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Baking is a delicious way to spend an afternoon, but it can also be a little tedious. Between measuring out ingredients, ensuring everything is at the right temperature, and making sure your cakes don’t burn, it’s no wonder so many people give up on baking altogether.
But it doesn’t have to be that way! With a few simple tips, you can make your baking life easier and have more fun in the kitchen. Here are 8 of my favorite tips:
1. Label Everything!
Label Everything! Doing this makes your baking life easier and ensures you don’t make mistakes with ingredients when baking.
It would be bad to add the wrong spices to cakes, cookies, pies, etc., and not realize it. Imagine your shock and surprise if you added allspice into your pumpkin pie instead of your pumpkin pie spice ingredient.
Flour is a baking staple, so if you don’t keep it fresh then how will you bake up all of those tasty baked treats of yours?
No matter if you are using self-rising flour, all-purpose flour, or whole wheat flour, make sure to keep them in an airtight container for extended freshness.
Keep sugar in an airtight container to prevent it from absorbing moisture and clumping. Sugar can also be stored in the fridge or freezer.
Believe it or not, sugar does not expire if you store it correctly. Since sugar has no moisture in it, moisture is its number one enemy.
So, if you don’t store it correctly and moisture gets to it, you guessed it in chapter 13 (the trash can).
Like our flour, eggs baking staple as well and lord knows I use a lot as I’m sure as bakers you do as well. Store eggs in the fridge. Eggs should be used within 3-5 weeks of purchase.
When you store them in the fridge, put them in the middle drawer so they will stay colder.
Also, make sure you store them in their original containers for better freshness and to keep them protected from cracks or breakage.
5. Baking Powder and Baking Soda
Here are 2 more of the pantry staples that we can’t do without. These leveling agents are easily stored thank goodness! You can’t do without them if you bake certain bread or pastries.
This product usually comes in metal containers making it easier to store. If it does not, like the Arm & Hammer Baking soda in the picture, no worries. Just store baking powder and soda in a cool, dry place and they should last you for 12 to 18 months.
6. Chocolate and Powdered Cocoa
When it comes to chocolate and powdered cocoa they differ in how long each one’s shelf life is.
Cocoa powder lasts for 2 to 3 years if you keep it in its original container. But make sure it is sealed well put in a dark dry place to prevent fungus growth.
Cocoa powder should never be stored in the fridge because it is not a fan of moisture.
White chocolate and milk chocolate should be discarded after 9 months because they contain milk products. Once opened, wrap the unused portions in a tight container and place them in a cool dark place or in the fridge.
Store chocolate in a cool, dry place.
To maintain your extract’s freshness, store it in its original bottle and tighten the lid. Store extracts in a cool, dry place such as a cupboard or cabinet. Make sure it’s not around a heat source such as the stove.
Never refrigerate extracts. Doing this will cause it to become cloudy and lose some of the wonderful flavors.
To maintain the freshness of nuts, you want to put them in freezer bags and store them in the freezer or your fridge. I always keep mine in the freezer, especially if I bought them for cooking.
Never purchase nuts from bulk bins in your grocery store. Because you have no idea how long they have been in there. Oxygen is a nut’s number one enemy. It will cause them to go bad quickly.
For the freshest nuts, purchase the ones in a sealed bag and make sure you check the expiration date for freshness, and eliminate buying out-of-date nuts.
If you follow my “Storing Ingredients: 8 Tips to Making Your Baking Life Easier,” this will help ensure that your baking goes smoothly and that you don’t miss any steps while baking.
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