Sad News

Today I learned the truth about Baker’s Ammonia/Hartshorn. It’s no longer made with dried up antlers or sheep urine, but rather made in a lab. Bummer.

But hey, it’s still an interesting leavening. The ammonia burns off and you get extra crisp cookies with no baking powder/baking soda aftertaste – something that really annoys a few readers who have emailed in their thoughts on leaveners. Some people can really taste baking soda. I only taste it when I use too much. As for baking powder, that I can taste and I try to stick with recipes that use less than a teaspoon.

But baker’s ammonia, despite the ammonia smell it gives off under heat, has a cleaner flavor. You can order it from a few sources on-line including King Arthur. King Arthur also has some recipes, but you can also find them through Google. Look for a recipe called “Swedish Dream Cookies”. Those are my favorite cookies to make with antlers….I mean baker’s ammonia .

It was more fun when I thought it was actual antlers.

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  1. says

    oh wow – i never even knew people could taste baking soda/powder. now i’m so tempted to steal a taste of the powder/soda i have to see if i can discern it in the next batch of cookies. but then ill probably ruin it for myself and swear i can taste it everywhere, even when there is none involved 🙂

    have a great thursday!

  2. Karen says

    Many years ago, I worked in a bakery. The bakery primarily made sourdough breads, but also made a few Italian cookies. We used ammonia in the biscotti and they were fantastic. But the smell of the ammonia does wake you up!

  3. says

    The original natural starters to make Panetonne were originally made with cow or sheeps poop. I actually have one sleaping in my pantry (a starter not a cow or sheep) 😉

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