You can’t bake without loving both its inevitable mess and its must-have cleanliness.
No doubt, keeping food clean is essential to ascertain that you are not eating something that will make you unwell, unhealthy, and unsafe. Dirt, wastes, and other unhygienic factors involved in cooking and preparing food can ruin everything! More than the visuals and the tastes, the sanitation of food must be a top priority.
It’s the same thing when you are baking — you have to see to it that you do it without contaminations. Well, it’s obvious and expected that if you are going to bake, you will make some pretty kitchen mess out of flour, dough, sugar, sprinkles, and more baking ingredients! Yup, that’s a given, yet this clutter is foreordained and may be considered necessary.
What you must avoid is the unsanitary and germ-ridden kind of mess in the baking kitchen. They can cause your baked goodies to go so bad and your tummies to go so mad – all negatives! Here are 6 tips to ensure proper sanitation while baking. Don’t be stubborn to follow them!
1- WASH ALL BAKING TOOLS BEFORE AND AFTER USE
It’s a basic step which requires common sense, yet sometimes, there are people who need to be constantly reminded of this: Wash all baking tools before use!
Just because your baking apparatuses are well-kept inside your kitchen cabinets for months does not mean that they are totally speckless. That’s why you still have to wash them thoroughly with dishwashing soap and clean water. The lengthy time with which these tools were stored in their boxes and closets is an automatic sign that they have become dusty or that some molds have developed on them. You may not know also, but house pests like cockroaches and rats might have been visiting them once in a while.
Completely clean them first and foremost. Don’t directly use your baking tools after being kept for a long time or even for just a short time. Meticulously scrub them to eliminate closet odors which can unlikeable attach to the ingredients of the food you will bake.
And of course, after all the baking, do the same. Clean all the baking instruments you utilized, and make sure they are dry before you lock them again inside their containers and drawers. In that way, they will not develop bacteria build-up while hidden away, and they can be effectively used for your next baking schedule!
2- CLEAN THE KITCHEN COUNTER
If the area where you bake is not hygienic at all, cleaning your tools is nothing but worthless! Before baking, clean the kitchen counter and all the spaces you will use.
In baking, there are times when you will need a lot of plates or boards, depending on your recipe, but there are times when you just have to let your ingredients touch the counter. So you will neither hesitate nor be bothered, carefully sanitize the baking counter first!
When you do that, you can bake conveniently without having to overthink much about placing your items comfortably on top of wherever on your kitchen counter!
3- PURCHASE INGREDIENTS FROM TRUSTED STORES
Probably one of the major things out of the bakers’ control is making it clear-cut sure that they get and they use the finest quality and safety of baking ingredients! Unless they have their homemade baking stocks production, this is not an issue.
Truly, it’s difficult to confirm a hundred percent that your baking ingredients are of the highest quality as you please, but it’s not impossible to achieve it. To do that, purchase all your baking ingredients such as bread flour, cake flour, leaveners, extracts, flavorings, sugars, spices, syrups, powders, and dairies, from baking supplies stores you trust! These shops that provide all kinds of baking ingredients, tools, and garments have awesome reviews, ratings, and reputation! You’re sure to be in good hands!
4- KEEP YOUR HAIR UP OR COVERED
It’s definitely gross when you see hair stuck onto your muffin and bread, right? Whatever food it is, it will change your sense of taste, turning excitement into a frown. Hair just never goes with food! It’s a pain even just to imagine!
In baking, ingredients are prone to hair contamination, especially when there are so many ingredients that make it hard for fallen hairs to be noticed. Because that is so so so unpleasant, and you hate it too, always keep your hair tied up if you are long-haired, and even if your hair is not very long but it drops in front of your face. Furthermore, cover all your hair using a hair net to complete that and to secure the hair from the top of your head.
When you do this, you hamper the movement of hair that distracts you while baking, and you keep your baked goodies free from unwanted strands of hair that make everybody lose his/her appetite.
5- WEAR AN APRON
Some people don’t care when their clothes get stained or sticky while baking, but you still have to wear an apron aside from the fact that it will lessen your post-baking tidying up. Why? Because aprons are not just for your own cleanliness but for the food you bake too!
When you wear an apron while baking, you are preventing dirt coming from your clothes and wastes coming from your body to contaminate the food. It’s a win-win situation you wouldn’t want to miss!
6- WEAR A TRANSPARENT MOUTH MASK
You might have seen canteen helpers and restaurant cooks wear a mouth mask while cooking and serving food. Good thing, these masks are not just for commercial use but for personal use too!
As you know, food poisoning happens when there are contaminants combined with food during its cooking or, in this case, baking. When a baker is not feeling well, has a cough, or has a more serious communicable disease, the food he/she bakes may contact viruses and bacteria, and so, the healthy people who will eat this food are at risk of getting infected. This is dangerous and regretful in every angle.
This is one of the reasons why a mouth mask for baking and cooking must be responsibly worn. Unless you are the only one going to eat the goodies you bake, you won’t have to really worry, but if you are going to share them with other people, you must not be negligent. To prevent your saliva from contaminating the food you are baking, wear a transparent mouth mask. It may be a little baking gear, but it bears a lot of life-saving and health-keeping power!
BAKE IT CLEAN
Baking is really fun and really advantageous in so many ways! From filling rumbling bellies to comforting stressed minds, baking is indeed a worthwhile activity.
However, if you are baking, don’t simply think about the glee you will get from a pastime like it or about the yumminess of the confections you will create! Instead, make it your chiefest priority and focus to maintain utmost sanitation before, during, and after the baking process. Paying high regard to it is not just for anybody else but most especially for yourself!
Baking can be overly, creatively messy at times but it must not be yucky dirty! Enjoy your baked bonbons fresh from the oven, knowing that they are made with tender loving care and cleanliness!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nicole Ann Pore is a writer, an events host, and a voice over artist. Quality and well-researched writing is her worthwhile avenue to enlighten and delight others about things that matter. She is a daytime writer for Mauri Baking Supplies Australia, a chief supplier of bakery ingredient solutions all over New Zealand and Australia. Nicole graduated Cum Laude from De La Salle University Manila, Philippines with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts.