Parchment Paper or Silicone Baking Mat If you haven’t yet discovered the benefits of parchment paper, add it to your grocery list. It’s the perfect tool for lining trays when you’re making cookies and breads. The goodies won’t stick, the paper won’t burn, and cleanup is a breeze. For a reusable option, pick up a silicone baking mat instead. Silpat is a recognizable brand. Saucepan You’ll need a heavy-bottom saucepan for melting caramel, butter and chocolate. Linens Since cleanup is an unavoidable part of baking, stock up on your favorite style of kitchen towels, washcloths, hot pads and aprons. Recipe Database In the modern era of the internet, it’s easy to find recipes for just about anything, but any seasoned baker will tell you that not all recipes are created equal. There’s always that one perfect version of almond roca, mom’s rhubarb pie or fifth-generation fudge, and keeping track of your go-to recipes can keep you from frantically Googling and scrolling through reviews in the future.
1. Create Online Files If your primary organizational method has moved online, be sure to organize your files so you can easily find what you’re looking for. One folder labeled “Baking” isn’t going to suffice. Instead, create sub-folders for muffins, tarts, breads and danishes. You may need to break them down even further, such as separating breads into dinner loaf bread, rolls, sourdough, etc. From there, just make sure you always put recipes in their correct folder and label them with a recognizable name. 2. Notebook If you prefer to work from a printed recipe, a three-ring binder is a great way to keep recipes at your fingertips in an organized way. Punch holes along the side of recipes ripped frommagazines, printed from the internet, or photocopied from a friend. Even better, slide each recipe into a
plastic sleeve made for three-ring binders. Use divider tabs to label each section. On the outside of the binder, use a label-making machine to list the categories inside. 3. Recipe Box It’s old school, but effective. Besides, a recipe box allows you to preserve great-grandma’s banana bread recipe she penned by hand. Use recipe box dividers to stay organized, laminate or put recipe cards into a protective sleeve, and make sure to return cards to the proper box promptly after use. 4. Pictures Another way to preserve your favorite recipes is to take pictures of them. Grab your cellphone, and collect photos of 3x5 cards, magazine articles and your mom’s scribbled notes. That way, you can recreate the recipes if something happens to the original versions.
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