Have you ever heard of a baking day? Ever wanted to try one? A baking day is when you plan on making several recipes in several hours so that you can freeze and prep food for the future.
And…it’s also an excuse to sample all of your amazing eats.
I managed to squeeze in an afternoon of baking this past Saturday, and you’ll get to see my delicious results below. Also, if you’ve never held your own baking day, I’ll sprinkle my tips on how to organize a baking day throughout this post. The tips will be in bold.
Decide how you’re going to plan.
Most people would say to plan, plan, plan for baking day. To me, that just makes me anxious about all of the time on my feet … and it makes me much less likely to do it! Instead, I like to make a last-minute “let’s have a baking day” decision! It’s based on the sales for that week, if I have a need to put away baked goods, and whether we actually have a weekend day free (pshaw! very rare!).
Only plan baking day when your most expensive ingredients are on sale.
When I plan baking day, it’s because I want to make yummy treats like muffins, scones, breads, etc. Usually, my baked goods have berries! And berries are very expensive, so I wait for my favorite local grocer, Sprouts, to have a berry blowout sale. They’ll put three types of berries on sale for only $1.50/unit! That’s a steal! And perfect for baking day. If you find a deal like this but can’t do a baking day, pop those jewels in the freezer for next time. Except raspberries. I find they are bitter once thawed.
The other items you really want to get on sale are butter and whipping cream. I usually stock up on butter when it’s on sale, so I usually am not lacking there. Whipping cream is much harder to find on special, so I usually just get it for full price. However, did you know that you can freeze whipping cream? Yes! Unless you want to actually whip it after freezing, you can freeze it for use later. So here’s what I do: buy whipping cream when it’s on dairy clearance and stock some in the freezer. I really lucked out and found some clearanced for my impromptu baking day: organic whipping cream for $1.50 – another steal! I bought one to use and one to pop in the freezer.
Other baking ingredients, such as flour, sugar, baking powder, etc., are relatively inexpensive, but if you can find them on sale, go for it.
Once you have your grocery steals, make a list of the recipes you want to make. I usually keep mine all over the Internets, but guess where my list is now!? Pinterest of course! Here is a board of some of my favorite baking day recipes, and I will keep adding to it. While you’re there, follow me and I’ll follow you back.
I don’t always manage to do this, but it’s a good idea to look at your recipes and check how much you need of your staples:
Since these are ingredients you likely have on hand, you might not have as much as you think, and it will be a bummer to interrupt your baking mojo to run to the store. Or does this only happen to me!?
Plan for childcare.
Once my husband was done with work on Saturday morning, I turned to him and asked, “Would you mind if I did a baking day this afternoon?” (Do you like how I gave him a lot of warning!?)
He knows that means he is on childcare duty because mama cannot be interrupted while baking. And he was happy to oblige because he benefits from all that hard work! (Thanks, babe.)
Put all of your main baking ingredients on one counter. You will go back and forth and don’t want to go in and out of the pantry.
Think about the order of the recipes. For example, I used the bread machine for one of my recipes, and it takes 1.5 hours to mix the dough and let it rise – but the machine does all of the work of course. That was my first task. Also, I planned to do two muffin recipes as well as scones, so I ordered the recipes muffins, scones, muffins, scones. That way, I left time for pans to cool and be washed, if necessary (maybe it’s gross, but I reuse my baking pans without washing, if possible!)
Which reminds me, get parchment paper! I didn’t do this, but wish I had this time. Not only because I don’t like washing dishes while baking, but also because berries get sticky when cooked and are stubborn to wash off.
Clear off counters and tables that can be used to prep, but also cool, the baked goods.
Get all of your measuring devices, bowls, mixer, food processor, etc. out and get started!
The recipes I made this time around were:
(These are unbaked because I freeze them – delicious!)
Ginger Scones - my absolute favorite!!
My last tip is about storage. If you want to freeze your goodies, double-wrap them in saran wrap, cover in foil, then put in a ziploc bag. Yup – it’s overkill, but they will actually stay fresh this way!
My freezer (and tummy) are now overflowing with yumminess!
Have you ever had a baking day? What do you like to make?