Friday, 27 April 2018

10 Kitchen Tools Every Baker Needs

I've been baking for most of my life, pretty much since I could stand up and mix a cake, I've been helping my parents out with their baking (also meant I got to lick the bowl 😋), so I figured why not write a list of kitchen tools that every baker needs! 

As someone who's got their fair share of experience baking (but by no means am I an expert!) I thought that as my blog is pretty much built around baking, with occasional savoury recipes, I had a good knowledge of what you need in you kitchen to get your bake on, and what really isn't that necessary. This is not an extensive list of everything you need in your kitchen, rather it is what you need to get started in baking. 


Fun fact for you all - the way we discovered my nut allergy was that whilst my mum was baking a cake I decided to copy her and started stirring a jar of peanut butter with a spoon, and my little 2 year old body swelled up the instant the peanut butter touched my skin - not great! 

Without further ado, let me show you what I believe to be the 10 kitchen tools that every baker needs!

1. Mixing Bowl
Let's be honest, you wouldn't get very far with your baking without having at least one mixing bowl! I find that having two is best, if you're lazy like me and you don't want to wash up between making the cake and making the icing. I have two Mason Cash 4 Litre Bowls and I love them.
2. Digital Kitchen Scales
Next up, kitchen scales. My Mum used to pride herself on the fact that she could eye-ball recipes, and whilst with some of my more used recipes I probably could, I'm just not comfortable guessing most of the time! Especially when I'm creating new recipes it's super important that I'm able to track how much of an ingredient I'm adding - I wouldn't be much of a food blogger otherwise would I!

3. Baking Pans
This is something you will need a range of, being honest I probably have too much of a range of them but it comes in useful when you're doing a lot of baking like I do! If you're just starting out, I recommend purchasing two baking sheets (with rims!), two round cake tins, two square cake tins and one muffin pan. 

4. Sieve
One of my Mums top tips to me was to always sift my flour and any powdered ingredients I used - it removes any lumps in the ingredients that you don't want ending up in your finished product. It also helps dispense raising agents in your mixture so owning an inexpensive sieve is something I highly recommend. The same advice with mixing bowls applies here too - I advise owning two sieves, so if for instance you make a chocolate cake, but want a vanilla icing with no cross contamination of cocoa powder, you have a clean sieve to use.

5. Measuring Jug
So many recipes call for milk (my milk of choice is Unsweetened Soya Milk), water or oils, and having something to measure them in is pretty useful! Owning a measuring jug is also great if you need to mix liquid ingredients separately before adding to the main mixture. Pyrex jugs are renowned for their quality and in my experience you really can't go wrong with them.
6. Measuring Spoons
These are ideal for when you're measuring small amounts of liquids or powders, such as vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, baking powder etc. Using your large measuring jug and kitchen scales just won't do so you need these smaller measuring spoons to make sure you're getting the right amount of ingredients.

7. Silicone Spatulas
I was given a silicone spatula a few years ago and it honestly made such a big difference to my baking game. It meant I was able to scrape every last bit out of the mixing bowl so nothing went to waste - something that used to infuriate me! I now own a selection and have found myself reaching for them nearly every time I'm baking or cooking - they're pretty much essential to me now!


8. Cooling Racks
I underestimated how important cooling racks were until I went to university and didn't have one 😱 I had all my other baking equipment; mixing bowl, scales, spatulas, tins, I just completely glossed over cooling racks! So flashback to me finishing making my first cake at university, and having to use the grill rack as a cooling rack... it wasn't the best of times. 
Now I have a set of two cooling racks, as I have been known to do quite a lot of baking at one time, so I do recommend owning more than one cooling rack!

9. Silicone Baking Mats
You may have seen me raving about silicone baking mats in my recipe blog posts, but honestly they have been such a game changer in my baking and cooking that I'm disappointed I didn't get them sooner! Not only do they save on waste in terms of single use greaseproof paper or foil, they are also non-stick, and super easy to clean! This means that whether you're baking cookies or roasting vegetables, they silicone baking mats are the thing you need!


10. Digital Food Thermometer 
This is a trick my Dad introduced to me, but owning a digital food thermometer has made such a difference in me being able to tell when my cakes are done. I simply insert the thermometer into the cake, check that it has reached at least 210˚ Fahrenheit, then I know the cake is done! I know you can always just use your eyes to check when a cake is done, but this is a good backup and a surefire way to make sure a cake is done.




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