How To Set Up A Baker’s Pantry.
Okay so the holidays are almost here, you have been seeing all these drool worthy recipes on social media – like facebook, pinterest, twitter, instagram and YOU ARE READY!
There is that family dinner your significant other wants you to go to and the ask is to take dessert. So what’s wrong with going to the favorite bakery and ordering up their specialty, super d’ duper pumpkin pie? Nothing at all of course, but maybe, just maybe, you could really bake a homemade pie just like this luscious lemon meringue? You can! And I’m going to help you.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks to many would be bakers is the baking ingredients and equipment needed, or in most cases, the lack of it. Not many kitchens these days have the requisite pastry mats, rolling pins, baking pans, pastry cutters,…..well you get where I’m going. And ingredients like all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar and certain spices. All of this is usually acquired over time. If you went to purchase it all at once, WHOA, that would really add up!
Did you know that baking soda is used in many baking recipes? Here is a cool article that shares just how many different uses baking soda has.
So I thought about what basic baking ingredients and equipment would be needed to help you get organized for Holiday Baking and to set up your Baker’s Pantry. And most importantly, how we could keep the cost to a minimum.
No matter what your circumstances are, what size of kitchen, if you live in a large home or a tiny apartment like I do (and an RV on the weekends!) being organized can turn any baking activity into an absolute delight!
It has taken me many years to learn this, but a few years ago I started to keep all of my baking supplies separate from my regular pantry and grocery items.
I have a very small jam cupboard that holds all of my spices, flavorings, sugars, flours, anything I use for baking. That means you only have one place to look to see what item is running low, and more importantly when you have your recipe out and you start to gather ingredients, everything is in its place. Cool huh? You don’t even need a jam cupboard or separate pantry, a shelf in your cupboard will do just fine, or a corner of your kitchen counter. Just so long as you keep your baker’s pantry items separate and easy to get too.
One of the best places I know of to get good quality and inexpensive pie baking equipment are the dollar stores, or big box stores. I like the dollar stores like Dollar Tree or in Canada we have Dollarama. They have a huge line of Betty Crocker Baking Equipment that is not only well made, but it looks good too!
Here is the list you really need! The Baking Essentials to help you get organized, set up your Baker’s Pantry and bake some drool worthy recipes! It includes what I feel are the basics, and also a list of ‘nice to have’ items. Ideas for your next birthday, perhaps?
I’ve also included a link so that you can download the Shopping List as a printable. Just click the image or this link! Click here for your FREE Pantry Shopping List!
Even experienced bakers will benefit from this list, perhaps as a reminder of something they have wanted to add, or something that needs replacing. I’m always on the lookout for mixing bowls and spoons. And pie servers. I never seem to have enough pie servers.
I hope this helps to get your Baking Pantry set up and that being organized will make your next baking experience that much more enjoyable. Please drop me a line in the comments below and share your experiences!
Related: Lemon Meringue Pie, Homemade Pumpkin Pie, Five Easy Steps to Perfect Pie Crust.
Homemade Food Gifts are a wonderful way to share the love!
Usually around the holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, we often see beautifully photographed articles in my favorite magazines about food and baking gifts you can create to give to friends and family. A popular theme at kitchen showers these days is to share recipes with the Bride-to-be. There are some adorable printable recipe cards online that help you do just that. So in doing my research and wanting to create the perfect blog post for you, I decided to take this idea one step further. To actually create the perfect homemade food gift – it could be a delicious Chocolate Cake, a mouthwatering Cheesecake or a fresh batch of your favorite cookies.
There are so many events where you could share your delicious homemade food gift. Some ideas are:
- Kitchen Shower
- Holiday Gifts like Christmas
- Hostess Gift
- Pot Luck
- School or Charity Bake Sale
I’m always on the lookout for a unique way to combine my love of baking and creativity to come up with a gift that keeps on giving. By now the word is out – my passion for baking and pies means that family and friends often ask for their favorite pie – and the recipe!
I wanted to share how I make my special homemade food gifts with you! Kind of like DIY meets Baking!
What is it? Well I bake a pie, place it in a beautiful pie dish or plate, add a pie server, print out the recipe and wrap it all up in a bow – I like to use raffia, it has a homespun, but elegant look.
I usually have a fairly good inventory of pie plates and pie servers since I love to haunt antique shops and flea markets. This is helpful because often you don’t have a lot of time to put a gift together. If you know the person receiving the gift, this part is easy, you can put together a pie plate and server fairly easily. But even if you don’t, I typically choose a combination that I really like personally. It hasn’t failed me yet!
Next comes the pie. Again, a bit of thought needs to happen here as to what type of pie you want to give. If the event is close to home, perhaps an elegant lemon meringue – or mousse.
If you need to travel a bit – why not try a delicious chocolate or pecan pie, something with a fairly stable filling, that can be warmed by your host/hostess – or popped into the freezer, so that he or she can enjoy it another day!
The final touch is the recipe. I just love the look of these beautiful calligraphy recipe cards and I hope you do too. They are free for you!
You can be sure that your homemade food gifts idea will be happily received and talked about for some time.
Pie crust from your food processor? You are going to love this pie crust recipe! Even if you are a complete newbie, or have had trouble in the past making beautiful, flaky pie crust, HELP IS HERE!
You should know too, that helping people to learn how to make delicious pie crust is kind of a personal mission of mine. I want the whole world to enjoy making pie crust!
Because we all know what happens after you make that perfect pie crust recipe right? You know it. A perfect pie is soon to follow. 🙂
When I was learning pastry making, particularly how to make pie crust, the old tried and true ways always worked for me. I used a handheld pastry blender, taking my time and being careful to fully blend the flour, shortening (or butter), and the rest of the ingredients.
And that’s because I learned my mother’s pie crust recipe and she got it from my grandmother. It appeared to me then, and it still does to this day – to be a labour of love. Mixing pastry dough by hand was just part of the process, and there was a skill to it, you really needed to mix everything in sequence and get the pastry dough to the right texture – to be ready to roll out for pie crust.
But a couple of months ago, when I was trying a new recipe, the instructions included the use of a small food processor. I was amazed and happily surprised at not only how quickly and easily the pastry dough came together, but that the quality of the pastry dough was excellent. I almost laughed out loud at the ease of use, thinking back to my catering days when I would be required to bake 50-60 pies for one event!
Small food processors have become a mainstay in a busy cook’s kitchen. I have had mine for a while, but didn’t really start to use it until recently. And the reason for that is that I am now using my food processor when I mix up my perfect pie crust recipe. Seriously.
There are a number of good brands on the market. You can get them just about anywhere, Walmart, Kitchen Stuff Plus, or Bed Bath & Beyond to name a few. Just make sure the bowl or bin will hold about 8 cups (1.9 litres) – so that you can use your food processor for a variety of uses.
- Put the dry ingredients into the bin, put on the lid and pulse for a few seconds, just to blend.
- Next take the butter or vegetable shortening and add it to the dry mixture.
- I don’t use the chute for this and I cut the shortening/butter into small chunks.
- Put the lid back on and pulse until the butter is very finely chopped.
- Then add the ice water.
- I do use the chute for this.
- Pulse away and voila! Pastry dough ready to bake a pie.
- It’s that easy and very little, if any messes to clean up.
The easiest perfect pie crust recipe ever. Easy as pie!
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an easy pastry dough recipe that mixes up in minutes - ready to roll out to make a pie
cake and pastry flour
unsalted butter - cut into small chunks
vegetable shortening - cut into small chunks
ice cold water
Place the dry ingredients into the bin and pulse.
Next add the butter and shortening a little at a time and pulse until the mixture is coarse.
Gradually add the water through the chute - while pulsing.
The pastry dough will mix very quickly.
Remove it from the bin - be careful with the blade!
Wrap into two evenly shaped balls of pastry dough and cover with plastic wrap
Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
You are ready to roll out your piecrust!
You can freeze the pastry dough as well. Or if you leave it in the refrigerator longer than 30 minutes - let it sit out for 30 minutes, before you start to roll it.