Monday, March 11

A Bakers Pantry

-A Bakers Pantry-

When I was a kid I used to love trying and baking new recipes! The one thing that made these new and sometimes sudden ventures into baking easier was that my mom always kept a fully stocked pantry of baking essentials. Unless I was planning something unusual or fancy I usually had all the ingredients on hand to make whatever! Here is list of what I consider essential baking ingredients that you should always have stocked in your pantry.

-Baking Powder
-Baking Soda
Leavening agents are something you should always have on hand. No matter what you are baking it usually calls for one or both of these.

-All Purpose Flour (Or if you prefer whole wheat-white flour)
-Cake Flour
Even if you don't bake cake often if you keep this well sealed in a ziploc bag after opening it, it should last you for a while.

-Light Brown Sugar (Make sure you keep this well sealed to prevent hardening)
-Powdered Sugar
Powdered sugar is the key ingredient in homemade butter cream so its always nice to have some on hand. I recommend having at least one 2lb bag on hand at all times. Should be good for at least 2 batches of frosting.

-Pure Vanilla Extract
-A Box of Basic Food Dye (For cake and cookie decorating)
-Ground Cinnamon
-Ground Nutmeg
-Ground Allspice

-Cocoa Powder (For Baking)
-Chocolate Chips
-Unsweetened and Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate Squares
Ok, so if you love chocolate (like us) or you find you bake with it a lot you wanna keep this stuff on hand. Cocoa powder is the key in a lot of baking goodies like cookies, cake and brownies. Having chocolate chips on hand guarantees you can make chocolate chip cookies in a pinch or add a pop of chocolate to muffins, quick breads or pancakes! Unsweetened and semi-sweet chocolate squares are great for creating chocolate butter cream and ganache toppings as well as shaving over chocolate desserts.

-Packets of instant coffee
A little bit of coffee added to anything with chocolate really helps to intensify and enhance the flavor of the chocolate. If you don't drink coffee (like me) or you don't feel like brewing a whole pot this is a great short cut.

-Concentrated Lemon Juice
One of the greatest baking secrets I ever discovered was how to make my own buttermilk! By simply adding a tablespoon of lemon juice to a cup of milk you can turn it into buttermilk! Simply add the lemon juice and then wait 10 minutes. This is a great shortcut and may save you a trip to the store.

-Unsalted Butter
-Vegetable Oil
-Pure Vegetable Shortening
Crisco Shortening now comes in convenient resealable bar form to help keep it fresh! This handy ingredient is used in cookies, pie doughs, and even frosting so its good to have on hand. Its also great for greasing baking pans.

You may find you are inclined to bake more often knowing that you most likely have all the ingredients or that you only need one or two from the store.  

I also recommend taking a look at your favorite or signature recipes and seeing what ingredients you use that are not on this list. I love making pumpkin bread so I usually make sure I have some canned pumpkin and Pumpkin Pie Spice on hand at all times.
So, the next time you get asked to bake something last minute...

Bake On

*I have not included some essential ingredients here such as milk, cream, sour cream, cream cheese etc. as they do not have a long shelf life and should really be purchased fresh when needed. 

1 comment:

  1. This is a fantastic list! Thanks for sharing. I thought the instant coffee and lemon juice were particularly insightful.