You need only a few baking utensils to make pastry, bake a cake, bread or muffins, so the initial outlay is low, but benefits are much higher. Baking not only warms the kitchen but also the heart. There are many reasons why people bake; to save on their food budget and to control the additives that go into their food. And some, just love to bake…love doing it, like the baking results and get much satisfaction out of the family enjoying the baked treats too.
Whether you plan to bake a little or a lot, there are some essential baking utensils you’ll need to accomplish your baking tasks. Of course, there are a few appliances that can also help with your baking and I’ll address these a little too. Though you can bake without them, they are time-savers and those minutes can surely add up. They also help if you have problem hands and need a little more muscle to mix and knead.
Basting brushes are essential for buttering the tops of breads and baked goods after they come out of the oven. Most basting brushes are now silicone rather than synthetic hair and can more readily handle hot liquids. While the silicone construction is not as nice to butter with, they do last longer. Basting brushes are handy for more than baking, they’re great for basting meats and poultry when roasting or grilling.
Chocolate melting pots
An absolute must for melting chocolate and there are different models available, but I like the dual pots the best because this unit allows you to melt both dark and light chocolates. A chocolate melting pot removes the fear of burning the chocolate which is very easy to do using a pot on the stove. These small appliances allow you the time needed to prepare and dip your dessert creations.
Similar to a small electric fondue, it melts the chocolate and keeps it warm for an extended period of time, so you can complete the dipping. It’s also ideal to use for a chocolate fondue pot, though capacity is much less than a standard electric fondue.
Cake decorating tools and supplies
Decorating tools are a must if you plan on making birthday or special occasion cakes or cupcakes. Cake decorating tools include colored writing gels and icings, preformed flowers and trims, and the icing bags and tips you need to apply frosting or cream. If you plan on making a lot of decorated cakes, a revolving cake stand makes the task easier and a cake decorating book can give you ideas and help you grow your decorating skill.
Also called breadmakers, these machines allow you to make homemade bread without having to spend time kneading it. While you can complete the baking cycle right in the bread machine, some models have a dough setting where it will do the mixing/kneading and first rising, then you can take over and shape it plus let it rise, and then bake it in your range oven.
Even the partial (dough) breadmaking process saves lots of time and effort. And making bread at home saves on your food bill. There’s a slight downside, though, most tend to eat more bread when they make it at home – it’s so hard to resist, but you can make healthier bread because you can experiment with whole grains to your heart’s content. You also get to control the additives that go into your family’s bread.
Stand mixers & hand mixers
Either type of mixer is very convenient for mixing cake batter or whipping desserts and toppings (even potatoes), but a stand mixer has an edge over a hand mixer. You can turn it on to mix and walk away to gather or add ingredients, work on the project or start cleaning up. If you want to be able to knead bread with a stand mixer, it should have a kneading or dough hook; and for whipping – a whisk attachment. A hand mixer may more readily fit within your budget and is easy to store, but it must be guided through the mixing stage and turned off to add ingredients.
A hand mixer does not have enough power to work or mix dough, and is used mostly to mix wet or soft ingredients. If you lack counter space, a hand mixer may be the better choice for you even though its function is limited when compared to a stand model.
Food processors and blenders
A food processor can be as much help with mixing the dough as it is processing vegetables and some have had tremendous success letting their food processor do the kneading/mixing for their bread. If you plan on making several loaves of bread, you would need a larger processor (14-cup), but a 7-9 cup unit would be sufficient for standard dessert or cake batters. A counter or hand blender can be helpful when it comes to preparing sauces, butter tart, and dessert fillings – mostly soft and liquid foods.
Cake servers, cake plates & muffin towers
If you want to nicely display and serve your baking creations in style, tableware such as a muffin tower, cake plates, servers and pie/cake lifters are essential. Find something that works well for your baking. Now that your kitchen is equipped for baking and you have all the pastry tools and baking utensils you need, your next task is to find great baking recipes to try out!