If you are anything like me, then you use a bunch of different utensils and tools when baking. With pans, sheets, bowls, oven, spoons and more, it’s easy to see why it take a whole kitchen to store everything!
Of course, every recipe will call for a certain piece of equipment that is absolute no matter what recipe you working on, there are some basic tools that will make the job much simpler. There are tons of tools we use every time we bake that allow us to create our treats, but these are the top 5 tools you need above all else.
1. A Stress Reliever!
Baking can be a stress reliever in it’s own right, but if you’re anything like me, you are so busy it’s hard to set aside time to bake. As a result, I have squeeze my baking into my tight schedule. I’m usually juggling ten different things while trying to finish a recipe. It’s something I love to do, but it can sometimes stress me out! Tell help knock down the stress level, I either sip on a glass of red wine or vape on my e cig.
I used to be a pack a day smoker, and that made it so difficult to bake, since you can’t be smoking in the kitchen. One of my friends whose been vaping for years helped me make the switch. Since I’ve started using the nautilus clearomizer and mod battery back he got me, I don’t have to go outside to get my nicotine fix! That little tool helped me relive a little stress when in the kitchen (especially in the winter when it’s cold outside!)
2. Parchment Paper
Cut to fit to line cake pans, make parchment cones and of course, to line cookie sheet making for easy clean up. It is also a good idea to sift dry ingredients onto it. (You can then pick up the paper and pour ingredients into bowl or measuring cup)
3. Oven Thermometer
Without an independent oven thermometer, you do not really know what temperature your oven is set to. Poorly calibrated ovens are pretty common and could cause a problem with your baked goods. It can hang from a rack or it has a magnet.
4. High Quality Measuring Tools
Precisely made dry and liquid measuring cups are some of the best investments you will ever make when your baking. I recommend dry measuring cups and spoons and I like Catamount liquid measuring cups, which you can find through various sources on-line. I also use the classic Pyrex liquid measuring cups.
5. Shot glass measuring cup
This looks like a shot glass but it has measurements on it ranging from 1-teaspoon to 2 tablespoons and milliliters measurements as well. Very handy when measuring small amounts of liquid. You will wonder how you did without it.
6. Rubber or Silicone Spatula
OK in the old days we called these rubber spatulas (and many people still do) but most are made of silicone. Either way, these flexible spatulas scrape the last bits out of bowls and bottles, they fold delicate ingredients together and gently stir items in pots on top of the stove. The best tools are multi-purpose and these are some of the best. Many cooks have extra small ones and the standard sized ones; make sure to have extra large, too. They are perfect for folding sugar or flour into meringue for angel food cakes, dacquoise and more. The kids also like to stir there kool-aid with it. Its a great multi-task tool for baking.
7. Silicone Pastry Brush
Silicone transformed the pastry brush. The old-fashioned type with natural or nylon bristles not only shed but also held onto flavors and colors. If you used one for BBQ sauce forget trying to use it for a delicate apricot glaze the next day, even after thorough washing. Silicone brushes clean up perfectly in the dishwasher, with no residual trace of flavors or pigment and do not shed! They come in various sizes, but for the pastry kitchen, look for ones with delicate “bristles” such as the one shown.
8. Oven Timer
Every oven will come with an internal clock to use when baking. A lot of times though, the timer can break or be too quiet. I even had an oven timer that didn’t keep time correctly! That cost me a pineapple upside down cake. So what I do instead is use a separate oven timer. In fact, I will often use my phone to set a timer with an online alarm clock or timer app. That way I can be outside doing yard work or relaxing while the oven is going, and will know exactly when I need to get back inside!
9.Lightweight Stainless Steel Bowls
Lets start with the right bowls. There is nothing worse than trying to make a recipe whilst wielding a massively heavy crock of a bowl. Even the glass bowls, which are essential for photo shoots and tv work, are not my choice for baking happily at home. Get yourself a nice inexpensive set of lightweight stainless steel bowls. You can effortlessly lift them to pour a cake batter into pans with one hand, stack the dirty ones carelessly in the sink, and set them on the stove top while the oven is preheating if you need to quickly soften some butter or cream cheese. I like to use the largest ones for mixing dough’s and batters, and the smaller ones for placing eggs under running hot water to get them to room temp, as well as miss placing my other ingredients.
Aprons are great at keeping clothes free of flour, butter, chocolate, egg, sugar syrups and many other things that may end up splashing as you bake. Look for those which will fit you as if they were custom made for your body type. Although they all say they are one-size-fits-all, it isn’t always the case. I have some that are virtually useless to me because they are so large. If you can try one on at a kitchen wares store then go right ahead.
Kitchen Towels are a tool I consider to be important. Not only do they double up as oven mitts and pot holders, they are wonderful for removing skins from toasted nuts or for draping over a stand mixer when adding flour (this keeps it from flying all over you counter). I keep all-cotton towels that are of the bar mop & flour sack variety. The flour sack cloths are large and bar mops are smaller. Keep several on hand at all times and use fresh ones every single day.