109 of My Essential Ingredients: How to Stock Your Baking Pantry
[Post updated on 8/20/2014 to include spices, per reader feedback.]
Thank you to everyone who took the time to share feedback on Monday’s post about what you’d like to see on the site; it was immensely helpful and I appreciate it very much! One of the things that many of you mentioned is that you’d like to see some information about my favorite ingredients, kitchen tools and equipment. While I have some specific recommendations on my Tools of the Trade page, I haven’t done an in-depth look at everything I use on an (almost) daily basis. I loved the idea and figured I would start with ingredients; I will do a future post on the equipment and tools that I use in my kitchen, so stay tuned! Now, on to the ingredients…
The picture above is my pantry, which is one of my most favorite things about our house. It’s enormous, and I love that the middle shelf can accommodate all of my large appliances (and a microwave – yes, there are outlets in there!). As you can see, I take advantage of every last bit of space and then some. Most of my dry baking staples are located on the bottom shelf in airtight containers. Prior to moving last year, I used Lock & Lock containers for storage of things like flours and sugars; however, given the depth and height of the shelves, I found that these square food storage containers afforded me the ability to pack more containers of the same volume into the same space, so that’s what I use now. I also have a label maker, because I’m a total nerd when it comes to organization and office supplies!
Below is a list of all of the things that I keep stocked in my pantry and refrigerator, along with brand recommendations, if applicable. Unless I run out of something mid-recipe, I rarely have to make emergency trips to the grocery store. I’m pretty well stocked for any recipe that comes my way, unless it includes a specialty ingredient. Once I see that I’m low on something, I add it to the list for my next grocery run (my grandma ingrained this habit into my brain!).
UPDATE: Many of you asked for information about the spices that I keep stocked, so I have included a section on that below, as well. Here is a photo of my spice cabinet, which is to the left of my cooktop.
Again, with the uniform containers, alphabetical order and label maker 😉 I use Libbey 4½;-ounce spice jars for almost all of the spices, with the exception of things like salts, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon sticks – for those I use the 12½;-ounce storage jars. I’ve added a section below for spices, and I’ve kept the list to things I use specifically for baking.
If you have any questions about the ingredients below, feel free to ask in the comments below!
I buy all of the flours below from King Arthur Flour; my local grocery store carries most of them, but I’ve provided shopping links for your reference.
1. All-Purpose Flour (I order this in a 25-pound bag)
2. Bread Flour
3. Cake Flour
5. Rye Flour
I buy my granulated sugar and powdered sugar in bulk at Costco or Sam’s Club and order the superfine sugar from King Arthur Flour (link below); the others are purchased at my local grocery store.
8. Granulated (white) Sugar
9. Light Brown Sugar
10. Dark Brown Sugar
11. Powdered Sugar
12. Superfine Sugar
All of my bulk chocolate is Valrhona brand, and I order it from Chocosphere.
13. Unsweetened Chocolate
14. Dark Chocolate
15. Semisweet Chocolate
16. Milk Chocolate
17. White Chocolate
I use Hershey’s brand unsweetened cocoa powder from the grocery store; I buy Valrhona Dutch-process cocoa powder from Chocosphere.
18. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
19. Dutch-Process Cocoa Powder
I use a variety of brands for my chips, all of which I buy at the grocery store, with the exception of the cinnamon chips. See notes below.
20. Dark Chocolate Chips (Ghiradelli)
21. Semisweet Chocolate Chips (Ghiradelli)
22. Miniature Chocolate Chips (Ghiradelli)
23. Milk Chocolate Chips (Ghiradelli)
24. White Chocolate Chips (Ghiradelli)
25. Peanut Butter Chips (Reese’s)
26. Butterscotch Chips (Nestle)
27. Cinnamon Chips (King Arthur Flour)
Vanilla and Extracts
These are all purchased at the grocery store, except where noted below.
28. Whole Vanilla Beans (Beanilla)
30. Almond Extract
31. Anise Extract
32. Anise Oil (King Arthur Flour)
33. Coconut Extract
34. Lemon Extract
35. Mint Extract
36. Peppermint Extract
37. Food Coloring
38. Allspice (ground + whole berries)
39. Anise Seed
40. Baking Powder
41. Baking Soda
42. Caraway Seeds
43. Cardamom (ground + green and black pods)
44. Cinnamon (ground + sticks)
45. Cloves (ground and whole)
46. Cream of Tartar
47. Espresso Powder
48. Everything Bagel topping
49. Ginger (ground)
50. Nutmeg (ground and whole)
51. Poppy Seeds
52. Pumpkin Pie Spice
53. Sage (dried)
54. Sesame Seeds
55. Salts – Table Salt, Kosher Salt, Sea Salt and Fleur de Sel
All purchased either at the grocery store or in bulk at Costco or Sam’s Club.
57. Dried Apricots
58. Dried Cranberries
59. Dried Figs
60. Dried Mango
All purchased from Nuts.com.
64. Peanuts (dry roasted, honey roasted and roasted Virginia)
Miscellaneous Baking Ingredients
If not purchased at the grocery store, a link is included.
68. Breadcrumbs (plain, Italian and panko)
69. Candies, such as peanut butter cups, M&M’s, Reese’s Pieces, Hershey’s Kisses, candy canes, etc.
72. Corn Syrup (light and dark)
74. Diastatic Malt Powder (I use this in my bagels.)
75. Evaporated Milk
76. Graham Crackers
80. Maple Syrup (always use pure maple syrup for baking, not imitation such as Log Cabin, Aunt Jemima, etc.)
83. Non-Stick Cooking Spray (i.e. Pam)
84. Oats (old-fashioned and quick cooking)
85. Peanut Butter (I don’t recommend using natural or homemade peanut butters for most baking recipes, as they are too oily. My brand of choice for baking is Skippy.)
86. Pumpkin (canned)
87. Shredded Coconut (sweetened and unsweetened)
88. Sweetened Condensed Milk
I purchase all of these at the grocery store, and buy organic where possible.
90. Butter (salted and unsalted)
92. Cream Cheese (Philadelphia brand, always)
94. Sour Cream
95. Whole Milk
96. Yeast (Red Star Active Dry Yeast and Red Star Rapid Rise Yeast)
These are all purchased at the grocery store. I don’t do much baking with olive oil or sesame oil, but I do use them often in my cooking.
97. Coconut Oil (refined and unrefined)
98. Olive Oil
99. Sesame Oil
100. Vegetable Oil
Again, these are all purchased at the grocery store. I primarily use white vinegar for baking, but figured I would include everything in my stash.
101. Balsamic Vinegar
102. Golden Balsamic Vinegar
103. Champagne Vinegar
104. Cider Vinegar
105. Malt Vinegar
106. Red Wine Vinegar
107. Rice Vinegar
108. Salad Vinegar
109. White Vinegar
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This is a pretty comprehensive list of everything I keep stocked for recipes, with the exception of things that are purely for everyday eating, such as rice, cereal, pasta, bread, etc. I included brands and sources where applicable, but again, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask below.
I hope this has provided inspiration for adding some fun ingredients to your pantry!