Well it seems one of the things on my blog everyone loves is my pantry, me to. It has been 8 months since I set it up and I have to say, even thought I baked a lot before, I really bake a lot now. Having a space set aside, organized, has made baking easier and more inspiring.
Baking has become even more of a frugal and healthy way to feed my family. Not just for dessert, but breakfast, snacks, side dishes. I can make healthy, organic, delicious items quicker now. By having the space I have more of an assortment of grains, sweeteners, spices, etc. to keep thing new and different. I tend to use the same recipes but change things up with different ingredients.
There are few things I have done that make things easier. And to be honest, I have discovered the easier, more accessible, the more I will bake. For example I have my flour and sugar in glass cigar humidors. What I love about these is they has a wide opening, so I can scoop the flour right out of the jar. Before I had it in jars with a smaller opening and if I had to scoop out a large quantity, I could not easily get my full measuring cup in. Now I have plenty of room. I encourage you to look for wide opening containers.
I also now have two sets of measuring cups. One for wet, one for dry. I keep the dry set next to my flour and sugar. I keep the wet set in my kitchen queen. This also saves time and confusion.
I have also found shakers work well for spices I use a lot like, cinnamon and ginger. A lot of things I make, spices do not need to be measure. By being able to grab the spices and just shake some in, makes it very handy.
I encourage you to think out of the box to carve a baking center. If you have a dining room that is not really used, maybe you can use that. Or start eating you dinners there and use you kitchen eating space as a baking center. My baking pantry was a breakfast room. Do you use cabinets to hold kitchen items you do not use a lot? Can you move those items to another spot, to open space ? Manuela, took an unused shower and made a pantry out of it. Brilliant idea Manuela xoxoxo
When planning my pantry I looked at what I used the most and focused on making that accessible. Believe it or not, I have a second baking area in my kitchen for items I do not use as much. You do not have to have kitchen cabinets. I used shelving, a table and a low dresser. The dresser I did not think was going to work well. But since I needed to use what I already had, it was suppose to be temporary. But I have to say it works well. Cookie sheets really fit in the long, low drawers. I keep foil, parchment paper, plastic wrap and baggies in the other drawer.
Look at the ingredients you use most in baking. Do you have them grouped together? Are they easily accessible? Can you put them in containers that would make them easier to us? Can you take some of those baking items you do not use as much and put them in something like a old suitcase, to make room for what you do use? Think about the open space under your table. Maybe an old chest or box can go there, to hold items. Also if you have room for a bigger table, maybe one end can hold you mixer, measuring cups, flour, sugar. The other can be your work space.
Having area for just my baking, having everything I use all the time in easy access, thinking out of the box for storage and containers, has made baking much easier. Which means I am baking more and more xoxox