Baking Basics Pantry

Everything you need to know about organizing your baking pantry.

Cold Front

Always keep milk, eggs, butter, jams or jellies, lemons, and orange juice in the fridge so you'll be ready to bake anytime! When separating eggs, bring to room temperature first. You'll get more volume beating egg whites that way.

Baking Helpers

For sealing and lining, always maintain a supply of aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and resealable bags.

You'll also need 9 x 13-inch and 9 x 9-inch pans, 9 x 5-inch loaf pan, baking sheet, pie plate, muffin tin, rolling pin, wooden spoons, rubber spatulas, whisk, measuring cups and spoons, food processor and an electric mixer.

For the Pantry

Most baking ingredients are fairly long lasting. But if you haven't dusted off your cake pans in a while, it may be time to start from scratch. Keep in mind that the fresher the ingredients, the better your baking results will be.

  • Store baking soda and baking powder in a cool dry place up to 1 year. Check expiry dates. To test baking powder's potency, combine 1 teaspoon with 1/3 cup of hot water. For baking soda, combine 1/4 teaspoon with 2 teaspoons of vinegar. If they bubble, the ingredients are fine.
  • Store yeast in a cool, dry place. It can also be refrigerated or frozen. To test, mix 1 teaspoon of sugar with warm liquid called for in recipe. Let stand for five minutes. If mixture bubbles, the yeast is still active.
  • White sugar can be kept 2 years if stored in an airtight container. Brown sugar should always be stored in a plastic bag. If it begins to harden, place slice of apple or bread in bag to soften.
  • Vanilla can be stored indefinitely if it is well sealed and kept in a cool, dark place.
  • Store all-purpose flour in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 year. Whole wheat flour should be kept tightly wrapped in the fridge for up to six months and in the freezer for a year.
  • Tightly wrap chocolate and store in a cool, dry place. Under these conditions, dark chocolate can be stored for 1 year. White and milk chocolate will last 9 months.
  • Store honey in an airtight container in a dry place at room temperature for up to a year. Reliquefy by setting the container in a bowl of hot water and stir until smooth.
  • Store corn or maple syrup for up to 1 year. Keep refrigerated after opening.
  • Shortening and most oils are best kept refrigerated. They may also be stored in a cool, dark place at room temperature for up to 3 months.
  • Butter should be stored in the coldest part of the fridge, not the door. Keep for up to 4 months in the freezer, tightly sealed in a plastic bag.
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