Question about baking areas

LinelleAugust 11, 2012

I'm curious about baking areas that many of you have in your kitchens. Do you switch to that zone when you bake? Roll out your piecrusts and mix your cookie dough there? Or is it mainly where you store your cookie sheets and mixers? Do you do a LOT of baking and it helps keep it away from the rest of your food prep? Did it start off intended for baking, but you now use it for something else?

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Yes, I bake in this zone. Utensils and bowls are in the drawers below, spices above on inside of cabinet doors, mixer is out permanently on the CT, as are cannisters with flour and sugar, cookie sheets are in a drawer to the left. I love to bake but it's more a weekly/weekend task. For me, it's a question of having all the right tools together. Very efficient and enjoyable. CT's are 30" here which allows me to roll out pie crusts and have mixer/cannisters out. Uppers are 18". Also, kids can bake while I am prepping food elsewhere.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 11:08AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

My kitchen is fairly small, so the baking area is two steps away from the marble island where I roll out dough, which is two steps from the oven. Even though there's a traffic path through the kitchen, it still functions as a U-shape with baking items (mixer, ingredients--except for refrigerated items, cooky sheets, pie plates, etc.) on the right leg of the U. The stove was there before I moved it to vent through an outside wall, and it made sense to keep the baking activity out of the main work area.

The mixer is at the end of a 10' counter, so there's lots of space to line up sheets, trays, and cooling racks. The counter does double duty--we have a large extended family, usually 16-20 people for family dinners, sometimes more if friends tag along. Dinners are served buffet style from the same counter, hence the traffic pattern. Here's a picture--the baking/buffet counter is on the right, and may I say again, how I love the image of the mixer being framed by the large corbel? :)

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 11:23AM
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oldbat2be- Did you lower your uppers as well or keep a tall backsplash?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 1:29PM
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mamagoose - love your kitchen.

Yes I have a separate baking area - My mixer is there, my cookie sheets, flours, sugars, nuts, etc are right behind me in the pantry, baking spices,baking soda and powder etc are right above me and the area is between the range and the clean-up sink and beside the DW. My prep area is on the other side of the range between it and the prep sink.

I am a very neat "prepper" but a very, very, messy baker which is why my bake area is by the cleanup sink and the DW.

My old kitchen had a counter space of 2 x 4 where I had to do everything and in my new kitchen the counter run is 20' with the range pretty much in the middle and the 2 sinks at either end. (sort of - it's hard to describe)

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 2:05PM
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I have a little different perspective. I planned a dedicated baking area, but I don't use it for that. I don't have a very large kitchen, and I put all the bowls, measuring cups etc. in this area. The small pantry with rollout shelves is right next to this area, and holds my mixer and flours etc. But I ended up always using the island because it is just as convenient, and is a wider space.
Here's a shot of the "baking area"; I guess I pulled out the drawers to show the bowls (old photo):

You can see the pantry next to it in this shot:

And the island:

So-why don't I use the designated area? It's too small. I've mentioned before how we didn't discover GW until after cabs were ordered etc. I'm not at all sure things could have been tweaked anyway, and honestly, my kitchen is small enough that everything is very close and functional.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 2:47PM
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We have a tall cabinet with roll outs dedicated to baking items. A counter with mixer is next to it. The fridge isn't far away. The small sink and dw are next to the baking area.

The baking area is around the other side of our peninsula from my main prep area. I like it because my daughter can make dessert while I cook dinner. We rarely cross paths. If I'm alone in the kitchen I like having 2 areas I can spread out in. I can use a lull during dinner prep to mix up a batch of cookie batter.

I usually roll out crusts and fill baking pans on the wider peninsula counter. The peninsula is at my back when I'm in the baking area.

I love having a sink handy to the baking area for grabbing a Tb of water or rinsing my hands. Clean up is very easy. We don't have a gd but I throw eggshells into the sink and I collect them at the end for the compost bucket.

The other thing I like is that I store canisters of flour and sugar on the roll out shelf in the tall cabinet that is at counter height. I pull out the shelf and have easy access to baking ingredients throughout (no constantly opening and closing drawers or cabinet doors.) It all tucks away when done.

Having a dedicated baking area has turned out to be a lot handier than I imagined.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 7:17PM
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You guys are lucky to have enough space to dedicate to a baking area. I'd rather bake than do anything else in the kitchen.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 7:31PM
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I almost had something like mamagoose and was giddy and weak at the knees over the idea. Before we were done with the layout, I moved the cooktop out of the island (something I didn't think I'd be able to do) and got a better overall layout. The tradeoff is that my island is not broken by the cooktop and supports baking as well as cooking and serving.

My "baking area" is the 4 feet run between my cooktop and my ovens. My utensils, scale, food processor, mixing bowls, measuring cups, extracts, spice drawer and all those goodies are in the cabinets and the deep drawers hold my flour, sugars, chips, baking chocolate and some of the baking pans. The sheets and larger pans are stored vertically above the ovens. The mixer sits in the corner on the counter. It isn't a segregated area -- it's just a spot where everything I need is close and works well.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 9:58PM
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