If you are a beginner looking to get into baking, you’re probably scouting for equipment to stock your kitchen. There are scores of baking tools out there that will help you bake with ease, but when it comes to the core purpose of the task, only a few items come to mind. We have that list you need, and these are instruments that any level baker would and should have in their kitchen.
Measuring is critical to baking
You will rarely bake by feel alone. Baking is about precision and it means you’ll need measuring tools in your arsenal. Measuring cups are primarily used for measuring dry or solid ingredients, they usually come in 1 cup, ½ cup, ⅓ cup, and ¼ cup measurements. Clear glass or plastic measuring cups are usually called measuring jugs, which are mostly used in measuring liquid. These pitcher-like tools are typically transparent with measurements on the side and can accommodate larger amounts of liquid. You’ll also need something smaller to measure with and this is where measuring spoons come in. These are standardized spoon-like instruments designed to measure small amounts of dry and wet ingredients.
When you need to mix it up
When combining ingredients there is a need for consistency and you’ll need some form of tool to help you create an even mixture. The whisk is the basic hand tool when you want to mix your ingredients manually. It provides absolute control when creating light or thinner mixtures. It is also a great instrument when you need to do something quickly as it will require no setup. When you do need a device for heavier jobs, you might want to go for the hand mixer or a stand mixer. Electric mixers are great when used on doughs and other thicker mixtures.
An assortment of pans
You are going to need a few pans with different shapes and sizes. Some baking pans do come in sets but if buying a whole set comes as intimidating, you can always get individual separate pans. A rectangular and square pan is the first choice to get. It is used universally for baking jobs and is great for brownies and square sheet cakes. And since cupcakes are staples in any baking kitchen, you might want to get a muffin and cupcake pan. Better yet, you can get a silicone muffin and cupcake pan for easier use!
An army of spatulas
Spatulas are the workhorses in the kitchen and you’ll find that there are different types for every baking task. We recommend getting a few silicone spatulas with different tips so you could scrape, mix and fold without any trouble. You’ll also need a couple of metal spatulas and spreaders if you intend to bake cakes in the future. Offset spatulas are great for spreading frosting easily and evenly.
The old reliable wooden spoon
Always keep a few wooden spoons in your kitchen, and it’s not just for baking. Wooden spoons are your go-to all-around tool in the kitchen. They are versatile, durable, flexible, and cheap! You will discover that they can be used for everything and will always be included whenever you are baking. Wooden spoons have been in the kitchen before everything else, and there’s a reason why they’ve survived hundreds of years of technological advancements.
The rolling pin is a baking icon and used as a logo by most bakeshops. Like wooden spoons, it remains true to its purpose for hundreds of years. To roll out dough. The iconic handled type remains the favorite among others. It provides enough size and weight that you won’t tire yourself out rolling out your dough. Get a smaller tapered rolling pin for more precise jobs and thinner doughs.
Sieves and sifters
It’s not uncommon for people to confuse these two and it’s quite normal to use them interchangeably. A sifter is used to aerate, separate, and break up clumps in dry ingredients like flour or sugar. While Sieves are filters used to separate foreign particles or solid from liquid ingredients. Get the two since both are essentially need in any kitchen though the sifter is primarily used in baking.
Cooling racks are necessary to any kitchen since you’ll be cooling off a lot of finished products after baking. A cooling rack is a tight grid wired tray that allows air to flow under baked goods cooling them off and preventing them from becoming soggy due to condensation. Cooling baked goods allow you to apply frosting evenly on your cakes and cupcakes. Placing your finished product on colling racks also prevents over-baking since the baked product will cool faster in the cooling rack.
Silicone baking mats
Silicone baking mats are made of high-quality, food-grade silicone and fiberglass. They can withstand high temperatures as well as freezing conditions. They are used to replace parchment paper in baking and their non-stick properties eliminate the need to grease your baking pans before using them. The fiberglass within the mat does not retain heat the way metal pans do and prevents the bottom of baked products from getting burnt. You’ll also cut down on using parchment papers since these silicone baking mats are washable and reusable!
To achieve that golden-brown crust on your pastry you’ll need an even coat of melted butter or egg wash on the dough before going in the oven and to do this properly you’ll need a pastry brush. Pastry brushes are also used for coating baking pans with melted butter or oil. There are different kinds of pastry brushes, but they all serve one purpose and you’ll find it hard to look for another tool that does it better.
You’ll mostly be mixing ingredients separately before putting them all together all the time. To do this you’re going to need a few mixing bowls at the ready. Mixing bowls are deep bowls that are suited for mixing ingredients. They come in various sizes and are made with different materials like glass, ceramic and stainless steel. They’re not just for mixing, despite the name. You’ll also find yourself using them as containers when preparing ingredients.
You might not need a timer since everyone now has a phone at arm’s reach, but you might find it a bit tiring taping on the phone every time with dough-covered fingers. You can get a digital or analog kitchen timer dedicated to cooking so you can relax and play on your phone while you wait.
Kitchen scissors are essential to any kitchen, and you might find them useful for opening those bags of ingredients or cutting parchment paper. Whatever the case is, it’s more than likely you’ll use kitchen scissors more often than you think.
Parchment paper may not be that necessary to your kitchen if you already have a silicone baking mat, to begin with. But it wouldn’t hurt to have a roll at the ready just in case. Plus it wouldn’t cost you too much to have a roll or two in your kitchen.
Also called bench scrapers, kitchen scrapers are flat pieces of steel or plastic with a handle on one side. It doesn’t have an edge but you can cut dough pretty easily with it. You can use other utensils like knives or metal spatulas to cut and scrape the dough, but you’ll find using scrapers much easier to use.
Now you might think that you don’t need a kitchen scale since you have measuring cups and spoons but you can use kitchen scales to get uniformity when dividing dough. You’ll find a lot of other uses for this device and it’s not so bad having one around the kitchen.