[Sca-cooks] chemical leavening
t.d.decker at att.net
Wed Feb 25 15:30:22 PST 2009
>> The fact that hartshorn was used in some medicinal recipes does not
>> mean that they were used as a leavener.
> And, we also need to be really, really clear, when we speak of hartshorn
> (and by "we" I mean our sources, as well), whether we're referring to
> hartshorn, the gelatin source, made from powdered horn and similar to
> isinglass (the dried sturgeon-swim-bladder gelatin source, which in turn
> is _not_ sodium silicate), and not hartshorn, a.k.a. baker's ammonia,
> salts of hartshorn, and ammonium carbonate. Which may or may not be made
> from actual horns of actual harts, among other sources.
> Oddly enough, I just found an interesting website which essentially
> claims that the use of hartshorn salts as a leavening agent have a linked
> history to that of the development of baking powder, and that both are
> 19th century innovations based on attempts to specifically create
> chemical leaveners, whose primary advantage was considered to be that,
> unlike yeast, they don't break down and eat up to 3% of the flour they're
> Or maybe some of you better try here:
As I recall, ammonium carbonate as a leaven definitely turns up in the 18th
Century along with a number of other chemical leavens. There are some 16th
and 17th Century German references to hartshorn, some of which are
definitely deer antler and some which might be either.
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