So you want to start baking from scratch, but you’re not sure where to begin or what essentials you need to stock your pantry. All you know is you’re tired of boxed cake mixes and refrigerated cookie dough and you are all kinds of sure that there’s a better way of doing this baking thing.
I hear you. Loud and clear.
And I’ve got great news: baking from scratch is not something to be intimidated by. I assure you, the ingredients list is far more recognizable (and easier to pronounce!) than what comes in a box.
Look no further than this simple starter list of ingredients that will keep your pantry well stocked and on standby to help you bake almost anything from scratch.
Flour. All purpose, whole wheat, and bread flour.
Sugar. Organic cane sugar/evaporated cane juice and brown sugar (make your own brown sugar).
Yeast. Instant yeast is my preferred; it doesn’t have to be proofed.
Oats. Quick oats, steel cut oats.
Corn Starch/Arrowroot. (Or thickener of choice).
Molasses. Necessary for making your own brown sugar.
Vanilla Extract. (Make your own).
Baking Spices: allspice (whole & ground), cardamom, cream of tartar, cinnamon, cloves (whole & ground), ginger, nutmeg (whole & ground), poppy seeds.
It’s as simple as that! My biggest piece of advice in building your scratch baking pantry is to invest in quality ingredients. I source most of these items from the bulk section of our local whole foods co-op. And if you are buying larger quantities at a time (such as a 50 pound bag of flour), you can often get a discount (we get 20% off as a member). And I’ve found these ingredients to be much fresher than those found in a package.
(Tip: when buying in bulk, store the excess in your freezer for optimal freshness).
I hope you are confident and ready to take that first step in baking delicious goodies for your family, knowing you will have on hand everything you need to start baking just about anything from scratch.
And next time, instead of reaching for that box of cake mix, I hope you find yourself reaching (like a boss) for a recipe and your very own ingredients instead. You’ve got this.