Thinking of learning how to bake? Then one of the first things you have to consider is your baking tools & equipment. For some beginner bakers, getting started can be daunting. Some might think that its quite expensive and you’ll be requiring a lot of baking equipment. The sheer number of tempting baking tools and gadgetry available in the market does not help matters. Too many to choose from, you end up confused, or you might end up buying what you don’t need.
Here’s one advice for beginner bakers, purchase only the basics first.
At least you will not be overwhelmed and as you go along your baking journey, you will then become more knowledgeable about what tools and equipment you actually need. For example, if you’re just starting out baking cookies or perhaps some dinner rolls or loaf bread, then for sure you will not need (at least yet!) that really attractive looking 64-piece fondant tool set, right?
This post is a simple guide on what we think is the beginner essentials for baking tools & equipment.
What are the baking tools & equipment you need to have on hand to get started baking the simplest breads and pastries.
- Oven – ha! of course, its the most basic equipment you need. Your kitchen might already be equipped with a built-in oven or you might be on the lookout for a portable or a free-standing oven. There are lots of choices, but you either just have to narrow it down first to either electric or gas. The type of oven you need to have would depend on your needs. Ovens for home baking and casual use are most definitely different and less expensive than heavy duty commercial ovens. We’ll have a separate post covering ovens for home use in greater detail. You may also have a look at this easy baking oven buying guide or have a look at these list of full-size convection ovens.
- Mixer – you can actually do with a whisk but having a mixer is worth your while. It makes the job easier and faster. Especially if you progress to making frosting as well as basic sponge cake, its better to have a mixer. If a stand mixer (which can be expensive!) is out of the budget, then a good handheld mixer is a must. In fact, you might find myself using the hand mixer more often.
- Oven Thermometer – you might ask why is this on the list, when all ovens have temperature gauges. Well, oven’s temperature gauge as time passes loses its accuracy. Oftentimes, its off by more than 10 degrees and that matters a lot in baking. An oven thermometer will help you get accurate oven temperature readings.
- Digital Food Weighing Scale – the manner you fill your measuring cups or spoon varies so to get the most accurate measurement, the best way to go is via weighing scale. You’ll also encounter a lot of recipes using measurements in grams or lbs so this is handy to have.
- Sifter -one of the easiest mistakes to make in baking, is forgetting to sift your dry ingredients especially flour, cocoa or baking sofa which tends to have whole bits stuck together. Sifting allows these to be broken down so you’d have a fine textured pastry. Sifting also helps to have a more even distribution of ingredients.
- Mixing Bowls -You’d need this in an assortment of sizes. We would also recommend getting a few that can be used on top of a pot of simmering water. There are many recipes that call for melting or cooking something like this.
- Measuring Cups and Spoons – when it comes to baking, measurement is essential. All ingredients are measured and ratio is of utmost importance.
- Spatulas – get a curved silicon spatula for scraping and mixing, and also a set of stainless steel spatula with straight and offset blades. We find offset spatulas extra useful when trying to even distribute dough or batter on a pan and of course, these will come in very handy when you to advance to cake decorating.
- Whisks – why is this on the basic list? Well, its a substitute for a mixer, albeit a manual one. But even if you already have a mixer, a wire whisk is important to have when there is a need to whisk just small amounts like an egg or two, or perhaps blending together your dry ingredients so its evenly distributed.
- Baking Sheet – a good quality baking sheet is a must for cookies and some breads. Invest in a thick and non-insulated (preferably aluminum) baking sheets as these produce evenly cooked and browned goodies.
Baking Pan – its easy to go overboard with this one. There are just too many shapes and sizes of baking pans around you might end up with too many. So get the basics and we’d recommend:
- 9″x13″ pan – excellent for sheet cakes,basic cakes, bread rolls.
- square pan – can be 8″x8″ or 9″x9″ – typical pan used for bars and brownies.
- 9″ round pans – standard size for cakes.
- 9″x5″ loaf pans – for loaf breads, banana breads.
- 9″ pie pan – standard size if
- 12 slot muffin pan – good to have if you plan on making cupcakes and muffins. Otherwise oven-friendly paper muffin cups is a good substitute.
- Cooling Racks – Cooling racks function as a tool to allow air to circulate around your baked food. Some food will develop moisture if you keep it in pan. So if you want your baked goods to retain its crisp texture or prevent sogginess or simply to cool cookies, you’ll need a cooling rack. You’ll also need cooling racks if you plan on pouring glazes on you cakes.
- Rolling Pin – a very versatile tool in the kitchen, but its primary use is for leveling and flattening dough for pizza and other pastry breads. We will have a separate post detailing kinds of rolling pins, its uses and how to care for it.
- Pastry Brush – if you plan on making breads, this is often used to spread butter, oil , glazes or other liquids on your baked goods. This is why we have included the pastry or basting brush in our essential baking tools & equipment.
- Baking Paper – heat resistant and makes for non-stick baking. This will make taking out your cakes and pastries out of pan way easier. It’s also one way of helping preserve your baking pans and tins.
There you go. Our list of essential baking tools & equipment. Of course, there are a lot more baking tools to be had but these are the basic must haves for the beginner baker. We’ll be featuring another post listing some secondary baking tools you might want to purchase when you are at least well past the beginner stage.
Get started on your baking journey, we have a baking recipe directory for some of the best baking recipes around. Most of these carefully picked recipe links feature intensive text and photo instructions to guide you in making your first baked bread or cake. We also have a baking and cake decorating tutorial directory where we list our handpicked photo and video tutorials from different rockstar bakers.
Image credits: Pixabay.com