Successful baking involves a lot more than just the right recipe and ingredients. How you set up your kitchen can also affect your results; if done right, it can yield some really tasty rewards. .
Today’s Daily Bite will help you learn how to organize your kitchen and turn your home into the ultimate “bake space.”
by Guest Blogger Jamie Goldberg, AKBD, CAPS
As a professional kitchen designer, the complaints I hear most often from baking enthusiasts include:
“I don’t have enough storage space.”
“I don’t have enough counter space.”
“My oven doesn’t work well.”
“I can never find what I need.”
Part of my job is to remedy such problems, so here are a few strategies and products I recommend to help make your baking experience as delightful as your baked goods.
DEFINE A BAKING CENTER
Any successful design or organization project begins with a plan, and transforming your kitchen is no exception. The transformation begins with the baking equipment you own and the ingredients you keep on hand.
Pull all your baking items from where they’re usually stored and set them out together. This will show you how much counter top and drawer/shelf space you need to create a dedicated “baking center.”
If you bake at least once a week, you should plan to set up your baking center within your refrigerator-sink-range/cooktop work triangle (i.e., the high-traffic workspace near your most used major appliances).
BAKING CENTER STORAGE
Once you’ve determined how much room you need and where it will be located, it’s time to outfit your personal baking space. I recommend drawer dividers to keep your whisks, spatulas, mixing spoons and other small items separate and organized. In addition, tray dividers work well in narrow cabinets for storing baking sheets and muffin tins (storing such items vertically can save a lot of space). If you have the room, a stand mixer lift will keep your counter tops clear when your mixer is not in use. Backsplash racks or ledges are ideal for storing spices.
BAKING CENTER APPLIANCES
If you’re planning to replace your oven or microwave anytime soon, here are three types that can save you space and multiply your cooking
- Single-Double Wall Oven – This unit packs two ovens and convection power into a single unit. So if you have room for only a single oven, you can now have a double instead.
- Steam/Convect Oven – This oven can cook an entrée and a dessert at the same time using both convection and steam power.
- Lift Oven – This less common oven can be installed on an open wall above a countertop, thus increasing your baking capacity without additional cabinetry. It’s also ideal for anyone who has a tough time bending to remove food from a range or below-countertop oven.
BAKING CENTER COUNTERTOPS
While bakers have long enjoyed marble as a cool surface for rolling dough, I recommend engineered stone/quartz countertops as a 21st Century replacement. Like marble, quartz offers a cool, smooth surface, but it’s far more durable and non-porous. This last attribute means you don’t need to worry about food-borne bacteria seeping into your countertop, especially for the many recipes that employ eggs.
If you’re an avid baker and fortunate enough to have extra space around your kitchen, it might be worthwhile to set up a completely independent baking center work station. I strongly recommend working with a kitchen design professional who can help plan and install such a project. The National Kitchen & Bath Association is an excellent resource for finding someone qualified to help you achieve a successful outcome that enhances your passion for baking, as well as your home’s value.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Jamie Goldberg, AKBD, CAPS is an independent, NKBA-certified kitchen designer based in Tampa, FL. She writes regularly on design, architecture and remodeling issues for local, national and online publications.