Ingredients and Equipment Galore! 5 Great Online Baking Resources

2012_05_14-cookies.jpg When one reader asked us where to buy online baking equipment, I jumped at the chance to share a few of my favorite spots around the web for the most perfect whole grain flours, baking molds, and fragrant vanillas.

Many of us are fortunate enough to live close to restaurant supply stores, gourmet food shops, or larger national chains stocking equipment and baking tools. But they're often not a one-stop shop, and sometimes finding more obscure spices and flours can be difficult. Thankfully, there is a wealth of helpful, educational, and plentiful baking resources online. Here are a few of my favorites:

1. King Arthur Flour: No, King Arthur Flour isn't all about flour. Sure, they stock a nice selection of signature flours (I will only use King Arthur when baking pies), but they also sell harder to find baking ingredients, bakeware, and cookbooks.Their website is geared towards education in addition to online sales, with a way to search based on "What You're Baking" and a "Tell Me About" Informational sidebar. If I had to choose, this is my number one favorite online baking site.

2. Bob's Red Mill: If you're even remotely into baking with whole grains or oats, you should acquaint yourself with Bob's Red Mill. From amaranth flour to blue cornmeal, Bob's stocks many grain flours you may see in the bulk bins at your local grocery store, but they also stock more obscure ancient grains and flours (fava bean flour, anyone?) In addition, you can also stock up on beans or mixes for pancakes or breads.

3. JB Prince: While lots of commercial bakers order from JB Prince, I think it's a great resource for home cooks and bakers, too. They're a wonderful online source for molds and general pastry equipment. Most everything is competitively priced; a great online source for small-wares and essential tools.

4. Penzeys: While it's not the most visually stunning website out there, Penzey's is a wonderful resource for spices and seasoning. Everything I've ever purchased from them has been incredibly fresh and reasonably-priced. This is the place to go when you stumble across a recipe that calls for Annato Seed or Galangal.

5. Nielsen Massey Maybe I rely on this vanilla because my mother always used Nielsen Massey, or maybe it's because as an adult I've tried many different brands and always come back to the one I used as a young adult. Lucky for us, today they carry other extracts besides vanilla (coffee and almond are my other favorites) along with pastes, vanilla beans, and scented sugars.

Related: The Kitchn's Guide to Essential Baking Pans

(Image: Megan Gordon)

It's Reader Request Week at The Kitchn! This post was requested by BUTTONS_WHIMS.