Organizing by Zone
I love that I can bring my mixing bowl to the counter space right below the baking cabinet and easily pull things as I need them and put them back right away. Not everything associated with baking is going to be right there in the baking zone. Some items are "cross over" items, like salt which you'll find in my seasoning cabinet, or baking utensils which will be in their various zones as well. However you decide to manage each specific area, creating zones simplifies things greatly!
Items I keep in my
- Flour: whole white wheat, whole wheat, unbleached, grahm, gluten, masa harina, & garam.
- Corn meal & polenta
- Sugar: brown, sucanat, stevia, organic cane.
- Baking powder
- Dry yeast
- Tapioca & flaxseed
- Honey, corn syrup, and agave nectar
Keeping the Sweet & Sticky Contained...
How? HOW?? No matter how careful I am, somehow the honey bottle is always sticky somewhere. Then the insidious drop manages to find it's way onto my cabinet shelf, and eventually everything is a tiny bit sticky. I needed something I could pop in the dishwasher every couple weeks for maximum clean. This round tray did the job for me, a tray or shelf liner might work wonders for you. Once upon a time I loved the idea of shelf liners, however I'm such a messy cook even the liners won't stay clean, and that's one more area in my kitchen to wipe, so my attitude is what is the point? Can you tell? Look at the shelf holding the flour in the "Bakers Cabinet" picture above...see the dusting of flour on the shelf? Meh heh heh, I didn't even tidy it for the photo, well you get to see the real me in this blog...messy.
You know that moment when you get some brown sugar for your cup of tea and find remnants of flour in the sugar because someone decided to use the same measuring cup to scoop both? Yeah, I hate that. Every area in my kitchen, and almost every container has it's own scoop. It makes it quick and easy to grab, and keeps all ingredients in their rightful home! I own several small yellow scoops, and a few clear ones I saved from powdered-milk canisters (baby formula). These are perfect for scooping sugar, cornstarch, and items you usually only need a small quantity of. The large metal scoops are from an East Indian spice storage canister my sister gave me, I used the base and cover to hold the honey and corn syrup. The cups are the perfect size for scooping flour, oats, anything you might need a fairly large quantity of.
Healthy Baker Habits
Organizing your baking cabinet is the ideal time to inspire yourself to bake more, and bake healthier! Store bought bread and baked goods just don't hold a candle to homemade breads, not to mention the nutrition factor. A while ago I committed to the importance of bringing more whole grains and complex carbohydrates into my family's diet as oppose to all the starchy void-of-nutrition, white uuber refined products. What better way to start than to stock your cabinets full of fiber rich items? If this is new to you, try incorporating ground flaxseed into your baking items, it's high in fiber and will not noticeably change any of your favorite recipes. Another tip to transition into whole grain is to use whole wheat white flour, just slightly more dense than unbleached flour it is fantastic! It is quite a bit pricier, so if you can't afford it, how about making a percentage of the flour called for in a recipe whole wheat? If you need, ease in, but whatever you do, include as many whole grains into your diet as possible!