Are you an aspiring baker, or know someone who is? Here’s a quick list of 10 baking tools every baker needs to get the job done as functionally as possible.
THE 10 BAKING TOOLS VIDEO
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WHY ONLY 10 BAKING TOOLS?
When it comes to baking (or any industry, really), there are all kinds of doodads that crop up on the scene. These items promise to make your life easier, but then you use them once and they hog up space, only to resurface after an afternoon of reading Marie Kondo. We’re going back to basics here. Together, we’ll go over the 10 baking tools that will help you get the job done. There’s no fluff here, only function. And we’re talking baking here, not decorating, not bread making, just baking in general.
#1: A WHISK
Forget the handheld mixer. While handheld mixers are convenient, they’re not barebones enough and you have double the dishes with the beaters. Plus, you always have to dig around looking for the second beater. A whisk will be there for you through thick and through thin. I use it to whip up small quantities of whipped cream and beat eggs. When there’s batter to be beaten smooth, the whisk is there for me. It’s simple, reliable, and a must in every kitchen.
#2: A GOOD SPATULA
I’ve used a number of spatulas in my day, and all I can say is that this is one area that’s worth splurging on. Really. It seems like such an innocuous kitchen tool to invest in, but I’m constantly reaching for my spatula. I’ve had mine for a decade and it’s still going strong. Totally worth the investment! Mine can tolerate high heat, so it doesn’t melt when I rest it on a pan, and it’s one piece, so the head doesn’t pop off. It’s the perfect tool for mixing thick batters and for folding egg whites into a recipe. Need a bowl to be scraped out? The spatula is ready and waiting.
#3: DOUGH SCRAPERS
I feel like most hobby bakers don’t have a set of these and this needs to change. They’re so handy! They’re flexible, yet sturdy pieces of plastic that will help keep your hands clean. When I’m working the beginnings of a dough, like a pizza crust, I’ll start off with a dough scraper to bring everything together before I start kneading. When I’m making a pie dough, I use these to cut butter into the flour, as opposed to an actual pastry cutter (why have multiple tools when you need only one?). If I’m transferring a thick batter or an icing to a piping bag, I’ll use a dough scraper as opposed to a spatula because of the larger surface area. Over the years, I’ve amassed quite a collection of these, and the round flexible ones is where it’s at.
#4: BENCH SCRAPER
These were a revelation when I opened my student baking toolkit for the very first time in 2012. Again, I feel like this is another tool that not many hobby bakers know about, but I could be wrong! Whenever dough needs to be divided, like when you’re making biscuits, tortillas, or naan bread, the bench scraper does the job. A serrated knife will work just as well, but wait, there’s more! After messing up your workspace with flour and dough, there’s usually a bit of cleaning to do. One thing I can’t stand is a doughy kitchen sponge, which is what you would get if you try wiping down the counter like usual. Instead, use a bench scraper to scrape off all the remnants of your baking before passing the sponge. It’s quite satisfying, actually.
#5: A ROLLING PIN
What list of 10 baking tools would be complete without a rolling pin? There’s just so much rolling when you bake, whether that’s gingerbread cookies, pizza dough, or a pie crust. And there’s so many options, too! You can get a rolling pin with handles, or one that’s tapered; a dowel rolling pin, or one that’s made of marble. There are even adjustable ones so you know how thick your dough is. So much choice!
#6: AN APRON
I’m finally starting to build a nice collection of aprons, and I’m so glad! They’re terribly useful to have. I’m a tall lady, and more than once I’ve forgotten to wear an apron while I bake only to find lines of flour on my jeans from where I pressed the counter. Also, you never know when a flour accident, a splatter, or a spill happens! When I was in school and working in the pastry field, I wore super functional aprons like these, but these days I wear something much cuter. While Amazon has a bunch of adorable aprons, like this one, I like shopping local. I have a darling apron lady who makes the best aprons. If you’ve ever dabbled with French, here’s her website!
#7: AN OVEN THERMOMETER
This is one tool that I resisted for the longest time. It wasn’t until I started baking bread that I finally picked one up for myself and I wish I would have gotten one sooner! You may have heard that baking is like a science, and one of the important elements is heat. With my current oven, the internal thermometer is off by 25ºF, which I would have had no way of knowing without my handy dandy over thermometer. If something is supposed to go in at 375º, I compensate by turning my oven up to 400º. Is your oven at the temperature it says it is?
#8: A KITCHEN SCALE
This should probably go closer to the top, but this list isn’t in any particular order. When I’m cooking, I love measuring cups, but when I’m baking, I need precision. Flour, for example, changes from season to season. In the summer it’s more humid and in the winter, less so. This affects the weight. Plus, not every recipe specifies if a cup of brown sugar is supposed to be packed or loose, or if a cup is supposed to be level. Again, baking is a science. Weights are important, especially the more advanced you get with a recipe. Almost all of my baking recipes are weighted as a result. It’s how I was trained and I desperately want to spread my love of measuring ingredients to whoever has an open baker’s heart.
#9: BAKING SHEETS, A COOLING RACK & PARCHMENT PAPER
Okay, okay, I’m cheating a bit here. We have a three-in-one scenario. It’s hard picking only 10 baking tools! Baking sheets kind of encompasses the medium you need to bake whatever you’re looking to make. If you want to bake a bundt cake, you should have a bundt cake pan; if it’s madeleines you’re after, you’ll need the moulds. Baking sheets are universal though, and if you favour silicone moulds, you’ll need a couple of these handy. Parchment paper is also key for lining not only baking sheets, but cake pans. There’s nothing worse that buttering and flouring your mould, just to have your cake stick anyway and then wind up with a gaping hole. Parchment solves that problem. Finally, you’ll want to have a couple of cooling racks handy when you pull those freshly baked goods from the oven.
#10: A STAND MIXER
This one is kind of a luxury. You don’t need it, but it sure is great to have one if you bake a lot. As much as I love mixing by hand, sometimes I need a break or extra time so I can work on something else in tandem. I bought my mixer in 2012 and it’s seen all kinds of action since then. Funny enough, my stand mixer was the birth of Vintage Kitchen Vixen. The very first video I ever made was of me unboxing my mixer which you can check out here. My mixer and I have come a long way!
DID I MISS ANYTHING?
There you have it! 10 baking tools every baker needs. Is there anything you swear by that should be on the list? Was I way off base with anything? I hope you’ll share your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!
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