Fridge vs. Cabinet: Where To Store Baking Ingredients
An important element in baking high-quality goods is how you store the ingredients that make up the finished products. The natural properties of every baking ingredient require a specific kind of storage area, hence there is a distinct reason to know if ingredients belong in the fridge or your pantry. Follow this guide on where to store baking ingredients to learn how to keep your baking ingredients fresh and in their rightful place.
Extracts and Flavor Emulsions
Extracts and flavor emulsions help infuse flavors and intensify the flavor of other ingredients in your baked goods. An extract has an alcohol base with a source ingredient to help empower a recipe’s taste. If an extract is sold in plastic packaging, it’s recommended that you decant it into a glass bottle with a seal to maintain its potency. Flavor emulsions are also concentrated substances, but they are water-based and can withstand higher temperatures without losing their flavor in the baking process. You can learn more reasons why these extract alternatives are your new baking companion by exploring our variety of flavor emulsions now.
The ultimate staple ingredient of any baker is flour. Flour serves as the structural foundation for most baked goods and performs as a thickening agent in strengthening the consistency. All types of flour should be removed from their standard packaging, placed in an air-tight container, and stored in a cool and dry environment. Excess moisture and air exposure will oxidize flour and place it at risk of spoiling. Placing flour in the fridge can prolong the shelf life from six months to a year. Other materials like stoneware and ceramic are also ideal containers to store your flour in.
A pinch of salt packs a lot of benefits in your baked goods. Salt performs as a stabilizer for fermenting yeast and increasing the mixing time for your doughs. Salt is best kept sealed inside of a container and stored in a dry environment. Avoiding excess moisture prevents salt from clumping together or attracting pests. It’s not recommended to store salt in the fridge because of its odor-absorbing properties that can lead to an altered taste. In addition, be aware of storing salt in containers that have material, as salt has the potential to corrode through it when combined with moisture.
Aside from satisfying the sweet tooth, the purpose of sugar in baking is to retain the moisture in your baked goods. Creaming sugar into your recipe gives you the option to modify texture, flavor, or add a bulking agent. Like salt, sugar is best kept out of the fridge to avoid the risk of your sugar lumping together or absorbing the odors inside of your refrigerator. Sugar, especially white granulated sugar, is sold in bulk. It’s recommended to store white sugar inside of a glass jar or container, but to avoid metal cans, as sugar has the tendency to corrode metal, especially if you reside in a humid environment. Always place all your sugars in an airtight container to keep them at their sweetest.
Fats are the tenderizers for your baked goods. If they’re creamed with sugar they can act as a leavening agent, serve as lubrication for doughs to rise with ease, and be the unifier of flavors between ingredients. Both solid and liquid fats are best kept in the refrigerator for a cool and dark environment. Some oils, like coconut, may serve as a solid or liquid depending on the temperature that they are kept at. Store liquid oils in a tinted bottle to avoid sunlight exposure, which can cause them to age quicker. Aged oils tend to smell and taste rancid, which makes them unappetizing to use for any kind of baking. Another tell-tale sign that your cooking oil is spoiling is when it goes from a thin texture to a thickened one that resembles more grease than oil. For this reason, it’s best to keep your oils in the packaging they’re sold in for storage.
The lactic acid in dairy products, like milk, lightens and strengthens the texture of baked goods. In addition, dairy products contain proteins that can help prevent the consistency from becoming too dense when baked. Milk-derived products are best secured in the cool environment of your refrigerator, alongside other dairy products used for baking, like sour cream, buttermilk, yogurt, and cream cheese. While storing your dairy products in the fridge seems obvious, the location inside of the fridge makes a difference in maintaining the quality of your dairy products, too. Be mindful not to store your milk-derived ingredients in the door of your fridge, as the opening and closing of the doors allow warm air to enter and can shorten the shelf life of your dairy products. Instead, opt to place your milk and other dairy-based products on the lowest shelf near the back of your fridge where it is the coldest and most consistent in temperature.
Leavening or rising agents are the powerful ingredients behind volumizing your baked goods. When deciding where to store baking ingredients, it’s important to remember that leavening agents such as yeast and baking soda function by being highly reactive. It’s best to keep these ingredients stored at room temperature and protected from excess moisture or sunlight. Leavening agents are also best kept out of the fridge because of their tendency to lump up and become compacted without being used. The low temperature of the fridge can also cause a reaction in your leavening agent and cause them to not perform well.
Mastering proper storage techniques help guarantee your ingredients perform their best in producing baked goods. Next time you’re reorganizing your at-home bakery, be sure to enlist the help of this guide to assist you in evaluating what baking ingredients should go where. If you’re in need of revamping your baking ingredient stock, be sure to enlist the help of Get Suckered’s flavorful selections of emulsions, flavored powders, and other gems to place the “wow” factor back into your baking craft!