Kitchen Design: Baking Stations Make Cooking More Fun
Get inspired to cook (and simplify holiday prep) with a dedicated space for baking
As soon as Halloween is over, it seems Thanksgiving and Christmas are instantly upon us. The weather cools and the aromas of sweet and savory treats fill the kitchen. But it can be a struggle to separate holiday baking from both day-to-day meal preparation and entertaining needs. Setting up a separate baking station is a great solution that can be surprisingly affordable and easy.
More: How to Set Up Your Kitchen
More: How to Set Up Your Kitchen
1. Plan for function. Ideally, your baking station should be a little lower than your standard countertop, which makes it easier to roll out dough or knead bread. A setup like this one separates the baking area from the rest of the island. This little baking corner also has an amazing mixer lift, which keeps the owner's KitchenAid out of the way, yet ready to use at a moment's notice.
Look for a surface designed for baking. Traditionally, marble has been the baker's choice. The hard surface is easy to clean and stays cool, a plus when working with pastry doughs.
2. Decide how much space you need. Before deciding where you want to tuck a baking area into your kitchen, figure out exactly how much space you'll need. Pull out all of your baking supplies and put them in one place. Odds are you have more than you think.
If you don't have enough room for everything in your baking area, divide your supplies into those you use frequently and those you only use occasionally. The latter can be stored elsewhere.
3. Consider your options. Try a roll-around cabinet that tucks underneath your countertop. It can be moved to where it's needed, then hidden away when not in use. Drawers and shelves provide storage for baking pans and utensils.
Find a side table to use as a temporary baking center. Place it next to your oven for easy access or put it at the end of an island so you can roll out dough and cut cookies even while entertaining guests. Like the roll-around cabinet, a separate table can be easily moved out of the way when it isn't needed.
Turn a large cabinet, hutch or buffet table into a baking station. Add a marble countertop, make sure an outlet is nearby and you're all set.
4. Designate an area. Keep your baking station near the kitchen work triangle of sink, oven and fridge. Not only is this incredibly convenient, it helps divide your kitchen into separate areas for cooking and for dining and entertaining.
5. Keep things organized and easy to access. Keeping all your baking supplies in one place means you can grab anything you need at a moment's notice. Open cabinetry is a bonus when you're searchng for that last ingredient.
Create a space for everything and keep everything in its proper spot. Flours, grains and sugars belong in airtight containers. Organize spices on a rack or tray — and keep them away from direct heat from the stove.
Ideabook published on Nov. 1, 2011.
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