Baking ingredients are like a baker's best friend, and your favorite baking ingredients can depend on what kind of treats you like to bake the most. At first, you either try to buy everything, or you don't know what you even need! Anyway, this list should be a helpful guide for new bakers.
In most baking recipes, the main ingredient is all-purpose flour and locally known as maida, which is made from wheat grains. After that, it is then milled, refined, and bleached. It is mostly used in baking pies, cakes, and other desserts. It is can also be used as a thickening agent.
Whole grain flour
Whole wheat flour adds more nutrition and a nutty, tasty flavor to baked goods and other flour-based recipes. However, this type of flour can sometimes make the finished product seem drier than using all-purpose flour.
Bread flour is made from hard spring wheat and is primarily used for baking bread. The flour has a high protein content, which gives structure and elasticity to yeasted bread.
Cake flour is ideal for creating tender baked goods due to its low gluten content, making it easier to achieve lighter and delicate textures in sponges, cupcakes, muffins, and pastries.
Cornmeal is a gluten-free flour used in baked goods and extruded snacks. This ingredient does not contain gluten which means it cannot expand when baked. As a result, it results in a dense structure.
Self-rising flour is a mixture of salt, baking powder, and all-purpose flour. It is used in biscuits, cupcakes, pizza dough, scones, and sponge cakes. When used, it produces more tender baked goods.
Cornstarch is used to thicken puddings and pie fillings and in various baked goods. It is used as an anti-caking agent. Cornstarch helps create a crumbly and tender texture in cakes, cookies, and shortbreads.
Baking soda is used in baking to make your goods rise. When an acidic ingredient, like vinegar or citrus juice, is added to the mix and it heats up, this causes baked goods to rise. It is different from baking powder because that type of leavening agent activates independently. You will always need to add an acidic ingredient with baking soda.
It is necessary to add a leavening agent like baking powder to make light, airy baked goods. It combines baking soda, cornstarch, and powdered acid that releases carbon dioxide bubbles into your dough or batter during the mixing and heating processes. No additional ingredients are required to activate the leavening process.
Yeast is a slow-rising agent. It takes more patience and time than baking soda or powder.
Granulated sugar is also called white sugar. It is the most frequently used sugar in baking, and it comes from the juice of sugar cane or beets.
Powdered sugar is used in baking because it dissolves quickly when needed. It is used to make icing and frosting, and other cake decorations. It is usually dusted on baked goods to add sweetness and for decoration.
Brown sugar is a widespread ingredient in baking. It can be used as a sweetener, adding a slight caramel taste to the baked good.
Honey adds additional moisture to a recipe and is excellent for baked goods like bread, cakes, muffins, and pies.
The most apparent role butter plays in baking is adding flavor to baked goods. You'll use butter in batters, pastry dough, and cookie dough, as well as in frostings and icings and many more things.
Vegetable oil is a crucial ingredient in many recipes and is helpful for oiling pans before baking.
Shortening is a vegetable fat used in place of or in addition to butter to create more tender, flexible baked goods. Shortening's higher melting point makes it ideal for pie crust and cookies, which are more delicate than cakes and other pastries.
Milk is used to moisten batter or dough and adds protein, color, and flavor to baked goods. The most common form of milk which is used in baking is non-fat dry milk (NFDM), which is dehydrated skim milk.
Eggs have several functions in baking. First, they contribute to the structure of baked goods by binding ingredients together and holding them together, which gives food its form and prevents it from falling apart. Secondly, eggs help bake goods keep their shape, color, flavor, and consistency.
Sour cream is one of the fattiest dairy products. It makes the cake moister and more affluent. Hence it adds moistness and flavor to muffins, cake, and cupcakes.
Heavy cream is a thick, rich dairy product with high-fat content. It is used to make whipped cream, ganache, and other things. It's best for decorating cakes or pies or thickening sauces and ganache.
6. Add ons
Cocoa powder is an unsweetened powder produced from cocoa beans, obtained by extracting fruits from the cocoa tree. Cocoa powder is one of the most common ingredients used for baking in many applications and recipes, such as cakes, cookies, brownies, iced cake, and chocolate. It is usually bitter and adds flavor and color to the cakes and bakes. It is available in light cocoa powder and dark cocoa powder. The only difference is the tint of the cocoa- light or dark which is used on the basis of the recipe you are making and the result you are looking for.
Dried Fruit and Nuts
Sprinkles are used for decoration.
Food coloring is used for baking and decorating. It gives a color tone without changing the flavor or texture of the cake, frosting, cookie, fondant, or other product.
Baking chocolate is used primarily in recipes such as brownies, cakes, and frostings. It has no sugar added to it. It is the purest form of baking chocolate available.
7. Vanilla Extract
Vanilla extract is a crucial ingredient in baking because it adds a great taste. It is usually added to desserts because it enhances the flavor and brings out other flavors.
Spice collection varies based on personal preferences. Some of the critical spices you'll repeatedly see in baking recipes include:
- Star Anise
- Ground Ginger
- Vanilla Beans
- Black pepper
Gelatin is used as a gelling and thickening agent in baking, and it is often preferred for its lack of flavor and color.
As a baker, you'll find many different ingredients to stock your kitchen with. By now, we've covered the essential elements for baking – from flour and sugar to yeast and eggs. If you're looking to make something sweet, we hope you will find these ingredients useful!