For a cook or a baker .. does it matter?
I’m an organizing whiz and love nothing more than spending an afternoon unpacking a slew of boxes and finding the perfect place for each item.
Since closing the bakery-café this summer, I am excited to rediscover my large kitchen at the guesthouse. We are lucky to have a private kitchen in our living space, which is where my husband does all the cooking. In the guesthouse, we also have a commercial kitchen that I have claimed for my own baking space.
With so many boxes to unpack from the former bakery, I cannot wait to get started. As I consider the different types of baking that I enjoy, I want to create a space that is functional yet will accommodate space for multiple cookies sheets during the holidays, but allows for creating amazing cakes, sumptuous pastries and scrumptious pies.
When organizing a kitchen for efficient cooking, you need to consider your work triangle. This is typically the distance between the stove, refrigerator and sink. However, when the focus is baking, it is the oven, refrigerator, and counter where a baker spends most of her/his time.
Next, I need to decide where to store all the essential tools that I use most often: favourite cake pans, muffin tins used each morning, quiche, pie plates, and, of course a stand mixer. Keep common, often-used items within arm’s reach and eye level. Store heavy items lower in the cupboard and use the high, hard-to-reach space for occasional use items.
I am fortunate to have a large pantry in this kitchen, and it holds most of my staple ingredients. Using open shelving allows me to see everything at a quick glance and repacking common use items into clear plastic containers keeps them fresh while reminding me which items are getting low and need to be refilled. If your storage space has doors, the same principles can be used.
If you are just starting out or just getting back into your kitchen, a few must-have items:
- Measuring cups, both wet and dry
- Rubber spatula
- Metal spatula
- Chef’s knife
- Paring knife
- Set of glass mixing bowls
- Stand Mixer, add to your gift list
If you had to choose just one baking pan, pick a 9 x 13 glass dish. Versatile for cooking, roasting savoury dishes, and you can also bake in a glass dish if you lower the heat in your oven.
Tips from the pro:
- Cover the bottom of kitchen drawers with a piece of plastic shelf liner. This keeps items from shifting when you open and close the drawer
- Use empty toilet paper tube to store silicone mats in a drawer
- Use a turntable for items stored in the hard-to-reach corners in the cupboard
Did you know …
- Use an ice cream scoop for muffin batter and cookie dough, great for equal measuring
- A garlic press is the perfect size as a key lime juicer
- An egg slicer can be used for perfectly sliced fruits and vegetables
So, does it matter if you set your kitchen to be primarily a cooking or baking kitchen? In a word – yes. As you can see from the above, kitchens are organized quite differently depending on what they are mostly used for – so you decide. Will you be known as a chef or a baker extraordinaire?