Baking Pantry Basics: 7 Essential Ingredients

Curious about the roles of the main ingredients that are often used in baking?

IMAGE Dairy Darilag

There is a lot of chemistry that goes on in baking: each ingredient has a role in making those cookies chewy, those cakes fluffy, and those pies flaky! Understand the roles of each main ingredient and become a better baker in the process. 




Gluten gives shape and form to dough. All-purpose flour is generally a great choice for baked goods, but different kinds of flours have a different amount of protein in them. Bread flour, for example, has a high amount of protein to give bread its sturdy body and rise. Cake flour has a low amount of protein, which explains the soft, tender, and light crumb of well-made cakes.


More from
Who knew flour could be this interesting?




Beat your butter and sugar like crazy! This will help incorporate air in your batter, which will rise beautifully in the oven.  Butter is the reason for flaky, creamy, and tender baked treats. Choose to bake with butter with a high fat content so that extra liquid won’t weigh down your batter and dough. Start also with unsalted butter instead of salted butter. This way, you can control the amount of salt that goes into your products.


More from
Here's how to quickly soften butter when you're in a hurry!




Eggs act as a binding ingredient in baking. Egg yolks can be used as a thickening agent in pastry creams and puddings, while egg whites can be whipped into fluffy pillows to aerate cakes or baked into crunchy meringues.



More from
Make beautiful, perfect hard-boiled eggs every time!




In baking, sugar is considered a wet ingredient. Keep this in mind when you feel like lessening the amount of sugar in your cakes and cookies, they could turn out to be dry.

Fine white sugar dissolves smoothly and is great for cakes. Brown sugar has a hint of molasses in its flavor—it also makes for darker, chewier cookies!



Baking soda, baking powder, and yeast


Leavening agents are what make your baked products rise. When exposed to heat, they release gases that aerate you batters and doughs. Click here to know more about these leavening agents!


More from
The really are two totally different things.

More from
This multi-tasking pantry staple is more than just a baking essential.




Vanilla extract or vanilla beans help highlight the sweet flavors of your baked goods. Stay on the lookout for good-quality Tahitian or Madagascar beans or extract, they make all the difference in helping your flavors shine.  





This ingredient should never be taken for granted: salt brings out lots of flavor in your treats, so remember to throw in a pinch or two. Salt will also help balance the single-layered sweetness of you cookies and cakes. Use fine sea salt or kosher salt to avoid the strange aftertaste of iodized table salt!




More from
Save this guide to get cookie-baking right.

More from
This sweet treat makes it hard to not polish off a whole bar in one sitting!

Comments. Join the discussion below!

The Meat Is The Star In This Really Easy Adobo Dish

At it's most basic, the adobo, even if just cooked in vinegar, is a delicious dish.

WATCH: How to Make Bacon Liempo

You will love the crisp, crunchy pork!
Load More