If you’re new to the world of baking you’ll no doubt quickly be learning that deciding which ‘must-have’ tools you need to have in your kitchen to do your best baking can be an absolute minefield! Here are some helpful hints and tips that we hope will help you make sense of what’s what, and what’s needed and what’s not the world of baking!
Measuring Cups and Spoons…. for dry and liquid ingredients, yes, there’s a difference! The proper way to measure dry ingredients is with measuring cups so that you can scoop the dry ingredient and scrape across the top to level.
When using measuring cups, this is the most accurate way to ensure that your measurements are correct. Don’t forget to gently tap the measuring cup on the counter to release any air bubbles.
For measuring liquids, it’s important to have liquid measuring cups. Fill these to the desired quantity line and pour into the mix.
Recommended: Digital Scale
To be even more precise with your measurements, a digital scale allows you to measure the weight of your ingredients. Scales create precision for ingredients that cannot be accounted for with measuring cups because of the surface area of the item.
- Wooden Spoons… are very helpful for mixing sturdy doughs that could test the strength of lesser mixing utensils.
- Rubber or Silicone Spatula… these tools are perfect for scraping batter out of a mixing bowl and into a baking tin or forgetting the last bits out of a jar. Plus, they’re great for combining wet and dry ingredients or for “folding” more gentle ingredients.
- Whisks… are great for scrambling eggs and are also ideal for mixing together dry ingredients.
- Fine Mesh Sieve… this tool is necessary for breaking dry ingredients, like flours or sugar, into finer pieces to make mixing easier and creates a finer dough. It also comes in handy for creating that perfect dusting of powdered sugar.
- Various Sized Mixing Bowls…mixing bowls really can’t be too big, but they can be too small! Having a range of bowls avoids sloshing ingredients as you mix.
- Electric Mixer… while good old elbow grease will work for most recipes, electric mixers are important for recipes that require whipping or precise timing for gluten development.
Recommended: Standing Mixer
Standing mixers are really convenient in baking. Especially when recipes specify that ingredients should be added slowly. A standing mixer allows more control with mid-mixing additions. Standing mixers also give you more freedom during baking to gather other ingredients, preheat the oven, or pour yourself a glass of wine if that’s your thing.
- Rectangular and Square Baking Tray… in my house, these pans get the most attention. Most recipes use can accommodate either shape.
- Round Cake Pan… obviously named for its use to bake cakes, just make sure you have two!
- Loaf Tin… Pumpkin Bread, Greg’s Chocolate Orange Bread, Tropical Coconut Bread– you name it, all of our favourite recipes call for a loaf pan. Just a hint, most bread recipes make two loaves, so we’d recommend having two on hand. Just in case.
- Muffin Tin… whether Muffins or Cupcakes are your thing, a Muffin tin is an absolute staple for a baker.
- Cookie Sheet… Cookies, Rolls, and more all call for the Cookie sheet in the oven. While these pans are great for cookies, you’ll probably need it for plenty of other recipes, too.
- Rolling Pin… ensures that your dough will be consistent in thickness. This can be replaced with a wine bottle or other similar shape but the handles make this tool helpful to all bakers. And what’s a more iconic image than a rolling pin in a bakery?
- Blender or Food Processor… although not absolutely pertinent, having a blender or food processor is helpful for crumbing and can be used to combine ingredients as well.
- Wire Cooling Rack… recipes often call for wire cooling racks as these immediately stop the cooking process by removing the baked goods from the heat of the baking tin they were baked on.
- Parchment Paper or Silicone Baking Mat… A baker’s best friend. These items save time and prevent mess– perfect for the baker who can’t be bothered with a messy cleanup.
- Pastry Brush… these are perfect for getting an egg or milk wash evenly distributed on your bake before tossing in the oven for a lovely golden brown colour.