If you like to bake, these are some pantry staples that are just absolutely necessary to have on hand all the time. When I’m running low on one of these ingredients, I always stock up because I never want to be without any of it! I think each of these pantry staples is important to have because it’s a pain to have to go to the store just for flour or sugar. Also, these ingredients are very common in most baked goods. What do you think are essential pantry staples for bakers?
1. All-purpose flour
This ingredient is what provides the structure in your baked goods. All-purpose flour is considered to have a medium amount of gluten, which makes it great for a variety of different baked goods. There are other types of flour such as cake flour, bread flour, and pastry flour that are used for more specific recipes.
2. Baking soda/powder
These two ingredients are called leavening agents, which means they expand the dough or the batter by releasing gases that allow the baked good to be porous. Other leavening agents include air, steam, and yeast.
Shortening is a fat that is solid at room temperature. It doesn’t allow gluten formation, so this is best used for cakes.
Butter is a fat, which is something that is needed in every baked good. It is a dairy product that is made by churning fresh or fermented cream, or milk in order to separate the butterfat from the buttermilk. Butter has a distinct flavor, unlike shortening, and is better for sweeter baked goods.
5. Powdered Sugar
Powdered sugar (also called confectioner’s sugar) is just granulated sugar that is milled to a powdered state. This sugar has different degrees of fineness, which range anywhere from 3X – 10X. The more X’s, the finer the sugar is. The purpose of the sugar being a fine powder is to absorb more moisture. Powdered sugar is most commonly used for frosting on a cake along with butter.
6. Vanilla extract
Vanilla extract is an essential ingredient for baked goods. It provides a rich flavor due to the primary flavor compound, vanillin. This is an essential pantry staple because it is called for in the majority of baking recipes.
7. Semi-Sweet Chocolate chips
You can’t make chocolate chip cookies without semi-sweet morsels of chocolate! Semi-sweet chocolate chips can be used for many other baked goods, such as brownies or chocolate cakes. Semi-sweet chocolate chips are made from dark chocolate and sugar.
8. Granulated sugar
Granulated sugar is used in most prepared foods, such as cookies, cakes, and brownies. It is mainly a soluble carbohydrate that tastes sweet. So, any baked goods that are sweet will most likely contain this type of sugar.
9. Brown Sugar
This type of sugar is used for flavoring a baked good. It is made from granulated sugar that is mixed with molasses. There are two types of brown sugar, dark or light. Dark brown sugar just means that there is more molasses and will therefore be more flavorful.
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