The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

The Wish List - What would you like?

the beekeeping baker's picture
the beekeeping baker

The Wish List - What would you like?

My wife and I are planning a major kitchen renovation at the end of the year. 

If you could have anything in your kitchen to help with baking, what would you wish for? (thinking... ovens, countertops, proofing mechanisms, equipment/flour storage, etc.)

To give you an idea of my baking habits, I've been baking sourdough on a weekly basis for the past 3+ years.

Looking forward to hearing your ideas!

tgrayson's picture

Two dishwashers ! I've had some days where I've done four loads.

Lots of storage space for different types of pans, places to store pizza stones. A rack that can hold multiple sheet pans with proofing dough or cooling baked goods.

Very large sinks.

My kitchen faucet turns on just by touching the metal, which is nice when you have doughy hands.


the beekeeping baker's picture
the beekeeping baker

tgrayson- i love the idea of the touch faucet.. i always hear it from my wife when i let dough harden on the handle

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

When we re-did our kitchen, one of the things I got was a large wall oven, and I'm so glad I did. I can have two slabs of granite on two shelves, plus steam pans beneath, or can fit 8 cast iron pots. And no bending over to get things in and out! I also have a large counter / bench that has no cupboards / cabinets over it, so I can easily use the entire space for mixing and shaping large batches. Good light there too. :)

the beekeeping baker's picture
the beekeeping baker

Was it one large oven? or two ovens on the wall?

Definitely like the idea of a large counter/workspace. We'll probably have a large island.


Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

I much prefer one big oven - easier to configure in different ways.

Oh, and I totally agree with others' comments about bottom drawers and pull-outs (especially for pantry cupboards). I've got so many kinds of flour and other bread ingredients and it's great to have them all in labelled containers in the big pullout drawers!

the beekeeping baker's picture
the beekeeping baker

That's great! I definitely want to outfit my oven with some stones so I can more easily bake without the dutch ovens

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

20 years ago. It stands about 12 inches higher than a normal one.  I have a big drawer underneath for sheet pans and cooling racks.  When bending over is a pain, the high dishwasher is especially a pleasure to load and unload.  The door spring just broke, the front cover makes the door very heavy.  I removed the cover wood yesterday and hope to get some more use from the machine before replacing it.  Will get a much lighter front covering for the next one.

Ovens are also set higher up.  

Just replaced my ceramic electric hub with an induction hub.  What a joy to clean!  Didn't opt for the built in blue tooth but it is possible these days to monitor cooking from remote control using a mobile phone with a two hundred dollar price increase. The new tech hub available no longer has an exhaust over the stove but one built into the hub base, a filter requiring no additional exhaust but space under the surface and makes the top very wide.   With the induction stove, had to move spices to new location, the drawer under the hub gets too warm.  

A hidden spice rack that pulls out to display everything "up front."  Cool and dark inside when not using.

All bottom cupboards are drawers.  No more crawling and kneeling on the floor! 

Include a pull out bread only cutting board (like the older kitchens.) There is a model with a shallow drawer underneath to catch crumbs from perforated board above.   Or just have the drawer and put your own board a knife in it at easy reach from where it is used most often.   

include a deep drawer for bread, like a bread box but under the counter.  Maybe under the bread board drawer.  Easily removed and liner dishwasher safe.

Include trash area for sorting plastic from paper from cans & glass.  Easy to pullout or open with one hand or use a foot pedal for access. 

the beekeeping baker's picture
the beekeeping baker

great ideas! thanks!

clazar123's picture

I redid my kitchen last year and was overwhelmed with the "custom" concept. I had lived with so many "vanilla" kitchens. I did a mix of bottom cabinets with pullouts, plain bottom cabinets and large drawers. I should have gotten more drawers and a few more pullouts.

Inventory what appliances and supplies you have and how you move and work in the kitchen.

Counter warmer built in?

Proofing box built in?

Cooling tray holder built in?

Moveable cart to pull out from under counter that can hold fullsize or half size baking sheets? 

Remember you have tall and bulky items. Plan for tall items and any pullouts and drawers should be the heavy duty variety. Those appliances and bags of flour or wheat get heavy! If you are going to age in this kitchen, plan for things being above the knees and more easily reached. Drawers deeper than the standard 3"-3 1/2".

Step ups. I'm short and my husband teases me that we should have invented a pullout step-up so I could reach the upper cabinets.  I think they actually have a foldup stepstool that fits in the  toe-kick space but then you are restricted to its location. Buying a sturdy, moveable stepstool and then building in a place for it to be stored is more versatile.

Toe -kick space. Build in storage here-shallow drawer for pans, paper products,etc.

Between top cabinets-a narrow (not too narrow) for spices and that tall bottle of cooking oil that never fits anywhere.

Top cabinets- make 14-18inches deep. No more that 15" where you need the cabinet to step back above a work area. Your head will thank you.

NO SHARP TRIM PIECES! We made an unfortunate choice in trim moulding so that the outside corners were actually sharp. We filed them down but a different molding would have made a different (less injury causing) profile. Also, the cabinet above the sink needs to clear both sides of the sink!

I find it hard to visualize and, of course, now that it's done, wish I had done something different. But overall, I really love my kitchen. Easy to work in, organized.

Have fun!

the beekeeping baker's picture
the beekeeping baker

Great ideas all around.. that toe-kick space is an interesting thought.

Good thought on the sharp trim pieces.. I wouldn't have thought of that ahead of time.

The counter warmer is tempting! Especially if we go with a cold stone like a quartz or something..

MontBaybaker's picture

Depending on the height of those who will be cooking, consider different counter heights.  When we moved into this house most were standard 37" (fine for my 6' 1" husband), but one side of an "L" is 30-1/4".  I'm 5' 3", so the lower counter is perfect for all my baking needs and the mixer; keeps MY shoulders at a good height.  My husband prefers the 37" areas for prep and carving meat.   I liked it so much that a year later, when we re-did a wall that had weird open shelves (prior owner), we built a long cupboard unit/counter at 30" with slots for baking pans/racks/baking stones with large open cupboard above for my dozens of cookbooks & less-used serving pieces. 

Enjoy the design process and getting what works for you!  


pmccool's picture

The space was previously occupied by a short but deep pantry cabinet, a couple of overhead cabinets, and a half-desk.  My wife wanted something that made more effective use of the space and was attractive.  This is the result:

Note that the photo above shows the doors before we applied the film on the back of the glass that gives a frosted appearance.

Opened, the pantry looks like this (note the frosted appearance of the lower door glass:

The initial concept was a closet with stud and sheetrock walls.  Our contractor suggested talking to a cabinetmaker he works with.  After some back and forth with the cabinet maker, we wound up with this very large cabinet which gives us a lot more internal space. 

Be prepared to stand your ground when you have a particular objective in mind!  Be flexible on the means, since the pros have the experience to point out potential problems.  This guy wanted to build a traditional cabinet on a 4-inch base with kick space.  My wife was adamant about utilizing the entire space, from the floor to the ceiling.  The cabinet maker was also put out by the shelf design, telling us we were wasting shelf space.  You'll notice that the upper shelves are shallower than the lower shelves.  My wife, who is 5'4" tall, knew that she would not be able to see or reach items at the back of the upper shelves if the shelves were full depth.  It took some refereeing by our contractor but the cabinet maker eventually conceded that the design was buildable and that we were the ones writing the check.  And my wife is happy.

Since the shelves are fixed instead of adjustable, my wife spent considerable time thinking about the spacing.  The lower shelves are taller, to make room for bulkier/heavier items.  The upper shelves are shorter, for shorter/lighter items. 

I don't advocate that you copy this in your kitchen (although you are welcome to use the concept), since it fit our particular combination of space and need.  Instead, consider your space and how you want to use it.  Think about which items are used frequently and need to be ready at hand.  Less-used items can be stored further away from your primary work area.  Think about object weights, ease of access, work surface heights, materials. You might also ask an elderly relative/friend what they value in a kitchen, assuming you expect to stay in your house past retirement.

If you are considering stone counter tops, I'd suggest soapstone above all others for ease of maintenance, durability, thermal tolerance, and being absolutely impervious to stains.  You might also want to consider a section of counter top made of maple; you are going to make bread in your remodeled kitchen, after all.

Lighting is often overlooked during the design phase.  Think about where you need abundant light to make work easier and where you may want the light to be softer.  If you use upper cabinets, under-cabinet lights are a nice touch for providing supplemental lighting.

You've received many good suggestions from the other posters in this thread.  I hope your remodeled kitchen gives you much enjoyment in the coming years.


the beekeeping baker's picture
the beekeeping baker

Thanks for sharing. I will definitely keep your considerations in mind. I do love the idea of a large, accessible, efficient pantry.

I don't know much about soapstone, but I am intrigued to look in to it. Thanks again!