Every once in awhile the baking bug bites all of us. Especially when the weather starts to get a chill in the air, and the thought of a hot apple pie in the oven perfuming the kitchen becomes more and more appealing. It makes sense to have the basics on hand, ready for that Sunday afternoon when baking something from scratch is just the thing to do.
ALL PURPOSE FLOUR
Keep a 5lb bag in your freezer so you won’t have to worry about little flour critters if you don’t use the flour often. And if your freezer is teeny tiny, buy a smaller bag of flour.
Buy the largest bag you can comfortably fit in your pantry, and make sure to keep it wrapped up well.
I know, I know. TWO sugars? yes. Brown sugar is a must for chewy chocolate chip cookies. It’s also great sprinkled on oatmeal or yogurt.
Here’s when you buy the smallest container you can find. It doesn’t last forever, and if you don’t bake often, it will lose it’s potency in about 6 months. Keep it in a cool dark place.
(it’s necessary for baked goods that contain acidic ingredients i.e. buttermilk)
Don’t buy anything that says imitation. You want the real stuff. And you don’t need a big bottle.
There are a lot of extracts out there, and odds are you won’t need any flavor except vanilla, but almond is great for so many things besides baking. Add a drop to hot chocolate, oatmeal, tea, yogurt…..just remember a single drop or two goes a long way.
Keep a small container of cocoa powder as well as a bag of chocolate chips. Get the best quality you can find.
Great to add to cookies, breads, and almost anything baked with apples. If they dry out, soak them in some hot water (or your favorite alcohol) till soft.
I usually cook with olive oil, so I don’t use a lot of butter. But I keep a pound in the freezer for when I want to bake.