Essential Ingredients Every Baker Needs on Hand
Baking is a hobby that many people enjoy. There are tons of recipes you can follow to create the best- tasting baked goods. However, if you’re new to baking or an intermittent baker, you’ll realize there’re some ingredients that you use the most. These are your essential and staple ingredients. Therefore, it’s always best to have them on hand. Read our list of essential ingredients every baker needs on hand for great suggestions.
All-purpose flour is the jack-of-all-trades of your baking ingredients. You can make pancakes, cookies, brownies, and many more desserts with all-purpose flour. Its light and fluffy texture make it perfect for several recipes.
Different Types of Flour
Although all-purpose flour is a baker essential, there are specialty flours you can use in different baking recipes. It’s best to buy these different types of flour in small quantities because large quantities of specialty flour can spoil if not used during a specific time frame. If you’re wondering what the most common specialty flours are, here are a few:
- Cake flour is lower in protein and gluten than all-purpose flour, and it’s finely ground to produce a light texture for cakes and cupcakes.
- Bread flour contains a high amount of protein and gluten, making it ideal for chewy yeast loaves of bread.
- Self-rising flour has a mixture of baking soda and salt. It’s great for pizza doughs and biscuits.
- Pastry flour is a medium protein flour that’s ideal for pie crusts.
- Cornstarch is a finely-ground corn flour. You can thicken sauces and pie fillings with this flour option.
Sugar is a main ingredient for all baking recipes. Without it, your desserts will not taste sweet, thus defeating the purpose of a baked good. When your recipe calls for sugar, you have a few routes you can go.
- Granulated sugar is the most common type of sugar for baking. You can use it in several recipes.
- Brown sugar is a combination of refined sugar and molasses. Depending on the amount of molasses, the shade range of the brown sugar will change. This type of sugar is great for cookies and rich-flavored desserts.
- Confectioner’s sugar (powder sugar) is a finely ground granulated sugar that contains cornstarch. Bakers use powder sugar for icings and frostings.
- Sanding sugar is large crystals of granulated sugar that bakers can use to top their recipes.
Extracts and Flavoring
Extracts and flavoring infuse flavor into baked goods. They are concentrated substances that work best when you add them to batter. Many bakers use extracts and flavorings to add a particular aroma or taste to their baked goods.
Common Extracts and Flavoring
- Pure vanilla extract will give your recipe a warm flavor while adding a sweet aroma. It’s also a top choice for bakers.
- Lemon extract has a citrus flavor that will make your recipes taste and smell like lemon.
- Rum flavoring is a liquid made from rum, though the alcohol content is very small. It’s good for rum cakes and sauces.
In addition, powdered flavoring for baking is another great enhancer. It adds a unique taste and great aroma to your recipes.
Table salt is a common item in a baker’s cabinet. Although many recipes don’t use large amounts of salt, it’s still a key ingredient bakers should have on hand. Salt enhances the flavor of baked goods and balances decadent desserts. In addition, salt can improve the overall texture of your recipe.
Spices can make recipes smell amazing and add another level of flavor to your food. Ground cinnamon, ground cloves, allspice, ginger, and nutmeg are the most common spices that bakers use. One of the best things about spices is that they don’t get stale or lose flavor. You can buy the spices of your choice and keep them in your cabinet until you’re ready to use them.
A leavening agent is a substance that causes a chemical reaction in batters and dough that makes the baked good rise. Bakers use leavening agents in recipes all the time. If you want to know what leaving agents you should have, check out the list below:
- Baking soda is a leavening that works when you combine it with acid and heat. Some active ingredients that activate baking soda are dairy products, cocoa powder, brown sugar, and citrus juice.
- Baking powder is a combination of baking soda, powdered acid, and cornstarch. It’s a two-in-one leavening agent that inflates baked goods, such as cookies and pancakes while they’re baking.
- Yeast is a slow-working leavening that takes time to raise dough. Bread bakers typically use dry or instant yeast to speed the dough-rising process.
- Cream of tartar is a leavening agent that allows bakers to get fluffy baked goods without yeast.
Dairy products are crucial to baked goods because they add moisture to your recipes. It also combines the wet and dry ingredients to create a batter. As a baker, you should keep basic dairy products on hand because many recipes will call for at least one of them.
Basic Dairy Products
- Milk will give your batter moisture and add flavor to recipes.
- Unsalted butter is the most common butter that bakers use. It enhances the taste of baked good and adds a rich texture to frostings.
- Eggs help bind your ingredients together.
Additional Dairy Products
- Cream cheese
- Alternative milk (almond milk, soy milk, and other plant-based milks)
- Sour cream
- Plain yogurt
Oils and Shortenings
Oils and shortenings are the basic fats that bakers can use in their recipes. It’s important to note that many oils and shortenings have neutral flavors, but they can change the texture of different recipes. For example, some bakers use vegetable oil and shortening to replace butter or combine it with butter to create tender baked goods, like pie crust.
Baking is a delicious hobby that many people enjoy. If you’re a baker, you may realize there are some ingredients you use the most. We hope our list of essential ingredients every baker needs on hand was helpful to you. If you’re looking for some flavoring ingredients to add to your cabinet, you should consider Get Suckered’s flavor powders and concentrates. Get Suckered is a top flavoring manufacturer that makes flavor enhancers for baking. Browse our selection today for unique flavor powder choices!