Hands up, who’s excited for this year’s Great British Bake Off? I know I am. Every year it makes me want to bake – however, I try one of the technical challenges and then I just revert back to eating pre-made pastries while watching the show. (Baking, like growing herbs, seems an impossibility for me). However, if you have the gift of the gateau you might want to consider how to have a baker’s kitchen at home.
So, what does a baker’s kitchen involve? I’ll tell you, in these 10 easy steps…
1. Start with the kitchen layout
Making sure your kitchen layout works ergonomically is a good place to start. The magic triangle, which means three of your key appliances, such as your oven, fridge and hob, are all in a clear area and close together, will help ensure there wont be any focaccia on the floor.
A U-shape, L-shape or single galley with island are usually great options for creating a dedicated cooking (or baking) zone.
Remember, you’ll need to ensure plenty of space for the baking action, plus ample plug sockets for where you’ll use smaller appliances.
2. Get the right oven for what you like to make
There are many models out there that offer all sorts of functions, and if you’re a keen baker it really is worth investing. Things to look out for are ovens that distribute constant and even heat to every corner and shelf level – ensursing no burnt edges, raw middles, or soggy bottoms.
Steam ovens are also fantastic for baking, as they can assist rising and the lightness of your finished bake.
Why not look out for ovens that include bake stone settings – perfect for making breads and pizzas – or ones that can be connected to your smart home device – handy for opening the door if you have full hands.
3. Include warming drawers
The addition of a warming drawer is often good for proving dough as well as heating plates, don’t you know. And if you like cooking long and slow, you could even use your warming drawer for stews!
4. Invest in a mixer
Ok, yes, you can do most things by hand – if you can be bothered – but if you’re a keen baker having your own fancy mixer displayed lovingly on your worktop is a must, isn’t it?
I personally am in love with Kitchenaid’s latest release. It would go perfectly in my kitchen…
5. Decide if you need a kitchen island
A central island which doesn’t include any appliances or sinks is ideal for bakers – allowing plenty of space for kneading dough or decorating cakes.
However, if your kitchen is on the compact side, a pastry table could work just as well.
6. Go for different worktop materials
Top your island off with a marble or granite worktop, as they keep things like pastry nice and cool.
If you don’t want your entire worktop to be made from either of these materials, consider including a smaller section only.
7. Make sure there’s enough storage
If you want to keep those worktops clear, you’ve got to think of storage – for both ingredients and worktop appliances.
If you have the space, include a walk-in pantry – but if not, consider a tall pull-out larder or dedicate a dresser to your baking kit. Open shelving with glass decanters offers practicality as well as a nice display, too.
8. Invest in the fridge
Have you ever cooked a large cake and then realised it doesn’t actually fit in your fridge? On my rare occasion of baking – this has definitely happened to me! The butter cream gets everywhere!
To avoid this situation, for your baker’s kitchen choose an extra-wide fridge where you can alter the shelving!
9. The finished result
It’s no good investing time and energy into a bake if you don’t display it on something beautiful. For example, check out this gorgeous cake stand from Spode.
Once you’ve completed your chocolate brownies, ensure you enjoy each mouthful!
Featured image: Include a large central island in your scheme, with lots of uninterrupted space – perfect for kneading dough or rolling pastry. The Wolf Dual Fuel ranges feature professional-standard cooking surfaces including gas chargrill, temperature controlled teppanyaki and induction. Model shown here is the ICBDF486CG with chargrill and teppanyaki, price: £21,840.