Mise en Place for Baking
- Mise en Place for Baking
- Essential Baking Equipment and Their Uses
- Common Baking Terminology Definitions
- How to Measure for Baking: Weight vs Volume Measurement
- The Function of Sugar in Baking
- The Function of Flour in Baking
- All About Gluten and its Role in Baking
- All About Leavening in Baking
- All About Eggs and Their Function in Baking
- All About Fat and its Function in Baking
- Ingredient Temperature Guidelines for Baking
Mise en Place Lesson Overview:
On my very first day of culinary school the lesson that was taught was the concept of Mise en Place. And I would venture to guess this is likely the first lesson in most any culinary or pastry school. So I figured that it is only fitting that it is our first lesson!
That day we learned the meaning of the phrase and the importance of it in the kitchen. We were also told that utilizing its principles would be key to our success in culinary school as well as in the real culinary world.
I didn’t fully understand the weight of this lesson at the time, but looking back I now see that the concept of mise en place is the skill I utilize the most in the kitchen.
Watch the Video Lesson
What Does Mise en Place Mean?
“Mise en place” is a French phrase that translates to mean “everything in place” or “putting in place.” It is a general concept for how everything operates in the kitchen.
I’ve worked in restaurants since I was 14 yrs old, in pretty much every position in both front and back of house. In a restaurant, the concept of “mise en place” gets thrown around quite a bit. And as I worked more in the restaurant world, I started to realize that not only is mise en place an overarching principle, but it has also become a noun and a verb interchangeably.
You might hear the phrases “mise your station” in the kitchen or “mise your tables” in the dining room, using the word “mise” to describe the action of setting yourself up in preparation for service. But cooks also refer to all of the items they have gathered for a dish they are cooking or baking as their “mise en place.”
Mise en Place in the Home
On a very broad scope, mise en place means that everything in the kitchen should have a very specific place. Ideally each piece of equipment, each utensil, each ingredient, etc are always kept in their specific spot so that way they can always be found and easily accessed. It can make your whole baking process run very smoothly. You might simply call it, “organization,” but it is a much bigger idea than that.
On a smaller scale, mise en place refers to the way in which you prepare yourself to make a recipe. The idea is that you gather everything you need and organize yourself before you make the recipe. You set up any equipment you may need, gather & measure out your ingredients, and get everything organized. And this is the kind of mise en place this lesson is going to focus on.
Seems simple enough right? In theory it is, but in practice it takes constant mindfulness to follow these principles. At least for me anyway. This way of thinking and working is not inherent in me, but I know that it is absolutely crucial for my success with recipes and keeping a kitchen running smoothly.
Utilizing Mise en Place Principles in Baking
These are my tips for utilizing mise en place with your home baking. As someone who struggles with staying organized, I can attest that these principles set me up for success with baking time and time again.
#1: Read the Recipe Completely and Thoroughly
I want you to read the recipe through completely, from start to finish, before you start anything. Ideally, read it more than once! Not reading the recipe carefully before getting started can be one of the most crucial mistakes made in tackling a baking recipe.
By reading the recipe through fully, you can gain a clear understanding of the workflow of the recipe and the timing involved. I have learned the hard way by starting a recipe that needed several hours of chilling time that I did not plan for. Many baking recipes also call for room temperature ingredients. Reading the recipe thoroughly well before you start making it will prompt you to plan ahead for these things.
#2: Gain a Clear Understanding for the Terminology and Techniques Used in the Recipe
After you have read the recipe through, identify any terminology and techniques used in the recipe that you may not be familiar with. Maybe the recipe instructs you to “fold meringue into the batter.” Do you have a clear understanding of what “folding” means in a baking recipe? If the answer is no, then familiarize yourself with this technique.
YouTube and Google are your best friends to find descriptions and tutorials for techniques you may not understand. We will also be reviewing the most common baking techniques and terminology in Lesson #3 of Baking Fundamentals. This would be a good lesson to bookmark as a reference for yourself.
#3: Start with a Clean Slate
Admittedly, this is probably the part of my mise en place that I struggle with the most. Start with a clean kitchen, an empty sink, and an empty dishwasher if you have one.
At times, I have the urge to think “I’m going to have to clean up after I make this recipe anyway, so I’ll just wait to do it all together.” Push those thoughts away. I’ve actually dumped an entire ramekin of salt into a cookie dough thinking it was sugar because I didn’t take the time to clear my work space. Lesson learned.
#4: Gather Everything you will Need for the Recipe
Gather any equipment you may need, any utensils, and all of your ingredients. Then measure out all of your ingredients before you start combining them.
I have often heard the argument with this step that it creates more dishes to wash. Listen, I get it. I am constantly recipe testing and I wash SO MANY dishes. But I’m here to tell you this is going to prevent numerous problems.
By measuring out all of your ingredients before you start you will ensure that you actually do have all of the ingredients you need on hand. It will also ensure that you don’t accidentally forget to put an ingredient into your recipe or accidentally add it twice. I like to line my ingredients up in the order they will be used. Many baking recipes call for dry ingredients to be mixed together separately from the wet ingredients, so I also like to group my ingredients together by how they are added into the recipe.
#5: Start Baking!
Now that you have prepared yourself well, you can start baking! I am here to attest that when I am diligent and practicing the principles of mise en place, I have a much more relaxing and successful baking experience!
Homework for this Lesson
As always, the homework is optional but is a good way to practice. The homework for this lesson is to make something this week. Anything you want! It can be something new or something you’ve made time and time again. But I want you to truly practice the principles of mise en place with the recipe.
165 Comments on “Mise en Place for Baking”
Yup, you are correct read and reread the recipe, even if you have made it a hundred times. Your memory is not your friend sometimes.
Wow what a great way to start thank u so much baker Bettie. Much love
Thank you for the helpful information. I have trouble with baking a cake. Just can’t seem to do it. I must have missed my Mom’s make a cake from scratch class. My sister can doit and shows off. I can whip up a mean topping for almost any and make homemade candy, but can’t bake a cake. Even following the recipe.
Keep practicing! Practice using mise en place and also use a kitchen scale. That will make a world of difference!
Definitely agree with your tip #1 on reading recipe completely before starting! The only thing I’d add is to also consider turning your oven on as mise en place. There were so many times when I have forgotten to turn oven on and I get all my ingredients mixed and in the pan and realize oven isn’t on! Or I realized halfway through the prep and remember to turn oven on but it wasn’t fully heated when I was ready to put pan in the oven. Now I get all ingredients out, turn on the oven, measure everything, and mix ingredients. By the time I’ve done all this, oven has reached full temp. And, paying attention if recipe has you change temp during bake time! Which leads back to tip # 1
Good tip!! I like to include turning the oven on as my first step when writing out a recipe.
I am excited to learn from you. I love to bake but the results are not always what they are supposed to be. I discovered your site looking for biscuit recipes. Your instructions are clear and understandable.
I’m glad you found me! Keep practicing!
I’m excited about this training! I love to bake but have not had a lick of training since 8th grade homemaking. I remember doing ‘mise en place’ in class. Let the fun begin!
Have fun baking!
I just found you by looking for a recipe for Clotted Cream. I’ve moved from a really large city to a smaller one & Clotted cream is hard to find. I love scones with Clotted Cream & lemon curd!
I just joined your website & I look forward to learning other techniques from you!
Thanks for sharing!
What most intimidates me,is decorating
I hear you! Decorating can be a real challenge. I struggle with it too.
I want to learn about cooking and I want to become a chef
That’s awesome! I would suggest starting with my free fundamentals course:https://betterbakingschool.com/p/fundamentals-of-baking
I checked out this site because I saw your yeast dinner rolls on another page I was looking at. Is it possible to get the recipe or do you only sell your books?
Looking forward to hearing from you. Love the idea of Mise en place!
I did not know what Mise en Place was until today, but as you said I have learned the hard way to organize my kitchen. I have always read my recipes to see what they are about. Then I get all my ingredients out and ready. I also clean up as I go, This seems to take up more time, so I don’t end up with such a mess at the end. Of course it doesn’t always work, but I try to as much as possible. Thanks for the great tips!
My 13 year old daughter loves baking and wants to learn to do it better. We are starting your free courses and incorporating them into our homeschooling. This one on Mise en Place was extremely helpful info!!!
Honestly I’m not in to direct of this particular programs. Arguable reason I was here is more than moral lesson, already professional Baker which am in to large quantities of Bread products. I just need a tips to improve in my Baking skills because I basically deal with loaf not biscuits or snacks. I need a theory for these then I can praticalize it thanks
Eager to get started. I already practice mise en place. I just didn’t know it had a name. It just seemed logical amd a way to make things easier and ultimately quicker and smoother.
I am excited to learn from you. I love to bake and look forward to all your tips and lessons. Thank you
You’re welcome! Enjoy!
I found you yesterday, my husband would not approve but I want all new kitchen tools and hope to find time to try all of your recipes.
Watched three videos today, you are the best. Make baking look easy and fun.
I was a professional baker in my youth. Anxious to try many of your ideas to up grade mine, 80th birthday just two weeks away.
Thanks for all of the tips
New best baker friend
You’re welcome! I hope you start baking again!
I’m looking forward in learning more about cooking techniques. I joined New Life Promise as a new way of cooking recently and love the new healthy recipes. My new desire now is to learn and be successful in bread baking and biscuit making.
I have many bread and biscuit recipes on my site that I think you will love!
Thank you Betty. This tip of Mise En Place is making sense now. I always rushed into baking taking out ingredients as and when needed, and ended up a real mess. Today I’m going to follow this rule and for the rest of my baking days. Looking forward to more tips.
You’re welcome! I think you’ll find that it makes for a much more peaceful enjoyable baking experience.
I have all my big bowls and little bowls ready to be utilized!
Mise en place à great concept. Love it.
I naturally had started to pre measure out my ingredients a while back as it took the stress and effort out of putting a dish together, not to the extant of your explanation. As a armature only a fool would not listen to a professional. You will be hearing from me alot as i am a big believer of, ” it’s better to ask a silly question then to make a silly mistake! Or in the building trade… the same rules applie” measure twice, cut once!”.
Thanks for your help and sharing your knowledge.
Thanks for sharing!
I am excited about gaining more knowledge. I am trying to learn to make sourdough bread. I hope Baker Bettie can help. Thank you.
I am not a stranger in the kitchen. I find myself reading the recipe prior to starting the process as well a during preparation. Both the last step and the next, having pre-red the process, centers me and assures me that I have not missed anything!
I’ve baked all my life but just recently tried to make yeast rolls like my grandmother had done when I was young but after 2 batches which were done by the recipe, it doubled in size but my rolls do not taste the same, is it in the kneading or ? I had all new ingredients and even bought a baker mat, baking thermometer and a 6 inch cut in tool but my rolls just did not turn out the same. So confused, I even wore gloves to ensure good hygiene thinking maybe that had something to do with it. I have baked all my life, even made up my own recipes but it’s not working for me….so lost
Thank you for this information. I have never used or heard the term mise en place I plan on getting all ingredients out and also to pre measure the ingredients.
It does makes sense.
Thank you. Beth
Wow i love this pls i want to be ur friend
I am 68 and have been baking since I was 14. I have baked in South Africa and now in New Zealand. The minute you think you know everything something happens and you are cut down to size. The most intimidating for me are American recipes. But I’m learning.
I think it’s so fun to learn from different cultures. Everyone has their own methods for doing things. It can be challenging but also fun!
Thank you Baker Bettie. I now realise the mistake I’ve been making before hand and I’m definitely going to try the mise en place process in my next baking
Your your muse in place always makes my recipes taste delicious!
I so agree with your first lesson of mise en place. It is as crucial as washing up as I proceed with the cooking process. Waiting til the end has always been an unwise decision for me as has running around the kitchen looking for ingredients or finding out at the end that the butter and eggs ought to have been at room temperature, as you commented. These features I learned the hard way early in my cooking and baking experiences. So thank you for beginning with them and for serving them as a reminder that simple practices are best for turning out the best product and having the most fun going through the process of cooking.
Thanks Linda! It really is an extremely beneficial task to keep practicing.
This is so true. At times I would bring out all ingredients needed but don’t have them organized. On different times I made mistakes of adding ingredients twice or skimp through a recipe. It’s truly good to be prepared before baking.
Thank you so much.
Thank you so much for sharing. Having a cleaning and organized kitchen a workplace much more enjoyable.
Looking forward to the next tip
Thanks for the information I will use it when I am baking even more so often now. Which I do take a lot of pride in my work and I would like to take it to the next level just keep giving me some good advice thanks.
You inspire confidence; thank you. I am going to enjoy learning from you.
Thanks for reminding me how important mise en place is. My failures are usually from not following this procedure. I will try to be diligent about this from now on, and see if my kitchen experiences are less stressful! I will try to make something this week!
You got it! It’s nice to reset and really plan out your process before you get started.
That’s is correct and very important practice in baking. I’ve also faced a lot of problems because of that.
I found you by accident and am so excited that I did! I am no professional but yet I have always Misen en Place. Thank you for your tips and I look forward to the lessons that will follow. Thanks
Nothing worse than finding out I am 1/4 cup short or don’t have an ingredient.
Hoping you will share a list of staples to keep on hand.
Great article. Found you when I Googled if I could make my homemade rolls two days in advance. I am making them tomorrow so I will use this technique. I love the clean slate part. I hate cooking in a messy kitchen.
I’m the same! It works out so much better for me when I start fresh.
I am slowly coming to terms with this concept. I have always done my cooking and baking on the fly, gathering things as I go. It leads for such a stressful experience but I never learn my lesson! It seems so simple but I needed this reminder and I appreciate how much you broke it down. 🙂
You’re welcome! It really makes the process easier, cleaner, and way more enjoyable 🙂
Hi Just this week I happened c to look on the counter as I was about to put my pumpkin pie in the oven , there sat the 2eggs that were suppose to be in the pumpkin !!
So I got a bowl carefully tied to get most of the pumpkin back into the bowl so I got my eggs beaten and poured the pumpkin back into the crust !! It was good !!!
Phew! So glad it worked out!
I need to work on this! I get it as I need it and, yes I have forgotten ingredients or questioned myself about if it out the ingredients in…ugh!
This process will definitely help with that!
This is absolutely essential to successful baking! I had made many mistakes when I first started baking and this is been a fool proof way of avoiding those mistakes. Thanks for sharing!
I totally agree. You’re welcome!
Totally excited about getting a refresher on things I know, and learning new things. So happy I found your site!
Thanks for finding me! I hope you enjoy the article!
What a good plan to practice. Read and reread the recipe!
Jim and I just took our first loaf of bread out of the oven. We followed your directions to the “T”. It looks wonderful. Now waiting for it to cool to eat with the pork butt roast Jim is making on the grill. So happy we found you. Thank you.
I recently “retired”. I’ve always baked but not seriously. I’m so happy to have found your site.
One question: what are the little triangles pictured above?
thank you for doing the work..