Let’s Bake!

It’s that time of year again … BBC’s The Great British Bake Off is back and that means just one thing: it’s time to get behind that stove and bake like you’ve never baked before!

Whether you’re eyeing up a scrumptious scone recipe to complement your afternoon tea, or have your heart set on recreating one of the delicious desserts from the technical challenge, a modern kitchen will provide you with all the tools needed to get it done. So, let’s find out how.

The Essentials

Having an efficient kitchen helps the baking process no end. Many modern kitchen designs have been created with aesthetics and functionality in mind, so that they not only look good but are simple and practical to use. As they say, a workman is only as good as his tools and it’s very difficult to bake a great pie if you don’t have an adequate oven. So, a kitchen that’s easy to keep clean and has lots of work surfaces is a must.

In many ways, modern kitchen designs have replaced the manpower that aided bakers in the past. You’ll have no doubt read about how works of wonder were baked in the kitchens of Hever Castle, Brighton Pavillion or even Hampton Court … but those chefs had a whole army of helpers and short of dressing up the kids in servants’ garb, you’ll have to rely on your kitchen appliances to power through the grunt work!

The Design

With all the food programmes that dominate our TV schedules, it would appear that we’re all destined to become masterminds in the kitchen … right? Easier said than done.

A great kitchen layout can help! It’s true, you can cook anywhere but if you have a kitchen that’s well designed, life will become that little bit easier. Remember, it’s your kitchen and its design should be fluid and bespoke to your lifestyle. You need to know that the contents of your cupboards and drawers won’t spill out onto the floor when you open the doors! Explore innovative kitchen storage ideas and find options that are right for you.

The Feel

More than just the look and layout, your kitchen needs to feel right and it’s the little details that will make all the difference.
An apron is a must – especially if you often cook in your best clothes – and a deep sink or dishwasher, capable of handling the mountain of washing up created by a hungry family, is also important.

When designing your kitchen, make sure that the height of your worktops and sinks are comfortable for you. The last thing that you’ll want is to suffer from a bad back after kneading your pastry for 20 minutes! Good lighting is essential too, so keep windows clear from clutter and consider adding spotlights under wall mounted cupboards to provide extra lighting at eye level.

Practice Makes Perfect

TV cookery shows will provide inspiration in the kitchen but what if your culinary skills are a little, shall we say, lacking? If you’ve never baked before, choose recipes that are easy to reproduce and have patience. Baking is as much about chemistry as skill and practice always makes perfect.

If possible, try out new recipes at a time when you won’t be disturbed, so that you have the time to get it right. This may not be easy in a busy household, but you can always bribe the family with the promise of a beautiful plate of cupcakes if they leave you in peace!