The Wood-Fired Blog

Getting Organized

In baking there is strong application of the mise-en-place (everything in place in French) concept. In broad terms, it means knowing where everything is and having easy access to it in an organized manner. If you want to bake every day, or at least 5-6 times a week, and you also want to do other things (like be a parent, work and have a few other hobbies), then it is important to bake efficiently. Or to put it more simply, get organized.

For me, that meant putting all of my flour and grains, salt, olive oil, molasses, honey, etc. in one place — near my mixer and scale; it also meant getting rid of all of those half-used flour bags that tear, spill and get lost (I am thinking fondly back on some of my leftover bread that used four or five different odds and ends of flour from bags stored all over the kitchen). But it was time to move on, and get better.

This is still a work in progress, but here is a photo of the shelves across from where my mixer and scale are always on the counter. I still need to get more storage containers so that I can get rid of all my half-used plastic bags — I get the Oxo storage containers from Amazon.

Looking back, the biggest inefficiency in my baking has been the time it takes to walk back and forth between the kitchen — where I kept the olive oil, salt, honey, etc. and the pantry where the mixer and scale live. The flour could have been stored in one of three different places (which was not good). But because we use the olive oil, salt and honey for everyday food prep, I decided to buy second versions of each of these, just for baking. So far, so good.