Recipe for a Baker’s Dream Kitchen

Hot tips on how to turn your ordinary kitchen into a professional baker’s paradise that will surely take the cake

Issue: Sep 2014

A well-designed, well-organised baking centre in your kitchen can help you rise to the occasion as a baker
A well-designed, well-organised baking centre in your kitchen can help you rise to the occasion as a baker

Few aromas can bring warmth to a home like the smell of cookies in the oven, or fresh-baked bread. If you are nursing ambitions to be the next cupcake queen, you might want to turn your kitchen into a specialised baking centre that will do any professional baker proud.

1. Location! Location! Location!

Place the workstation near the oven and everything else needed for baking within easy reach
Place the workstation near the oven and everything else needed for baking within easy reach

As with real estate, turning a kitchen into a specially-fitted baker’s paradise is all about location. Where you put all the necessary equipment for your baking needs is important. For ease of use, the oven should be next to the workstation and everything else needed for baking – utensils, appliances, ingredients, cookbook, sink – should be within easy reach of that workstation. With this configuration, you will not have to move more than a few steps to get the baking done, minimising spillage and mess.

Ovens should be placed higher so you will not have to bend too low to use it
Ovens should be placed higher so you will not have to bend too low to use it

If you are designing your kitchen from scratch, opt to have a built-in oven. Traditionally, this can be done by having your oven built under a counter top or stove, or set in a wall. For prolific bakers, opt to have the oven set within the wall. This allows you to raise the oven so you will not have to break your back hauling things in and out of the oven. It also separates your oven from the stove so you will not have to interrupt your baking for other cooking needs.

If you have the space, a double oven is a baker’s ultimate indulgence. Having two oven means you can do twice the amount of baking in the same time. It also allows you to use one oven while you let the other cool because an over-heated oven affects the baking time of your product.

Of course, to have an oven built into a wall space means you must have a kitchen with enough wall space. For smaller oven units, you need at least 29 inches in height, 34.5 inches in width, and 24 inches in depth. Double ovens require another 23 inches in height.

Since we’re talking about space, pick a refrigerator with a freezer either on top or at the bottom rather than a side-by-side refrigerator. A side-by-side tends to have narrower compartments making it difficult to fit a sheet pan in to chill.

2. A Place for Everything, Everything in its Place

Store dry ingredients on open shelves for greater visibility and easier reach
Store dry ingredients on open shelves for greater visibility and easier reach

No baking centre would be complete without adequate storage for commonly used items such as a stand mixer, mixing bowls, trays, cooling racks, and key ingredients like sugar, flour, and spices.

Open shelves are perfect for storing dry ingredients like sugar and flour. It keeps them visible, readily available, yet away from the counter top. These shelves can be used to store cookbooks as well for easy reference and splash of colour.

(Left to right) Drawers are perfect for storing baking trays, baking ware, and little bottles of dry ingredients such as spices
(Left to right) Drawers are perfect for storing baking trays, baking ware, and little bottles of dry ingredients such as spices

Drawers are your best friends when it comes to storage of your other baking needs. Baking trays and cooling racks can be put in drawers, either stacked up or, better still, lined upright like books on a shelf so that they can be viewed and selected easily. If you can, have a lower pull-out cabinet made just for your trays that is tall and narrow. If space is a constraint, trays can be stacked and placed above the oven or the microwave.

Drawers are also great for storing baking equipment, appliances, and spices or small bottles of ingredients. They let you see what is stored right at the back without having to rampage through your things. Dedicate your top drawer to spices and the second one to cookie cutters and moulds which are needed to make anything from cookies, to scones, pies, and quiches. These are the items bakers use most often. A drawer organizer be used to help sort the cutters and mould. Howards Storage World has plenty to pick from.

For those who can afford the space, a roller cart is a handy kitchen addition. The bottom shelf can be used to store extra ingredients, baking equipment like mixers, blenders, and weighing scales. The top two shelves provide extra space for cooling your baked goods, freeing up the kitchen counter.

3. Hang Loose

Hang up baking tools allows you to easy access to them and frees up much-needed counter space for you to work on
Hang up baking tools allows you to easy access to them and frees up much-needed counter space for you to work on

An alternative to putting your baking tools in a drawer is to hang them up. Howards Storage World has kitchen rail with hooks for you to hang your bread boards, whisks, even rolling pins and cake tins on the wall. If you kitchen has a ceiling high enough, above the kitchen island. One trick some bakers resort to is removing their measuring spoons from the ring and hanging them separately. This allows you to select the size you want easily. Another thing worth hanging up is the measuring cup since baking requires so much precise measuring. Get one with a handle for this purpose.

4. Work Low

Lowering your workstation gives you more leverage for kneading and rolling that are essential to most baking
Lowering your workstation gives you more leverage for kneading and rolling that are essential to most baking

Workstations, on the other hand, should be kept lower than your regular counter top at about 75 to 80 cm high. This makes it easier for you to lean over the top, giving you more leverage to do your kneading and rolling.

The best top for a baking workstation should be stainless steel, smooth marble or granite. Avoid tiles or grooves because flour and sugar can get in between, making clean-ups a chore. On that note, work tops have to be clutter-free. Avoid putting things on them because the ingredients – flour, sugar, cream – can easily dirty the other items, giving you more things to clean.

With these hot tips, you can channel your inner Nigella and be the baking goddess you have always wanted to be. Here’s to making your baking dreams come true!

Where to shop:

Best Denki
9 Bishan Place
Junction 8
#03-02
Singapore 579837
Tel: (65) 6258 8488
www.bestdenki.com.sg
Best Denki
2 Jurong East Street 21
IMM Building
#02-01/07
Singapore 609601
Tel: (65) 6564 4022
www.bestdenki.com.sg
Best Denki
68 Orchard Road
Plaza Singapura
#04-12B
Singapore 238839
Tel: (65) 6336 8218
www.bestdenki.com.sg
Courts
109 North Bridge Road
Funan DigitaLife Mall
#03-10/12/13
Singapore 179097
Tel: 1800-222 6868
www.courts.com.sg
Courts
1 Vista Exchange Green
The Star Vista
#01-14/15/16
Singapore 138617
Tel: 1800-222 6868
www.courts.com.sg
Courts
21 Chua Chu Kang Ave 4
Lot One Shoppers’ Mall
#03-01
Singapore 689812
Tel: 1800-222 6868
www.courts.com.sg
Courts
4 TampinesCentral 5
Tampines Mall
#03-25
Singapore 529510
Tel: 1800-222 6868
www.courts.com.sg
Harvey Norman
109 North Bridge Road
Funan DigitaLife Mall
#B1-01
Singapore 179097
Tel: (65) 6334 5432
www.harveynorman.com.sg
Howards Storage World
68 Orchard Rd
Plaza Singapura
#04-43
Singapore 238839
Tel: (65) 6238 8048
www.hsw.com.sg
Howards Storage World
1 Vista Exchange Green
The Star Vista
#B1-29
Singapore 138617
Tel: (65) 6694 3971
www.hsw.com.sg
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