Baker`s ammonia is a key ingredient for many sweet treats baked during the Christmas period and it has been used for hundreds of years.
Baker`s ammonia or ammonium carbonate is a raising agent that helps to make dense bread and cake doughs lighter and more elastic, although this rise very little in height. It is traditionally used for flat biscuits, e.g. shortcrust pastry, Spekulatius almond biscuits, Springerle biscuits, "Hirschhornkuchen" or for making lebkuchen. "Half-and-half" cookies are also often baked using baker`s ammonia.
Thanks to its excellent leavening and baking properties (aeration, large volume and elasticity of the dough), it is also very good for working with rye bread. In addition to this, it produces a distinctive savoury taste. It activates the dough to spread rather than to rise. The acidity protects the dough from unwanted fermentation and prevents the development of mould fungi. This is what gives leavened dough products a longer shelf life.
The heating process destroys all carbon dioxide and ammonia elements and some water. In its pure form, this powder is also known as the ABC agent, derived from the chemical name of its main ingredient, ammonium bicarbonate, in English it is more commonly known as ammonium carbonate. As a food additive, it has also been designated the E number E503.
Baker`s ammonia is not suitable for so-called "high-rise bakes" (e.g. tall cakes), as it retains the ammonia, which can have an adverse affect on colour and flavour. You can use it to bake flat cakes, thereby making them very long-lasting.
The powder has a faint smell of ammonia and tastes a little like sal ammoniac. Do not try this raw product. To use as a leavening agent, you should dissolve baker`s ammonia in water, milk, cream or egg whites before adding to the dough. It is a very strong raising agent, you should therefore always make sure to follow the amounts given in the recipe.
This product is "Made in Germany"!
Shelf Life / StorageBaker?s ammonia should be kept in a cool, dry place, away (or well-sealed) from other baking agents (e.g. vanilla sugar). If not stored carefully, the ammonia released may cause deterioration.