For months, our social media feeds were full of sourdough starters and loaf after loaf of banana bread.

frozen cookie dough balls on baking sheet
Photography by Victor Protasio
| Credit: Photography by Victor Protasio

This is what we learned from all that time hunkered down with the oven on.

1. Double your dough

The next time you make cookies, make it a double! Scoop the extra dough balls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, freeze until firm, then transfer to a resealable plastic freezer bag. Bake from frozen at 300° for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size.

2. Stash your bananas

Got bananas past their prime? Into the freezer they go! And don't bother peeling them; just pop them in whole. When it's banana-bread time, defrost them in a bowl, then squeeze the fruit right out of the peels and mash it up. 

3. Pack your pantry

Build your home baking pantry like the pros do: Slowly stock up so you're always prepared. Make an inventory of shelf-stable baking staples (flour, sugar, baking powder), then add an item to your shopping list occasionally and stash it away as a backup.

4. Snooze your starter

Being a sourdough parent can be soothing, but it's also a lot of work. If you're not making as much bread these days, feed your starter, let it come to peak, then put it in the fridge. Once a week, take it out of the fridge, discard half of the starter, then feed it again.

This article originally appeared in our Winter/Spring 2021 issue. Get the magazine here.