The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Elements of an Ideal Pastry Kitchen

Natosha Jacobs's picture
Natosha Jacobs

Elements of an Ideal Pastry Kitchen

I'm hoping my fellow baking enthusiasts will chime in here with some advice.

If you were to outfit a kitchen to be able to indulge the whims of a pastry enthusiast, what would you include? Interests encompass everything from bread and sourdough to French pastry and the occasional sugar work project.

(Granted, said kitchen also needs to be the family kitchen where dinner gets cooked, preserving happens, and lunches are packed)

Feel free to include specific brand/appliance suggestions, optimal surfaces, arrangements, heights and storage suggestions.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

I redid my kitchen a few years ago and had all kinds of ideas. I'm glad I dreamed but I'm also glad I was realistic. I have a kitchen I love to work in. Does it have everything? Heck,no. And I've thought of a few things I "could-a,should-a" have done but didn't since. Overall, I'm pleased. So here are some ideas.

Undercounter rolling cooling rack that fits full-sized sheetpans.

Proofing cabinet

Heated AND cooled stone counter (granite or marble.). Good for dough,biscuits,sugar work, etc.

More large drawers!

Counter depth refrigerator

Extra deep freeze

Extra refrigerator

Icemaker/cold filtered water dispenser.

Hot water dispenser

Microwave at counter height

All work counters at my ideal working height (5FT1in)

Pullout knife storage w/cutting board storage. (I have this and absolutely LOVE it)

Mixing station with all ingredients in large drawers (Have this-LOVE it)

Undercabinet lighting (Recently installed-was in the original plan and just never installed. LOVE this.)

Baking sheet storage (if no sheet pan rack)

Pantry with pullout drawers for foods,flours and medicine/supplements

Small appliance storage cabinet-crockpots,specialty pans, ice cream maker,blender,food processor,etc.

Buy combined small appliances as part of the kitchen reno budget- combined blender/food processor, grain mill, mixer.

Research ovens that have good heat control rather than lots of bells and whistles. Perhaps a PID control-VERY accurate. Modern ovens have thermostats that average the temp inside by being all-on/all-off. The average temp inside the oven is where you set it but temps can swing all over and tops/bottoms get dark while inside is raw. Ask me how I know! :) I've seen lots of posts here on TFL about this. If,possible, look for an oven with a Robert Shaw control (more mechanical than electrical).Robert Shaw Co. used to make controls for most ovens out there but that has changed. Most now have electronic boards made by numerous other entities. I don't know if a mechanically controlled oven exists anymore.

Don't be quick to get rid of older appliances b/c of age. If they are working well, keep them. Especially refrigerators and stoves. We had 3 refrigerators delivered in 1 week before one lasted more than 48 hrs. And these were not cheap junk. They were supposedly mid-range,brand name, nice refrigerators.

Don't forget to plan for nooks and crannies. I always have a step-ladder available. What good is having ceiling height cabinets if you can hardly reach the second shelf? OSo I have a space planned for the stepladder, pull-outs (should have made a few more),garbage can, etc. I wish I had made a few more cabinets as deep drawers. Better than opening a cabinet to bend over and pull out a shelf.

Pull-outs.  Great helpers! Look around the internet and get an idea of pullouts you like. I also planned for storing tall things like gallons of vinegar or tall boxes. I actually have a lot of items in plastic storage boxes on the pullout. Also, of what use are cabinets with multiple pullouts if nothing fits on them? Open your cupboards and see if what you are storing will fit. One pullout on the bottom with room to stack/bin items may be better than 2 pullouts that nothing fits between.

Give yourself time to dream and think. Picture your workspace and decide what you need/want and what you can afford. Most of kitchen organization is not just a bunch of cabinets but actual planning on how you use the space and making the cabinets conform to your needs.

Have fun!! Dream but remember to be practical.

semolina_man's picture
semolina_man

I consider myself somewhat skilled in pastry.  For me this means bread, shortcrust pastry, cakes and a wide variety of desserts including glaces (ice cream and sorbet).  I do a small amount of chocolate work, mainly glazing and mousse.   I make French and Italian meringue with some frequency. 

 

I have a very basic kitchen and get along quite well.   

 

I can think of two things that may be only somewhat outside of the normal configuration: a large amount of counter space and a large refrigerator and freezer.   Counter space is fairly obvious.  It allows for placing electric appliances on the counter, and to do a proper mise en place.   It also provides room to roll out doughs.   Refrigerator and freezer space, both are necessary, is essential for chilling pastries during the build process.  If you make entremets, the assembly process involves adding a component, then chilling it.  The freezer is used to rapidly chill warm ingredients to room temperature, so assembly can proceed in a reasonable time frame.  For example, chilling a warm meringue when making mousse. 

 

Bruno Albouze is the ultimate YouTube pastry chef at this time, my opinion.  He is a professionally trained French native pastry chef, now living in the US.  Watch his videos.  His studio kitchen where he produces videos is more than adequate for the most advanced pastry work.  It's not really that special, my opinion.  Just a good amount of space.