The Great British Bake Off is well underway already, making it it’s clear once again that baking has absolutely captured our hearts here as a nation! We know that lots of you are itching to use the show as inspiration to try out some of your own baking recipes at home, so with that in mind we’ve decided to use this week’s blog to show you the best ways to prepare your kitchen for some baking.
As any successful baker knows, you need a treasure trove of ingredients in order to make the most delicious meals when baking. That means you’ve got to be able to reach your flour, sugar and lemon juice at a moment’s notice – you won’t want to have to keep crossing the kitchen to fetch them! It’s not just those, either; there are all sorts of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger that you’ll want to keep close by, too. For that reason, you’ll want deep drawers to keep your baking ingredients in, if at all possible.
You’ll also be grateful for deep drawers – or at least tall ones – when bringing out and putting away your trays and baking pans. For these reasons alone, if you’re redesigning your kitchen it’s the drawers and cabinetry that you’ll want to have a look at first. (If space is at a premium, some people even find that a rolling cart can be helpful, so you can bring your ingredients trundling across the kitchen with you!)
Kitchen worktops and islands are key considerations at the best of times, but giving yourself enough counter space to work should be at the top of your list of priorities when designing your kitchen for baking. You’ll need bowls, scales, whisks, ingredients, utensils…and preferably the ability to use them without sending anything crashing to the floor, too. Many cooks find that kitchen islands fulfil this role beautifully, as rather than tucked up in one cramped corner of your worktop, you’ve got plenty of room to prepare.
It’s also worth noting that lots of bakers actually prefer their work surfaces to be slightly lower than they might normally be in other kitchens. This is so they can get the right amount of leverage to press down and roll out dough or knead bread. If you’re designing your kitchen from scratch, this might be something worth considering. Of course, if you’ve not got the budget or the time for it, you can always achieve the same effect with a dedicated ‘baking stool’ (yes, it’s a real thing), and standing on that for anything that needs that extra bit of force.
There’s one other final point that’s possibly not quite as well known as the others – in recent years, more and more cooking professionals are singing the praises of ‘tech corners’. “What’s that got to do with baking?” you might ask. Well, bakers often need a variety of electronic appliances and utensils like food mixers and processors, and they often need several to be running at the same time. A dedicated ‘tech corner’ complete with the right number of power sockets, can really make your job easier, rather than stretching wires and cables across your worktops.
Even if you’re not planning on baking on that sort of scale, casual bakers can still get a lot of use out of a tech corner. If nothing else, it can be a place to plug in your iPhone, iPad or laptop to follow online how-tos or tutorials, so you can learn as you cook. Obviously, make sure to keep any electronic devices well out of the way of whisks or chocolate-covered spoons!
Finally, if you’re planning on transforming your entire kitchen into one that’s perfect for baking, you’re going to need appliances that are up to the job. A wall-mounted oven is the perfect solution to all your baking needs, especially as it saves you having to bend down all the time to put your meals into it. At Kitchen Design Centre, we’re proud to be an official Master Partner for Neff, a leading industry supplier of ovens and other powerful kitchen appliances.
If you want to see them in action, you can pop into any of our designer kitchen showrooms in Manchester, Blackburn or Colne, where one of our talented designers will be only too happy to perform a demonstration!
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