Running out of supplies is something that you never want to happen if you own a bakery or serve bread and pastries in your restaurant or café.
However, baking ingredients do not have a consistent shelf-life. Because of this fact, you have to avoid overstocking supplies since you might end up not using them before they spoil or reach their expiration dates.
All these wasted ingredients can cause your business to bleed money, which is a situation that no entrepreneur wants to find themselves in.
Because of these reasons, you have to know how to store baking ingredients properly to make the most of them and avoid wasting your valuable supplies and money.
Best Storage Techniques for Baking Supplies
Leading food distributors in Dubai share below a guide for correctly storing the basic baking ingredients and additional tips for getting the most out of each of them:
Flour is a baking staple. Without it, you won’t get to whip up most or even all of your baked goods.
All-purpose flour has an expiration date of six to 12 months. You can ensure you can keep this ingredient fresh and use it within this period by following the right storage technique.
Always store all-purpose flour in airtight or vacuum-sealed containers or jars. This allows you to keep its freshness and pests out.
If you use whole grain flours, such as buckwheat and corn, transfer them to airtight containers, too. Store them in the refrigerator to keep them fresh for six months. They will retain their freshness longer if you keep them in the freezer.
Regardless of what type of flour you have and where you store it, smell it before using it to ensure it is still fresh and usable.
Like flour, eggs are also basic baking ingredients that all bakers need. As such, they are pantry staples as well.
Eggs can last for three to five weeks when stored properly. The longer eggs are stored, the more their quality drops.
To prolong the freshness of eggs, keep them in their original container. Avoid placing them directly in your refrigerator’s egg compartment since they won’t stay as cold as they would in the middle area.
If you plan to store them in the fridge, keep them in their original carton and place them in the middle rack. Aside from prolonging their freshness, you are also preventing them from absorbing other aromas or odours inside the fridge that can affect their quality.
Also, avoid transferring them into a bowl since they might hit each other and crack.
If you want to store eggs in the pantry or outside the fridge, it is best to keep them in their original cardboard or plastic container to protect them from breakage.
Baking powder and soda
Baking bread and pastries are impossible without these two leavening ingredients. Having a sufficient stock of these products, therefore, is also crucial if you are a baker or pastry chef.
Fortunately, baking powder and soda are two ingredients that are easy to store. They can also be kept and used for a long time since their shelf life lasts between 12 and 18 months.
Most baking powder and soda come in metal containers. Because of this, you won’t need to transfer them to safer alternatives.
Keep these ingredients in the pantry, in a cool dark place. It is best not to refrigerate them since the condensation can cause some unfavourable reactions in the product.
Also, make sure to keep baking sodas from spices and other food products with strong odours since they can absorb them.
Lastly, always shut the baking powder and soda’s container lid tightly after getting the amount you need to maintain their freshness.
Butter, margarine, and oil
Fat is an essential ingredient in various baked goods. They make bread, pastries, and other products lighter and fluffier in texture. They also add flavour.
Butter is the most widely used fat in baking. It works as an extra leavening agent and adds moisture and flavour to the baked product.
Butter can stay fresh for up to five months when placed in an airtight freezer bag and stored in the fridge. Note its expiry date and make sure to use it before it expires.
Margarine is usually considered an alternative to butter. If you prefer this product, you can keep it for up to nine months, as long as you put it in a tightly sealed container or freezer bag and store it in the fridge.
Canola, corn, soybean, and other vegetable oils also help you come up with moist baked goods.
Vegetable oils have a shelf life of one to six months when opened and six to twelve months when unopened. Store them in a cool, dark place, even if you transfer them in an airtight container.
Sugar and salt
These two baking ingredients never expire but can become unusable if you do not store them properly.
Sugar and salt do not contain water. As such, moisture is its number one enemy. It can absorb it immediately if air gets at it.
If you want to prolong the freshness of these ingredients, keep them in an airtight container or jar with a silicone seal inside the lid. This type of storage solution is moisture- and odour-proof, which means you can maintain their quality longer.
Store them in the pantry or cupboard, away from any source of heat, herbs, and other veggies with potent smells.
Remember, never store salt in a metal container since salt is a mineral and will react and leech into the metal, which could cause it to become toxic.
Chocolate and cocoa powder
Although chocolate and cocoa powder basically contain similar ingredients, they do not have the same shelf life.
Milk and white chocolate contain milk solids. Because of this, they should not be kept for longer than nine months. Make sure you wrap unused ones tightly in a sealed box and place them in a cool, dark area in the pantry or fridge.
Cocoa powder lasts longer, about two to three years to be exact. However, you have to keep it in a tightly sealed container to prevent fungus from forming and place it in a cool, dark place.
Also, never store the cocoa powder in the fridge since it can absorb moisture faster, which will, in turn, affect its taste and quality.
Managing Your Ingredients is Vital
Managing your food inventory properly ensures you never run out of all the important ingredients you need for creating your tasty treats e.g. Chinese treats or British snacks.
However, ensure you make the most out of your current supplies and investment by knowing how to store them correctly.
Jad Asaad is the Marketing Manager at Bidfood UAE with more than eight years of experience in digital, online and offline marketing. He started his career in Beirut working in a creative agency and then moved to Dubai to further expand his career. He created and implemented award-winning high-impact digital and offline marketing campaigns that consistently generated revenue streams and improved performance in targeted segments.