Create a stress-free baking experience by keeping the right ingredients on hand. Look at these baking ingredients you should buy and not DIY for more insight.
There’s something special about homemade baking. That smell of fresh bread or cake wafting through our home reminds us of warmth and comfort. However, while baking from scratch is a wonderful thing, certain ingredients require a grocery run. Here are the baking ingredients you should always buy and never DIY.
While you can make your own yeast, it’s much more trouble than it’s worth. Yeast is a living organism that requires a precise environment to grow. Unless you have experience with homemade yeast (or have a lot of spare time), just stick to the store-bought version. It’s reliable, consistent, and much easier to use.
Extracts and Flavorings
Extracts and flavorings add extra flavor to your baked goods. Although you can make homemade flavorings, it comes with a risk. For example, homemade vanilla extracts and concentrates may not be as potent as the store-bought version. This can affect the quality of your recipes. If you’re considering homemade vs. store-bought flavor concentrates, you may be happy to learn that store-bought ones are often more consistent.
Puff pastry is a delicate dough that requires a certain level of skill to make properly. It’s time-consuming and requires a lot of attention to ensure that the layers are perfectly flaky and the pastry itself is light and airy. While you can make your own, it’s much easier (and tastier) to buy premade. Plus, store-bought puff pastry comes in a convenient frozen form, which you can thaw and use whenever you’d like.
Baking powder is a leavening agent that helps dough or batter rise. If you run out, you may want to mix together some baking soda and cream of tartar. However, baking powder is a baking ingredient you shouldbuy and not DIY because imprecise measurements can result in unpredictable outcomes. No one wants a flat cake or abnormally large muffins. When in doubt, just make a quick grocery run.
Bread flour has a higher protein content than all-purpose, cake, and arrowroot flour, which makes it ideal for bread baking. However, making your own bread flour by adding gluten to all-purpose flour is tricky and can lead to overly chewy, elastic-like results. For a reliable ingredient, opt for premade bread flour.