Whether added to snickerdoodle cookies to make them wonderfully soft, to whipped egg whites to make them stable, or to simple syrup to prevent sugar crystals from forming, authentic Amish cream of tartar is an all-around good thing to have on hand.Just exactly what is cream of tartar that makes it so magical? Technically, it’s an acid—specifically, tartaric acid It’s a byproduct of wine production, the residue left on the barrels, actually.
Most commonly, cream of tartar is used as a leavener, because when it’s combined with baking soda, together they produce carbon dioxide gas.That’s the same gas that’s produced by yeast in bread baking.When it’s added to egg whites, it boosts the strength of the individual air bubbles and slows down their natural tendency to deflate.
And when added to simple syrup, it prevents sugar’s natural tendency to re-bond and form crystals.
You can make delicious bread with only 3 ingredients! One of them is Cream of Tartar:
Makes: 8-10; can be doubled
- 3 eggs
- 3 tablespoons cream cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Preheat oven to 300 F. Then line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Separate the eggs, placing the yolks in the bowl of your mixer along with the cream cheese. Let everything come to room temperature.
- Using the whisk attachment, beat the yolks and cream cheese until smooth and completely blended. Then transfer it to a medium bowl. Clean and dry your mixer bowl and attachment.
- Place the egg whites in the mixer bowl and beat on medium speed until frothy and covered in bubbles. Add the cream of tartar and increase the speed to high. Beat until stiff peaks form, which is about 3-5 minutes.
- Fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture in three additions. Be careful not to over-mix because it will deflate the egg whites. Use a large spoon or ice cream scoop to dollop the batter onto your prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes. If using as a pizza base, remove from oven when it is light golden brown (you’ll be returning the breads to the oven). Otherwise, remove from oven when it is medium golden brown. Transfer breads to a wire rack to cool; use immediately or freeze for longer storage.