Baking is a lot of fun, and it’s also a fantastic way to foster your creativity and sharpen your skills. If you love to bake, adding a baking station to your home is an excellent way to cook up new creations and keep things organized. Baking stations offer you a designated area for all of your baking ingredients, goods, tools, and more. But beware: A baking station might just encourage you to bake so much that you end up starting your own business. Here’s how to design and build the ultimate baking station at home.
As with any DIY project, you’ll want to start with the materials you plan to use when building your baking station. Quartz is a favorite choice for bakers, as is marble, which keeps your butter cold while you’re prepping dough or working it into a recipe.
Once you’ve chosen your countertop surface material, consider how to spruce up the wall behind it. Beadboard or shiplap painted in a charming color is a fabulous choice, or you can install a tile backsplash to add some flair and keep the walls easy-to-clean and protected from damage.
Once you’ve decided on the materials, it’s time to think about where your baking station will be. Here are a few ideas to inspire you:
Under a window: If your sink isn’t already taking up this space, consider placing your baking station under a sunny window so you can enjoy the view while you bake and prep your favorite homemade recipes.
Kitchen island: Your kitchen island can easily double as a baking station, but make sure you have plans to organize everything when you’re not using it. A stepped-down section with a lower countertop installed on one side of your island is a great option, too.
End of the kitchen island: Another great option is to create an extension of your island with wheels so you can roll it out, then tuck it away when you’re finished. Just be sure that the extension is lower than the island and that you have room to roll it under
Add on to your kitchen: If you have the budget and the time, a complete extension of your kitchen is an excellent way to designate a particular area just for baking. Always consider the pros and cons of additions or extensions to your home before committing to this type of project.
Pullout shelf: For those short on extra space, a large pullout shelf can double as a counter for your baking endeavors. You can also designate specific cabinets in your kitchen for ingredients, tools, and accessories.
Your baking station’s height is very important since you need to be able to comfortably mix ingredients, spread dough for a delicious focaccia, knead dough like a pro, or even pizza dough and perform other baking-related tasks. When designing the station, keep in mind that the counters should be lower than the rest of your kitchen countertops. Table- or waist-height is ideal, which is approximately 30 to 32 inches. If you plan to use an existing table, you can cut the legs to height, making it shorter for better functionality. Ensure that anything with wheels has a locking mechanism, so it stays securely in place.
If you cook everything from sweet cookies to savory breads, or even some churros you’ll need a variety of different tools and equipment for a successful baking station.
Stand mixer. Perfect for all kinds of dough and batters, a stand mixer is a must-have piece of equipment for any avid baker. Additional tools like a paddle can be attached for perfect bread and more.
Hand mixer. When baking smaller batches or specific recipes like pancakes, a hand mixer can make your baking projects fast and easy.
Measuring cups and spoons. Stock measuring cups for both wet and dry ingredients as well as measuring spoons for accuracy when you bake.
Cream Chargers. Cream chargers makes the process of whipping cream much easier.
Wooden spoon and rubber spatula. This simple tool is a baker must-have. A wooden spoon and rubber spatula make it easy to “fold” ingredients together and scrape your bowls without damaging them.
Baking pans. From cookie sheets to pie plates, you’ll need a variety of baking pans in different sizes and materials, depending on what you love to bake.
Rolling pin. Perfect for rolling your dough to the right thickness, a rolling pin is a critical tool for any baker’s arsenal to create the perfect homemade white bread.
Wire rack. A wire rack helps your baked goods cool faster, and it’s another must for your baking station.
Pastry brush. A pastry brush makes it easy to add a light layer of butter or egg wash on biscuits, puff pastry dough, and pie crusts. This handy baking tool is also great if you want to apply a glaze, syrup, or another sugary coating on top of cookies or cakes.
Whisk. Every baker needs a hand whisk to mix their ingredients. While a motorized mixer is an excellent piece of equipment, a hand-operated whisk is an absolute must if you want to mix your dough, fillings, or other ingredients in a bowl by hand to ensure you reach the perfect consistency.
Different Knives. Stock your baking station with various knives for cutting fresh ingredients, trimming pie crusts, and general use. Look for a knife set that includes a storage block so you have all of your knives neatly together in one central location.
Blender. No baking station is complete without a quality blender. These helpful tools are perfect for handling tasks like crushing nuts or whipping up a pie filling (depending on your recipe). If you don’t have space for a countertop blender, try a smaller hand blender instead.
Food processor. Add a food processor to your baking station equipment list if you want to make chopping and mixing ingredients easier. This helpful tool can make baking a lot easier, especially if your recipe involves a lot of prep work that consists of getting natural ingredients ready, such as fresh fruit or nuts.
Professional equipment. If you decide to take your baking station to the next level, consider some professional equipment like an oversized electric mixer that allows you to make larger batches of bread, dough, and more. Professional equipment tends to be more expensive, but it’s also more powerful and able to handle larger quantities of your recipes at once.
Cake, Pie, Cupcake Stands, and Covers. Show off your baking skills with some beautiful cake, pie, and cupcake stands. Make sure your stands include protective covers that will keep your delicious goodies fresh while you set them out on display.
Parchment Paper. Make sure that there’s no sticky mess to clean up between batches. Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper, ensuring the parchment paper doesn’t hang over the edges of the pan and does not touch the oven wall. It will protect the paper from burning.
Dough Mixer. Hand kneading is a wonderful way to make fresh bread and pastries, but a dough mixer can make the process easy and seamless. This helpful baking equipment typically comes as an attachment that you add to your electric mixer. The unique design is made specially to mix your ingredients until they reach a perfect dough-like consistency for exquisite french baguettes.
Piping Tips, Pastry Bags, and Accessories. Decorate your beautiful baked goods with these helpful tools. Look for piping tips, pastry bags, and other unique accessories that will give you artistic control when decorating your homemade cookies, cakes, and cupcakes. Use these items to add colorful icing and decorative designs to your delicious treats for a fun, personal touch.
Pastry Refrigerator to Keep Your Goods Fresh. If you like to prepare your dough and other baked goods ahead of time, look for a quality pastry refrigerator to keep everything nice and fresh.
Ingredients and Recipes
While every recipe is different, there are some standard ingredients to keep on hand in your baking station, including:
- Flour: Perhaps the most common ingredient in baked goods, keep cake flour and all-purpose flour on hand.
- Sugar: White, brown, and powdered sugar are all crucial ingredients for baking.
- Salt: Even if you need just a pinch, it’s wise to have plenty of salt on standby for your recipes.
- Cocoa powder: Many recipes call for cocoa powder, so be sure to have at least a small amount on-hand.
- Butter: Most baking recipes require unsalted butter, so it’s good to have plenty in the fridge whenever you need it.
- Eggs: Keep a dozen fresh eggs in your refrigerator at all times if you’re planning to do lots of baking.
- Nuts: From almonds to pecans, you should stock up on a variety of nuts for various recipes.
- Oil: Vegetable, coconut, and canola oils are all common ingredients in baked goods, so be sure you have all three on-hand and stocked up.
- Extras: From chocolate chips to dried cranberries, keep some extra goodies stored for different recipes such as a delicious Banana Bread so you’re prepared.
Here are a few quick tips for delicious recipes and ingredients that will make baking even more fun.
Introduce some natural fruits and veggies from your garden in your baked goods. Not only will these ingredients taste fresh and bright, but they’re also a healthy alternative to pre-made fillings and artificial flavors. You’ll also take great pride knowing that your baked goods include items you’ve grown yourself at home.
Keep a recipe book handy and take note of all of your deliciously sweet creations. You might come up with original recipes that you want to share with others or just keep them close to your heart. Jotting down and recording recipes is a wonderful way to keep them handy, share them with others, and tweak them as your techniques change.
Keep some photos of your favorite recipes along with helpful tips in your recipe book. This is a wonderful way to share the information with friends and family or to gather everything together if you plan to publish your own special recipe book.
Make desserts from all over the world to introduce different cultures to your family. Whether it’s famous French pastries, Mexican churros, Japanese mochi, or different types of Indian Curries, this is a great way to learn more about cultures and practices from across the globe.
Best Italian desserts to try: Italy is known for its delectable desserts, so try your hand at some of the most famous ones, including panna cotta, tiramisu, and of course – the ever-popular cannoli.
Best Turkish desserts to introduce in your kitchen: Experience the sweet treats of Turkey by making baklava, lokma, or Asure, just to name a few.
Best Asian desserts for new flavors: Asian desserts are fun to make and can include a wide range of delicious options like rice pudding, fortune cookies, and mango pudding.
Use your baking station to make other items besides desserts, like savory treats of fresh bread or pie crusts to make a delicious turkey or chicken pot pie.
Do some experimenting and try baking items with gluten-free or whole wheat flour. Add dried fruits and seeds to your recipes or toss in some fresh shredded cheese and nuts to discover a new and perfect savory recipe you can bake from scratch. You can also try making some pancakes without eggs.
Once you’ve gathered everything together, it’s time to organize. It’s important to keep your baking station tidy and clean, and the right storage can keep this area mess-free. Here are a few helpful tips to inspire you:
- Clear jars or canisters with a tight-sealing lid make it easy to find the ingredients you need. Label each jar using stickers or a small chalkboard label that you can write on.
- If you have the room, consider installing open shelving over your baking station area, so it’s easy to grab what you need as you go.
- Dedicate one section of your kitchen cabinets solely to organizing your baking ingredients. You can use a drawer underneath for your tools and the bottom cabinets for your mixers and other equipment. Use another section for your cookbooks.
- Add organizers to your baking drawer so that you can separate items by type or size. It also keeps the drawer from getting cluttered, and you won’t lose your favorite tools in the fray.
- A spice rack is a great way to store and organize ingredients that you only need a pinch of, like salt or powdered sugar. Use a tackle box for your food coloring and sprinkles.
- To store your cookie sheets more easily, “file” them lengthwise and upright in a lower kitchen cabinet. Install small dividers so each cookie sheet is separated yet stored with the others in one central location.
- If you’re short on storage space, use a kitchen or bar cart, and stock it with all of your tools and ingredients. This is also a terrific way to access everything you need in one place while freeing up the rest of your kitchen.
Create a business out of it
If baking is truly your passion, there’s no reason why you can’t make it a successful business. Now that your baking station is set up and you have a great space to create your delicious recipes, it’s time to think big. Before you dive into baking as a career, be sure to look into your state’s cottage food laws. Each location has different laws that apply to cooking and selling food out of a residence. Start by creating a comprehensive budget, and decide which items you plan to sell and to whom. Local schools and small businesses are both excellent places to start. You can advertise online through social media or design your website. Whatever you decide, becoming a professional baker can be an extremely fulfilling and rewarding career that allows you to do what you love.
Make it family-friendly
Baking together as a family is a wonderful way to bond and spend time with those you love. If you want the entire family to cook with you, there are a few important safety precautions to take into consideration:
- Set a few safety ground rules in advance, like washing hands before handling ingredients or cooking.
- Never leave children in the kitchen unattended, especially if the stove is on or there are knives within reach.
- Use a small step stool to help your child reach the countertops so they can bake with you without straining or being tempted to climb onto the counters.
- There are many activities young children can help you with that are safe, easy, and fun. For example, stirring up ingredients in a large bowl is something safe that kids love to do.
- Ensure all pot and pan handles are facing inward to prevent them from accidentally getting caught on clothing or knocked off the stovetop.
- Store all knives and sharp tools safely out of the reach of children.
Whether you enjoy baking in your free time or your dream is to start your own baking business, a beautifully organized baking station is a great way to get started. Remember to decide on your baking station’s materials and placement first, then stock up on ingredients, tools, and equipment. With the right organization and the perfect spot, you can enjoy using your home baking station for years to come.
(Original article can be found here from Porch.com)