Few aromas can bring warmth to a home like the smell of cookies in the oven, or fresh-baked bread. If you are nursing ambitions to be the next cupcake queen, you might want to turn your kitchen into a specialised baking centre that will do any professional baker proud.
1. Location! Location! Location!
As with real estate, turning a kitchen into a specially-fitted baker’s paradise is all about location. Where you put all the necessary equipment for your baking needs is important. For ease of use, the oven should be next to the workstation and everything else needed for baking – utensils, appliances, ingredients, cookbook, sink – should be within easy reach of that workstation. With this configuration, you will not have to move more than a few steps to get the baking done, minimising spillage and mess.
If you are designing your kitchen from scratch, opt to have a built-in oven. Traditionally, this can be done by having your oven built under a counter top or stove, or set in a wall. For prolific bakers, opt to have the oven set within the wall. This allows you to raise the oven so you will not have to break your back hauling things in and out of the oven. It also separates your oven from the stove so you will not have to interrupt your baking for other cooking needs.
If you have the space, a double oven is a baker’s ultimate indulgence. Having two oven means you can do twice the amount of baking in the same time. It also allows you to use one oven while you let the other cool because an over-heated oven affects the baking time of your product.
Of course, to have an oven built into a wall space means you must have a kitchen with enough wall space. For smaller oven units, you need at least 29 inches in height, 34.5 inches in width, and 24 inches in depth. Double ovens require another 23 inches in height.
Since we’re talking about space, pick a refrigerator with a freezer either on top or at the bottom rather than a side-by-side refrigerator. A side-by-side tends to have narrower compartments making it difficult to fit a sheet pan in to chill.
2. A Place for Everything, Everything in its Place
No baking centre would be complete without adequate storage for commonly used items such as a stand mixer, mixing bowls, trays, cooling racks, and key ingredients like sugar, flour, and spices.
Open shelves are perfect for storing dry ingredients like sugar and flour. It keeps them visible, readily available, yet away from the counter top. These shelves can be used to store cookbooks as well for easy reference and splash of colour.
Drawers are your best friends when it comes to storage of your other baking needs. Baking trays and cooling racks can be put in drawers, either stacked up or, better still, lined upright like books on a shelf so that they can be viewed and selected easily. If you can, have a lower pull-out cabinet made just for your trays that is tall and narrow. If space is a constraint, trays can be stacked and placed above the oven or the microwave.
Drawers are also great for storing baking equipment, appliances, and spices or small bottles of ingredients. They let you see what is stored right at the back without having to rampage through your things. Dedicate your top drawer to spices and the second one to cookie cutters and moulds which are needed to make anything from cookies, to scones, pies, and quiches. These are the items bakers use most often. A drawer organizer be used to help sort the cutters and mould. Howards Storage World has plenty to pick from.
For those who can afford the space, a roller cart is a handy kitchen addition. The bottom shelf can be used to store extra ingredients, baking equipment like mixers, blenders, and weighing scales. The top two shelves provide extra space for cooling your baked goods, freeing up the kitchen counter.
3. Hang Loose
An alternative to putting your baking tools in a drawer is to hang them up. Howards Storage World has kitchen rail with hooks for you to hang your bread boards, whisks, even rolling pins and cake tins on the wall. If you kitchen has a ceiling high enough, above the kitchen island. One trick some bakers resort to is removing their measuring spoons from the ring and hanging them separately. This allows you to select the size you want easily. Another thing worth hanging up is the measuring cup since baking requires so much precise measuring. Get one with a handle for this purpose.
4. Work Low
Workstations, on the other hand, should be kept lower than your regular counter top at about 75 to 80 cm high. This makes it easier for you to lean over the top, giving you more leverage to do your kneading and rolling.
The best top for a baking workstation should be stainless steel, smooth marble or granite. Avoid tiles or grooves because flour and sugar can get in between, making clean-ups a chore. On that note, work tops have to be clutter-free. Avoid putting things on them because the ingredients – flour, sugar, cream – can easily dirty the other items, giving you more things to clean.
With these hot tips, you can channel your inner Nigella and be the baking goddess you have always wanted to be. Here’s to making your baking dreams come true!
Where to shop:Best Denki
Howards Storage World
Howards Storage World