how much to pour in each bowl.

Now add the different raising agents to the batters. To the first bowl add nothing - this is your control batch. To the second bowl add ¼ teaspoon of cream of tartar (an acid) and stir in with a fork until well combined. To the third bowl add ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (an alkaline) and to the fourth bowl add 1/8 teaspoon of each - stir as before. Leave them to settle for 10 minutes.

Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add ½ teaspoon oil. Add a ladleful of the plain batter to the pan, cook for a minute or two then flip and cook the other side. The pancake should be golden brown. Remove from the pan, transfer to a clean plate and wipe the pan with a piece of kitchen towel. Repeat with the remaining three batters. Observe them as they cook - you should notice bubbles appearing on the surface with batters three and four. Taste each of the pancakes and pay attention to the different textures and tastes of each.

When no raising agents are added the pancake batter does not rise. The batter with only cream of tartar added will not rise and will go rubbery. The other two will rise.

The cream of tartar requires an alkaline in order to react and produce carbon dioxide. Bicarbonate of soda reacts with an acid to creat carbon dioxide - in this experimwent with the acid cream of tartar, or the lactic acid in milk. The plain pancake contains no raising agent so does not rise.

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