Here are our picks for essential tools and equipment everybody must own
Measuring Cups - Liquid and Solid
Baking is a science, and the measurements are often precise. Both liquid and solid measuring cups are vital for baking; they were created to make it easier to measure flour, sugar, water, and oils. It’s essential to get both liquid and solid measuring cups – they do make a difference!
Different pastries and baked goods require different baking dishes. Unless you plan on specializing in one kind of treat, you need multiple dishes. Here are some of the most common baking dishes:
-Loaf pan (for bread)
-Rectangle baking pan (13” X 9”)
-Square baking pan (8” X 8”)
-Round cake pans of multiple sizes
-Bundt cake pan
-Donut pan or specialty molds
Why do you need a cooling rack to bake? The short answer: science. When the dough becomes bread (or cake or cookies), the heat of the oven dries up the excess liquid to make it a solid. After it’s baked, it needs to cool from all sides.
However, if you just put a hot pan on the counter or a towel, air won’t get to the bottom of the baked item. It can either continue to cook in the heat or absorb all the extra moisture. Using a cooling rack will prevent the bottom of your treat from overcooking or getting soggy!
Okay, so a hand mixer isn’t always a necessity. If you’re just planning on making quick breads, cookies, brownies, and muffins, you might not need a hand mixer (or its larger cousin, the stand mixer).
However, cakes and other pastries have very specific mixing requirements, and it makes sense to buy a mixer if you are beginning to bake any of these. A mixer will save you time and energy as well!
Whereas wooden spoons are an essential part of mixing, spatulas are vital for the final steps of baking. You’ll need both hard and soft spatulas to make the most of your batter and cleanly get your baked goods off of the trays.
Soft spatulas have rubber heads and are great for scraping around the edges of a mixing bowl. If you’re making brownies or cake, you want to bake every last drop of batter (especially if you’re measuring for layered cakes). Having several sizes of soft spatulas will help immensely!
Hard spatulas, on the other hand, are great for getting cookies off a sheet so they can cool properly. You’ll need hard spatulas for the end of the baking process, so you don’t have overcooked pastries out of the oven.
Pots and Pans
You bake in an oven, but you use many other parts of the kitchen as well. One of the obvious parts is the stovetop – to bake, you’ll need the pots and pans that you already use for cooking and food prep.
Pots and pans of various sizes are essential for parts of baked goods. Melted butter and sugar, sauces, fillings, and jellies are only a few examples of what you’ll use pots and pans for while baking.
Of course, there are many other utensils necessary for baking. You’ll need cutlery for various things (spoons for peanut butter or sifting flour, butter knives, and forks for mixing and cutting butter). Kitchen shears are also vital.
If you don’t have a set of sharp knives, such as butcher’s knives, you’ll need to purchase those. Butcher’s knives will help cutting fruit or to do precision work on baked goods. Use everything you already have in your kitchen, from spoons to butcher’s knives, to make baking easier.
It might seem like a long and expensive shopping trip. However, once you’ve gotten all of your beginning baking equipment, you’ll be set to take on almost any recipe!
Remember, baking isn’t about being perfect the first time. It’s about following recipes, learning, and building a fun and enjoyable hobby.