While the initial process of stocking up on baking essentials might seem overwhelming, the good news is that most of the basic ingredients come in bulk and are long-lasting. So, once you’ve stocked up on an ingredient, it’s likely to deliver numerous batches of cakes, cookies, muffins, and more! Whether you’re a beginner or a pro looking to make sure your pantry’s up-to-date, here are eight necessary ingredients that should come in handy during Ramadan and afterwards.
- Flour (22-65 LE)
If you want to start making your very own healthy baked goods at home, then Healthy Mill is the pocket-friendly brand to look for. They have an impressive assortment of flour, from gluten-free and chickpea to almond, coconut, and oat. All those different flours can be a great healthy alternative to All-purpose flour in recipes for bread, cakes, pancakes, brownies, cookies, and crumbles.
- Brown Sugar (24-37 LE)
Cinnamon rolls, banana bread, and cookies are all desserts that call for brown sugar. This alternate form of sugar is a combination of white granulated sugar and molasses, resulting in a moist, slightly sticky texture and darker tone. Brown sugar is necessary for the creation of many richer baked goods. Significantly more expensive than white sugar, Dobella, El-Osra, and Imtenan have brought us brown sugar that is much cheaper than the norm.
- Baking Soda (24 LE)
This is a leavening agent that activates and causes your baked goods to rise when acid and heat come together. It is always necessary to pair baking soda with an acidic ingredient, such as vinegar, citrus juice, cocoa powder, or a form of fermented dairy like yoghurt. Especially useful when making muffins, cupcakes, and some cookie recipes. Abu Auf’s baking soda is quite affordable.
- Yeast (1-23 LE)
Another leavening ingredient, yeast is a slow-rising agent that takes more time and patience than baking soda or powder. Instant yeast and active dry yeast can be used to make bread, pizza, and doughnuts. You can get instant yeast packets for as cheap as 1 LE from Angel or Dreem. Dreem offers 25 sachets (12gm each) for only 23 LE.
- Cornstarch (1.75-23 LE)
Some baked goods rely on this powder (which is typically used to thicken sauces) for tenderness, as it can counteract the tough proteins in flour, making for softer baked goods. It can be used in Balah el Sham and Mahlabeya or used in pie fillings and puddings. Cook’s or Dreem cornstarch can work magic in the kitchen if used properly.
- Semolina (11-13 LE)
Semolina is a high-gluten flour made from hard durum wheat. It has a somewhat coarse texture, yellow colour, and is high in gluten protein. It has a mild, earthy aroma that makes it great when making homemade pasta and one of Ramadan’s most loved desserts, Basbousa. Find Dobella or Five Stars semolina in any supermarket near you.
- Baking Powder (1-10 LE)
In order to create light, airy baked goods, it’s necessary to add another leavening agent like baking powder, which releases carbon dioxide bubbles into your dough or batter during the mixing and cooking processes. Green’s, Dreem, and Cook’s all offer baking powder packets for quick and easy recipe calculations, which can be very useful in pancakes, cakes, muffins, cookies, and more!
- Vanilla Extract (1-16 LE)
Vanilla extract is made from vanilla pods in a solution of ethanol and water. It is considered an essential ingredient in many desserts, especially baked goods like cakes, cookies, brownies, and cupcakes, as well as custards, ice creams, and puddings. You can find either liquid form or powder, and Green’s, Dreem, Dobella, Cook’s, and Foster Clarks are all reasonably priced brands.