A small amount of open or closed shelving, whether it’s in a cupboard, pantry, kitchen island or movable cart, is all you need for an organized baking center. The secret is separating like items into attractive containers and making everything easy to access. TIP: Stackable white mixing bowls keep open shelving visually interesting and uncluttered.
In Plain Sight
Clear containers—apothecary, canning or cookie jars—store items such as paper bake cups, cookie cutters, flavorings, colorings and sprinkles in plain sight so they are easy to find. Select durable glass jars that will handle heavy use, in appropriate sizes to store your supplies.
Opaque canisters with airtight lids work best to hold flour, sugar and other dry baking ingredients such as baking soda and powder. Look for widemouthed containers so ingredients are easy to scoop. (Use resealable plastic bags inside canisters without airtight seals.)
Find a creative solution for storing bakeware on their sides so you can easily pull out one pan or rack without disrupting the rest. Office file or paper holders offer one option for organizing pie tins, baking pans and cooling racks.
Behind Closed Drawers
If your kitchen lacks extra shelf space, try maxing out your drawers. Utilizing every inch matters, especially in small spaces.
Hip to Be Square
Straight-side containers pushed close together utilize drawer space better than round ones. This hardworking baking center maximizes every inch of a small kitchen, and dry ingredients are easy to access and restock. Acrylic canisters with pop-top, tight-sealing lids protect dry ingredients from moisture and insects. Use open acrylic containers to control small and prepackaged items.
The Right Stuff
Do some thoughtful planning to design a functional drawer system. Measure your drawers’ dimensions and calculate the ingredient amounts you want to store. Map out your drawers using graph paper, then shop for right-size containers that serve your storage needs. Be sure to allow finger space so you can lift containers out, if desired.
Consider your baking center a handy short-term holding place for dry shelf-stable ingredients. Over time all ingredients deteriorate, but heat, light, air and moisture quicken the process. Long-term storage is best in the fridge or freezer, but a cool, dark and dry pantry and less opening and closing of airtight containers will also prolong the life of your food.
Flour, the key ingredient for baking, faces some storage issues. All types of flour can become rancid and may attract tiny insects called weevils. The best defense is to freeze newly purchased flour for two days and then transfer it to airtight, food-grade glass or plastic containers. Shelf life for flours varies by fat content, but generally flours keep well in sealed containers in the refrigerator for several months, and in the freezer for a year or longer. Check out this chart for more ingredient storage info.
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