Baking really doesn’t need a lot of ingredients. Stock those items and make your baking much easier. Here goes the list.
Flour: A finely ground meal
- All-purpose flour A blend of high-gluten wheat and low-gluten wheat. All-purpose flour is used in both cooking and baking.
- Cake flour A fine soft-wheat low-gluten wheat flour. Cake flour is ideal for tender cakes and pastries.
- Bread flour A hard-wheat high-gluten wheat flour. Bread flour is suitable for yeast breads.
- Self-rising flour All-purpose flour with baking powder and salt. Self-rising flour is commonly used in UK, Australia, and the Southern US. To make self-rising flour, add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of all-purpose flour. * The formula is slightly different from company to company. For 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 1/4 teaspoons to 2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon of salt are added.
- Granulated sugar, also known as table sugar and white sugar. Granulated sugar is highly refined cane or beet sugar.
- Superfine sugar, also known as caster sugar. Very fine granulated sugar used in baking. If you don’t have superfine sugar, then just use regular granulated sugar. But keep in mind that the volumes of superfine sugar and granulated sugar are different: 1 cup superfine sugar=225g; 1 cup granulated sugar=200g.
- Confectioners’ sugar, also known as icing sugar, sugar powder, and powdered sugar. Powdery sugar mixed with a small amount of anti-caking agent such as cornstarch to prevent clumping.
- Brown sugar Granulated sugar mixed with molasses. It’s frequently used for moist and chewy texture for cookies. There are two kinds: moist dark brown sugar with higher molasses content (6.5%) and light brown sugar with less molasses (3.5%).
- Baking soda, also known as bicarbonate of soda. A leavening agent which reacts with acidic components at over 176 degrees F. (80C.)
- Baking powder A leavening agent made of baking soda, an acid, and a moisture absorber. Aluminum-free baking powder is recommended. You can make baking powder substitute at home by just mixing 1 teaspoon baking soda, 2 teaspoons cream of tartar, and 1 teaspoon cornstarch.
- Chocolate Chocolate for baking are more heat-resistant. There are dark chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate chips (35% chocolate liquor), milk chocolate, and white chocolate.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder There are two kinds of cocoa powder: natural and dutched. Natural cocoa powder is light brown in color and is the top source of antioxidants. And dutch-processed cocoa powder is darker (the color varies: it could be brownish red or black) and is processed to neuralize its acidity and this alkalization process reduces bitterness and improves solubility. And dutched cocoa contains less antioxidants than natural version. In Europe I saw only dutched cocoa powder in market. Hershey’s (natural, dutched), Ghirardelli, and Valrhona (dutched, luxury French manufacturer) have good selection of cocoa powder. Also check out organic raw cocoa powder which is becoming more popular these days.
- Eggs Most baking recipes refer to large eggs (greater than 2 oz; 57g).
- Milk Whole milk (3.25% milk fat) is usually used for baking unless mentioned otherwise.
- Whipping cream When it’s beaten, it should be whipped. Light whipping cream and whipping cream contains 30-36% milk fat. Heavy whipping cream has 36% milk fat. Also spray whipped cream such as Reddi Whip is not whipping cream.
- Yogurt Fermented milk product. In baking it refers to unsweetened yogurt. Greek yogurt is getting more popular now.
- Unsalted butter Butter contains more than 80% butterfat. For baking unsalted butter is used unless mentioned otherwise. And for certain regional French recipes (i.e. Bretagne) requires salted butter.
- Vegetable oil Vegeatable oils are pressed from seeds or kernels. Generally oils with mild flavor and taste are good for baking. e.g.) canola oil, grapeseed oil, safflower oil, etc
- Pure vanilla extract Vanilla extract is most popular form of vanilla used and it contains at least 35% of alcohol.
- Alcohols such as rum, Grand Marnier, Cointreau, etc
- Dried fruits and nuts