Week 9: Essential Baking Equipment

Welcome back to the Cookbook Blog with Tiffany, one of 2019's editors for the Student Cookbook! This ninth post will definitely help you collect all of the necessary items in your kitchen that you will need the next time you are baking a delicious treat. We want to make your life easier in the kitchen, so hopefully these little hacks will be getting you that one step closer to victory in terms of the next batch of cookies you're planning to make over the long weekend and Term 1 break! 

Read the basic tips below from Tiffany to find out the baking essentials that you will need whenever you decide to bake something! 

Sheet Pans

The myriad of goods you can bake on sheet pans are innumerable, be it roasted potatoes, chocolate chip cookies or roll cakes, and it’s a great idea to invest in a good quality pan, just because they’re probably going to be used a good amount (because look, who doesn’t love cookies?). Grab one that’s rimmed and, depending on your use, a lighter (better for cakes and cookies) or darker (better for roasting and browning) pan.

Cake Pans, Muffin Tins, Loaf Pans and Tart Tins

It's up to you which baked good you’re angling for and it’s not necessary to have ALL of these at once in your kitchen, and it’s more than okay to only have one or two types. I only had loaf pans up until this year, and therefore filled my pantry full with one too many banana breads. For cake pans and tart tins, springforms and those with removable bottoms are preferable. Trust me, they really do make your life easier!

Wire Rack

There’s a good reason why baking tests me to my breaking point and it’s because you need to let all those delicious treats cool completely. If you don’t, you risk them falling apart in your hands. While using the pans you’ve baked them in are ideal to cool partially, for five minutes or so, they’re not able to cool them completely because they don’t allow air circulation. Wire racks do and lets your baked goods cool down faster, and I don’t know about you, but I’m all for that if it means scarfing down a whole dozen of cookies within ten minutes!

Non-Reactive Metal Bowl

Alternatively, mixing bowls. Large bowls make it easy to mix everything together uniformly and are ideal to make dump cakes, too. Stainless steel bowls are a great option because they’re cheaper than glass bowls and allow you to whip egg whites and heavy cream.

Parchment Paper

I love parchment in comparison to non-stick sprays. They prevent your baked goods from sticking down onto the pans and make cleaning up faster, since all you have to do is crumple it into the trash bin. You can use them to line most pans and tins, and cook your meats in it en papillote (in an envelope) and outside the kitchen, they make for nice, vintage-esque handmade wrappers with a piece of twine or string.

Whisk

Be it a stand, handheld or just an old-fashioned one, whisks are essential to every aspiring baker’s kitchen. They allow you to make anything from soufflés to meringues to whipped cream. It’s a good idea to invest in an electric mixer but, if you’re a masochist like me or in a particular pinch, an old-fashioned whisk will get the job done just as well and, as an added bonus, you get to skip the gym that day.

Spatula

Used to scrape down the sides of your bowls, spatulas are a godsend for those frugal cooks and bakers who want to get every last drop and really get their money’s worth. They also allow you to fold batters, allowing you to still incorporate everything together, all the while ensuring you’re not over-mixing it. The rubber spatulas are my favourite and are an ease to clean.

Measuring Spoons

Measuring spoons are generally used to measure leavenings and flavourings, like vanilla or matcha, and aren’t something of, in my opinion, a set-in-stone necessity. I’ve staved them off by using your everyday spoons and teaspoons, but they do make baking less of a hassle and really, given how inexpensive they are, you’re better off doing yourself a favour.

Measuring Cups and Digital Scales

Baking is a science and precision is everything, hence why these are an absolute must, because everything needs to be measured. Measuring cups are a little more prone to errors because you’ve got different ways of scooping and levelling, resulting in inaccurate measurements most times, but they’re still handy tools as long as you learn how to measure the ingredients the ‘correct’ way.

A digital scale, however, is something I recommend if you’re aiming for precision or if you’re a picky perfectionist like I am. It’s faster, less fuss and you can even convert from imperial to metric units on some brands.

Found this post helpful? Stay tuned for next week's edition; the last one for the term! 

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