The Holidays are over and, by now, even the leftovers have been consumed. If your kitchen was as heavily used as is traditional in November and December, your baking supplies may be getting low.

This week, continue your efforts to review where you are in your temporal preparedness by taking stock of the essential building blocks in your baking pantry. Be sure to have plenty of supplies on hand and check that they are not close to their expiration date!

1. Flour: All-purpose flour is the baking staple that can be used to create everything from cookies to pancakes to muffins to bread, and beyond. However, you can also stock whole grain flours (wheat, spelt, quinoa, einkorn, etc.) , cornmeal, gluten-free flours, and other specialty flours depending on your dietary needs and the type of baking you do.

2. Leaveners: baking soda, baking powder, and yeast give your baked goods the lift they need.

3. Sugars: Granulated sugar,powdered sugar, and brown sugar are the basics but you might also stock up on other sweeteners like maple syrup, honey, molasses, corn syrup.

4. Salt: standard granulated table salt, kosher salt, and sea salt.

5. Dairy: butter, eggs, and milk. While these ingredients are generally kept in the refrigerator, not the cupboard, maybe it’s time to add shelf-stable versions of these ingredients to your pantry. Alternative milks (coconut, soy, almond, oat, etc.) keep for a pretty decent time on the shelf. Even better, include powdered milk, powdered butter, powdered buttermilk, powdered cream cheese, powdered eggs, and powdered sour cream for more long term storage. You’ll be surprised at how easy these powdered ingredients are to use in baking and they store so much longer than the fresh ingredients.

6. Fats: vegetable oil, butter (see above), shortening (this comes in powdered form too!), and lard.

7. Extracts and Flavorings: pure vanilla extract is a basic pantry item but don’t forget there’s a whole world of flavorings to explore – almond extract, lemon extract, mint extract, the list goes on.

8. Spices: cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, and ginger are basic spices used to make your baked goods sing but you don’t have to stop there.

9. Add-Ins: chocolate, unsweetened cocoa powder, dried fruits such as raisins and cranberries, nuts (store in the freezer to extend their shelf life), jams and jellies, peanut butter, coconut, etc. take your food from blah to yum so they definitely have a place in your pantry.

What else can you suggest we add to our baking pantries?

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