You can bake in pretty much any kitchen, but if you truly want to indulge your inner baker then you need a kitchen built specifically to handle all the baking you want to do. Here are 10 important tips that should help you turn your kitchen into a baker’s paradise.
1. Keep ingredients organized and easy to access
Make sure that your ingredients are easy to see and easy to get. Consider adding open shelves to keep dry ingredients such as flour and sugar easily accessible. Upright tray storage is also ideal, as it keeps what’s inside easy to view and access.
You should also make sure that any spices you keep in drawers and cabinets are arranged for maximum visibility. Remember not to keep them next to the oven, though, or they’ll get too hot and dry out. Bins with airtight lids can also help keep ingredients fresh.
2. Accessorize your drawers
Make the most out of your existing drawer space by adding storage accessories. Narrow roll-out drawers, for example, are great for storing utensils like cookie cutters and measuring spoons. You can also add dividers to keep different items stored in one drawer separate and easier to get. Pull-out shelves also make it easier to find and access pans and pantry items.
Remember to try not to keep any baking implements in jars on top of your counter or workstation. You move a lot when you’re baking, and a jar is just another thing that’s very easy to knock over. Consider installing hanging storage solutions instead.
3. Fit your counter to your height
If you’re serious about your baking, consider customizing your counter height so that it’s at just the right height for when you roll out dough. You’ll be doing this a lot, so a counter that’s too high or too short will tire you out quicker.
4. Mix up your countertop surfaces
A kitchen built for baking will have different countertop surfaces for working with different things. Ideally, you will want to have marble, wood, and stainless steel surfaces to handle all of your baking requirements. If you’re tight on the space and the budget, wood is the best option for anything that requires you to put down a layer of flour. Dough won’t stick to a wooden surface, but it still provides enough friction for you to shape a loaf easily.
5. Spring for double ovens
If you have the budget and the space for them, a pair of wall-mounted double ovens will really help you take your baking to the next level. Convection ovens are also highly recommended; convection heating, which involves recirculating heat around the oven interior, helps you make evenly baked cookies and dough.
6. Skip the side-by-side fridge
In direct contrast to the double ovens, a side-by-side refrigerator is not recommended for a kitchen designed for a baker. Side-by-side refrigerators typically do not have the needed space to hold even one sheet pan. Instead, consider buying a refrigerator with a bottom-mounted freezer wide enough to hold your baking sheets in case you need to chill something.
7. Wire your kitchen for full power
Make sure that you have plenty of available electrical outlets to handle all of your baking appliances. A strategic electrical layout is as important as the appliances that you buy. After all, you won’t be able to use your appliances to the fullest if you don’t have enough outlets to plug them in. Ensure that you have enough outlets to let you operate multiple electrical appliances at the same time.
8. Include a tech / knowledge corner
Turn one corner of your workstation into a dedicated space for a TV or computer where you can watch your favorite baking shows or instructional videos. You can also keep a small bookshelf full of cookbooks in this space. You’ll want to keep this space as close to the work area as possible so you don’t have to interrupt your flow or injure your neck trying to see what to do next.
9. Make your workstation easy to clean
You can’t avoid making a mess when you’re busy. Always make sure that your workstation is easy to clean after you’re done baking. Having rounded edges on your countertop helps make wiping down your workstation easier. You should also consider keeping your workstation surface away from the wall. Finally, don’t keep little knick-knacks on your counter to keep the clutter down and the cleanup easier to do.
10. Install good lighting
Adequate lighting lets you see everything you need to see easily and comfortably is an important consideration in any kind of kitchen. For a baker’s kitchen, you should think about letting in as much natural light as possible. While artificial lighting can certainly do the job, there’s nothing quite like natural light to help get your creative juices flowing.