Since we are early risers, I emailed my Aunt Alice and asked about where she found Baking Ammonia locally. There’s an awesome cake place that sells all sorts of supplies and products in Bismarck called Magic Candle Cakery. It’s south on Broadway and 23rd Street I believe. They do not have a web page, but they are in the phone directory in case you are looking. In the meantime, I love to know about things so I did a little research.
Here is what I found about this product online. Very interesting stuff if you ask me. And, I learned another German word.
baker’s ammonia = ammonium carbonate = carbonate of ammonia = baking ammonia = bicarbonate of ammonia = ammonium bicarbonate = powdered baking ammonia = triebsalz = hartshorn = salt of hartshorn = hirschhornsalz = hjorthornssalt = hartzhorn: Originally made from the ground antlers of reindeer, this is an ancestor of modern baking powder. Northern Europeans still use it because it makes their springerle and gingerbread cookies very light and crisp. Unfortunately, it can impart an unpleasant ammonia flavor, so it’s best used in cookies and pastries that are small enough to allow the ammonia odor to dissipate while baking.
Look for it in German or Scandinavian markets, drug stores, baking supply stores, or a mail order catalogue. Don’t confuse this with ordinary household ammonia, which is poisonous. Varieties: It comes either as lumps or powder. If it isn’t powdered, crush it into a very fine powder with a mortar and pestle or a rolling pin. Substitutes (for 1 teaspoon of baker’s ammonia): 1 teaspoon baking powder (This is very similar, but might not yield as light and crisp a product.) OR 1 teaspoon baking powder plus 1 teaspoon baking soda.
So it’s time to begin Christmas baking. If you feel like sharing a Christmas memory to two that would be very welcome to this website and overall history project… Gute Essen.