Baking Basics: Stock Up on These 5 Pantry Essentials
You need more than just flour, butter, eggs, and sugar!
Starting your baking journey? Make sure your pantry is stocked not only with flour, butter, eggs, and sugar, but also with these five ingredients!
Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is used as a leavening agent. when it’s mixed into batters with some type of acid (like brown sugar, buttermilk, or cocoa powder), and then exposed to heat, baking soda breaks down into carbon dioxide gas, causing baked goods to rise.
Yeast is what makes bread dough ferment and rise. Instant dry yeast is the most common type of yeast available in supermarkets. It’s called “instant” because the granules are added directly to the dough without needing to soak them in water first. Instant yeast is often used for doughs with limited fermentation time.
3. Pure Vanilla Extract
Pure vanilla extract is an alcohol solution infused with the flavor of vanilla beans. It’s added to cookie, bar, and cake batters to enhance the taste of chocolate, caramel, and coffee.
Vegetable shortening is 100 percent fat that’s solid at room temperature. Most shortenings are white and bland, but some are yellow and butter flavored. It’s used to make crumbly or mealy pastries, like tarts and pie crusts.
5. Double-acting Baking Powder
Like baking soda, Double-acting Baking Powder is a leavening agent used to make cakes, cookies, and quick breads rise. The difference between baking soda and baking powder? Baking powder is baking soda already combined with two or more acids, and starch. So remember, you cannot use them interchangeably!
Photography by Miguel Nacianceno; original text by Rachelle Santos appeared in the October 2014 issue of Yummy magazine