Always be ready to bake checklist

There will be days you have nothing for breakfast. Days you wake up early for some reason before the rest of the house, and you know there's nothing but coffee and eggs in the kitchen. And you'll know breakfast won't be complete without some kind of pastry, cake, or bread.

There will be days you get a call from friends or family inviting you to dinner on Friday and they ask you to bring something. No one ever complains about homemade bread in this situation.

That's why you must always be ready to bake. To ensure you are always ready to bake, use the following checklist:

Level 1 - Bread and pizza dough

Make sure you always have...

With these mininum requirements you'll be ready to make any yeasted bread when called for. But you won't be prepared to improvise breakfast within an hour, so continue to level 2 to further prepare.

Level 2 - Quick breads, cakes

Make sure you always have...

With this list you'll always be able to make a basic pound cake or quick bread within an hour. With preparation up to this level and the next, you can quickly find a recipe online to make or adapt with what you have. You'll also be able to make more intensive pastries like croissants when you have the time.

Level 2B (optional) - Better quick breads and cakes

To make more than just plain bread or cakes, keep an assortment of the following stocked:

These aren't required but they make breakfast significantly more exciting.

Level 3 - Sourdough

At this level, you'll need to maintain a sourdough starter frequently enough for it to be ready for making bread or other sourdough-based baked goods. You only need flour to do so, but it's level 3 because it takes regular maintenance to keep it up and always be ready to bake.

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