Baking can be very therapeutic, and that is why so many people have become at-home bakers this past year. And while Sweet Melissa Patisserie certainly loves baking for our happy customers, we also want to give you some advice on what to keep on hand in your own pantry. Do you have these essential baking ingredients?
Flours and Leaveners
Every baker’s pantry must include flour. It is a staple for so many, if not most, baked goods, and it should be stored in airtight containers. All-purpose flour is a must-have, but many bakers also like to have alternative flours on hand, like almond flour and corn meal or self-rising and gluten-free flours. Note that some types of specialty flours last longer if stored in your freezer. Of course, you will also need leaveners like baking soda and baking powder to make your baked goods rise. If baking bread has become your new passion, make sure you have yeast on hand, too.
If sweet treats are your thing, then you will want to stock your pantry with the right sweeteners. Granulated white sugar is often called for in baked good recipes, as are light and dark brown sugars. Fun fact: brown sugar is white sugar with molasses added in! Confectioners’ sugar, better known as powdered sugar, is perfect for making icing and frosting. Other sweeteners like agave or maple syrup are also handy.
Spices and Flavors
Vanilla extract is queen when it comes to baked goods! It is worth spending a few extra bucks for the 100% pure vanilla extract instead of the imitation versions. Other flavor extracts like almond, mint, and rum can also enhance your recipes. And when it comes to spices, fill up your spice rack with staples like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Cocoa powder and table and sea salt are also essential.
Baked goods typically call for some type of fat to bring out flavor and help bind ingredients together. Essential baking fats you can keep in your pantry include vegetable oil, which is great for cakes and brownies, shortening that is good for pie crusts, and coconut cream and oil are versatile for many recipes.
One of the most fun things about baking is all of the yummy add-ins you can put in your creations. Keep your pantry stocked with baking essentials like chocolate chips, chopped nuts, coconut flakes, oats, dried fruit, and anything else you love to snack on. And to make your treats look as good as they taste, buy some fun decorative add-ons like sprinkles and food coloring.
If you need some baking inspiration, then swing on by Sweet Melissa Patisserie for all the baked goods you could dream of — from brioche and croissants to cookies and tarts, you will fall in love with our delicious baked treats!
Sweet Melissa Patisserie is open early every day except Monday. To try out our award-winning baked goods for yourself, please visit us at 56 Payne Road in Lebanon. If you have any questions or special requests, please give us a call at 908-323-2460.