Important Ingredients and Supplies for Baking
by Lisa Parker
Great dinners do not always require advanced planning. Sometimes you just have to wing it with what you have on hand. If you keep your pantry and refrigerator stocked with some basic supplies - and a few surprises - you will never be at a loss when you have to whip up something great for dinner with very little notice. Here is a list of baking supplies to keep on hand at all times so that you will never be caught by surprise without something to cook for dinner.
In the Pantry
At a minimum, you should have unbleached white flour, whole-wheat flour and cake flour stocked in your pantry. In addition to being the base for breads and cakes, flour can be used to whip up a batch of fresh pasta, spaetzle or dumplings in no time at all. Use it to make gravies and sauces that can transform a meal from commonplace to sublime.
Cornstarch makes smooth gravies and is an ideal thickener for sauces, stews and stir fries. In addition, when you need an emergency dessert, cornstarch, milk, vanilla and sugar or sweetener make a quick, impressive "from-scratch" vanilla pudding.
Sugar substitutes are convenient to have on hand, especially if you are trying to cut down on sugar in your meals. They are ideal for use in sweet and sour sauces, desserts, drinks and other recipes that call for sugar.
Flavored oils have been popular in gourmet circles for years, and they have finally made their way to the supermarket shelves. Chili, lemon, pepper, orange and basil are just a few of the flavored oils you can tuck into your cupboard to add flavor to simple dishes. Try using them in stir fries and salad dressings, or as a base for marinade. Also consider olive oil, almond oil, walnut oil and grapeseed oil.