Do you love to bake? Does your weekend hobby have you turning your kitchen into a mini bakery? Many at-home chefs invest in specialty equipment, gadgets or tools to help them create edible works of art at home. And some homeowners even redesign their kitchen to accommodate their craft. Here are some great tips for incorporating your love of baking into your kitchen.
The right height for baking
When mixing or assembling recipes, a counter height surface works fine. But when it comes to kneading or rolling out dough, most bakers prefer a lower surface to get the right amount of leverage. Depending upon your height, you can simply stand on a step stool and use a counter (which is 36″ off the floor) or use your kitchen table (which is 30″ off the floor). Some people actually build a lower countertop in their kitchen, somewhere between 30″ and 36″, to achieve the most comfortable height.
Hide equipment in plain sight
Some bakers have lots of bulky equipment like free standing mixers, rolling pins, cake pans. Keeping these heavy items within reach will make it easier to reach and use; keeping them out of sight will help make your kitchen counters look less cluttered. Appliance garages or clever cabinets are great ways to make your baking station functional. If you plan on installing outlets inside a closed cabinet, make sure you talk to your electrician to see if you need a permit.
Baking supply cart
Having your baking supplies within easy reach is important when cooking or baking. A rolling cart like this one is perfect for baking, especially if you change where you work. You can move this next to the counter, next to the oven or even over to your kitchen table. You can follow the directions at Lowe’s and make this yourself, of look for a similar rolling cart at an office supply store.
Use the pantry
If you have enough space, consider putting your baking station inside your pantry. Since baking often requires lots of ingredients and bulky countertop equipment, keeping everything in one place with your other pantry goods keeps the main kitchen organized. Some homeowners even put a sink inside the pantry for quick rinses.
Marble work station
Some pastry chefs rely upon the natural coolness of marble when working with pastry dough as it keeps the butter from melting too quickly. Marble is also a great surface for rolling out or kneading dough and cleans up easily. Some kitchens have a small marble section specifically for baking, or place marble on the kitchen island. If you can’t afford to install a whole slab, you can visit a marble supply company and ask about purchasing a leftover piece. Have them finish the edges and seal it for you.
Lots of outlets
When baking you might find yourself using several small appliances at once. Considering that many of these hand-held appliances don’t have long power cords, it’s convenient if your baking station has plenty of outlets. In this kitchen, a long power strip placed at the edge of the work station makes it easy to plug in many things at once.
Instant counter space
It’s easy to run low on countertop space when baking. Between the ingredients, pans, mixing bowls, and other supplies, it can be difficult to find enough room to work. A clever kitchen island like this one below can offer more space very quickly. The best part is, when you aren’t baking you can fold down the sides and free up more area.
Extra deep sink for cleaning up
Baking often involves using odd-shaped pans, oversized cookie sheets and large mixing bowls – many of which can’t go in the dishwasher. Clean up will be a whole lot easier with a deep and wide kitchen sink. A deep sink is also handy for hiding dirty dishes when you haven’t had time to put everything away.