Imagine this: you’ve enrolled in one of the courses here at The Bailiwick Academy. You’re excited to, say, make some Pinoy bakery products or Asian bakery breads. But what happens when you realize you don’t know how to stock your baking pantry?
You’ll end up not just with no new recipe. You’ll get baking heartbreaks, missed opportunities, and halted creativity. The joy of baking will disappear!
But fear not. This guide will show you how to stock your pantry so that you never miss out on spontaneous weekend baking plans or be caught unprepared when you want to try baking recipes for your family, guests, or business. Say goodbye to last-minute grocery store runs with this blueprint to baking success!
How To Stock Your Baking Pantry—The Essentials
Before you even think about starting to bake, stocking your baking pantry with these pantry staples should be your first move. Why these? Well, these form the backbone of ANY basic baking recipe—you practically can’t bake without these.
Here’s a list of baking essentials you should keep stocked.
Baking begins with the right flour. Here are the different types you generally should have:
- All-purpose Flour: This versatile staple forms the base for everything from bread to pastries. Its adaptability means you’ll reach for it time and again.
- Whole Wheat Flour: Adds a nutty flavor and is a healthier alternative to white flour.
- Cake Flour: Want soft, airy cakes? This flour is milled finer, ensuring your cakes have a melt-in-your-mouth texture.
- Bread Flour: Its high protein content is the secret to chewy bread and perfect pizza dough and crusts.
Every dessert has its own story, and sugar is often the narrator. It’s not just about sweetness; sugar plays multiple roles in baking, from adding texture to enhancing flavors. Not all sugars are the same, though. Here are some different kinds:
- Granulated Sugar: Also known as white sugar, it’s a universal sweetener. It’s a core component in most baking recipes.
- Brown Sugar: Imparting moistness and a caramel-like flavor, brown sugars can transform cookies, muffins, and more.
- Powdered Sugar: Not just for icings and glazes, it also gives a professional touch when dusted over finished treats.
3. Leavening Agents
Want your cakes and breads to rise and be fluffy? That’s where leavening agents come in. These ingredients make sure your baked goods aren’t flat and heavy.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda: These ensure your baked goods rise to perfection, creating fluffy cakes and cookies.
- Yeast: For those aspiring to bake any bread recipe, yeast (whether active dry or instant) is non-negotiable. It provides rise and distinct flavor to breads.
Fats are the key to rich and moist baked goods. Whether it’s the butter in your cookies or the oil in your muffins, fats add flavor and texture.
- Unsalted Butter: Adding richness and flavor, butter is foundational for many pastries and baked goods.
- Oils such as vegetable, olive, canola, coconut: Each oil offers a unique flavor and texture, ensuring your baked goods remain moist.
- Shortening: Want a flaky pie crust? Shortening is the key. It helps give pastries that light and airy texture everyone loves.
Liquids are musts in your recipes—they breathe life into your baking. They blend ingredients, add moisture, and contribute to flavor.
- Milk: Be it whole milk, buttermilk, condensed milk, or a dairy-free alternative like almond milk, it adds moisture and structure to your recipes.
- Vanilla Extract: This aromatic essence takes your desserts from good to great by accentuating other flavors.
- Eggs: Aside from eggs being the base of other great recipes, they can also act as a binding agent that contributes to structure, moisture, and leavening.
6. Chocolates & Cocoa
For the sweet-toothed and the dessert lovers, chocolates and cocoa are heaven. They turn ordinary recipes into rich, chocolatey delights.
- Unsweetened Chocolate: A base for many chocolate desserts. It gives you the most unadulterated chocolate taste, giving you full control over the depth of the chocolate flavor in your recipes.
- Cocoa Powder: Cocoa powder is great for making brownies, cakes, and some cookies because you get a strong chocolate taste without making the dessert too greasy. Plus, it mixes easily into recipes and lets you decide how sweet you want your treat to be.
- Chocolate Chips: It’s essential for cookies and many other treats!
7. Extras & Enhancers
Think of these as the final touch or the secret ingredient. They elevate your baked goods from good to unforgettable!
- Nuts: Walnuts, pecans, almonds – toasted or raw, they add texture and flavor.
- Dried Fruits: Dried fruits like raisins, cranberries, and apricots add a sweet and chewy touch to recipes. They’re great for a burst of natural sweetness and can also make a dessert more interesting with their texture.
- Spices: Spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves bring a whole new layer of flavor to desserts. Just a pinch can make a big difference, turning an ordinary treat into something special with added warmth and depth.
How To Stock Your Baking Pantry—Things To Consider
Aside from having these essential ingredients on hand, do take note of the following (in no particular order) for easy pantry maintenance:
- Label your ingredients properly so you won’t mistake, say, any of your specialty flours with confectioner’s sugar. That’s not going to make any recipe you make end well if this happens!
- Ensure that you place the date of purchase and expiration. Remember that each ingredient has a different shelf life. You wouldn’t want to use expired ingredients, especially if you’re making the bakes for a client, right?
- Group similar items together for quick access. For instance, keep sugars and flours in the same area, using separate containers for each. This also ensures a lower chance of you mistaking one ingredient for another.
- When making a pantry or setting up one, choose a dry, cool location. It’s also advisable to select a spot away from direct light.
- Invest in airtight containers to keep your ingredients fresh and free from ants, cockroaches, and other pests.
- Keep your pantry organized with labels facing forward, and promptly remove expired items for a smooth baking experience.
How to Stock Your Baking Pantry-Final Thoughts
Starting a baking journey is super fun, but having a well-stocked pantry makes everything easier and more fun! It means you’re always ready to bake, no matter what delicious creation you plan to make.
And isn’t that awesome to think about? If your pantry has everything, there’s no stopping you. No more missing out on baking just because you don’t have one ingredient. No more baking fails!
So, as you get started baking, remember: being prepared is the way to go. A pantry stocked full of all the right stuff means you’re always ready to bake anything you want, anytime you want.
Happy baking, and remember, for some of the best recipes for baking, make sure to sign up at The Bailiwick Academy! Along with more than a hundred easy-to-understand classes taught by some of the best instructors in the Philippines, you’ll connect with passionate home bakers eager to help you elevate your skills. Sounds great, agree?
See you in one of our courses!
Keep coming back to The Bailiwick Academy blog for more kitchen and baking tips, tricks, and much more!