Get Organized for Holiday Baking
Before you crack that first egg, establish a game plan for stress-free success
Louise de Miranda, original photo on Houzz
The holiday season is upon us, which (for the bakers among us) means it’s time to don aprons, dog-ear some cookbooks and prepare to make a great big floury mess. But before you dive in, take the time to set the stage for success with a clean and well-organized kitchen, as well as a doable baking plan. Read on for 10 tips on how to make this year’s baking projects as fun and stress-free as possible.
1. Make your holiday to-bake list. Grab a stack of your favorite cookbooks and food magazines, pour yourself a mug of something yummy to drink and make a list of all the delicious things you’d like to bake this year. Then go over the list again, considering realities like time constraints, cost of ingredients and the skill (or patience) level required, and refine until you have a doable list. If you’re planning to make food gifts, check your calendar and schedule baking time far enough in advance to allow you to distribute your treats before the holiday.
2. Think about packaging and embellishments. Once you know what you’ll be baking, consider how you want to package and adorn any goodies you plan to give as gifts. Paper boxes, baker’s twine, mason jars, glassine bags and a variety of tags and labels make pretty packaging for just about any kitchen gift you can dream up. Figure out what you need, and stock up before you start mixing.
3. Deep-clean the kitchen. Yes, it will get messy again, but starting a big baking project is much easier in a kitchen that’s fresh, clean and organized. We’ll get to the organized part in a moment, but the first step is to get in there and give everything a good scrubbing. This is also a good time to clear as much as you can off your counters — you’ll need all the space you can get when you start baking!
Sustainable Kitchens, original photo on Houzz
4. Sort out the pantry. The pantry is key when it comes to baking. Dig deep, pulling everything out and sweeping crumbs off the shelves. Discard anything past its expiration date, plus any spices that no longer smell fragrant, no matter what the date says. If you haven’t done any baking for a while, you’re probably better off tossing those open containers of baking powder and baking soda too.
Torie Jayne, original photo on Houzz
5. Take stock of bakeware and tools. Once you know what you plan to make, have a look in your cupboards to make sure you have all the necessary pans and tools. If a recipe calls for a certain size and type of pan, it really is best to use the type specified. M
6. Pull small appliances out of hiding.
Contemporaneo Cocina, original photo on Houzz
7. Put together a baking station. Whether you install it on the counter, on a rolling cart or in a cupboard is up to you