>> Thursday, July 23, 2009
Just as you need brooms and bins to clean your house, you need these equipments when baking:
My mom baked her chiffon when I was very young using a wire whisk. She only had an electric mixer after 6 years of doing it manually. Electric mixers make your baking life easier.
Handheld Mixers – for starters this will do the job
Heavy Duty Mixer – if you are doing baking as a home-based business, getting a heavy duty stand mixer makes mixing a breeze. They also do a great job for whipping meringue and creams.
MEASURING SPOONS AND CUPS
Baking is an exact science as oppose to cooking. You have to follow exactly the measurement as called for in the recipe if you want your end product a success. This is why measuring spoons and cups are important.
Dry Measuring cups - during the olden times, I couldn’t remember my mother having separate measuring cups for dry and liquid ingredients. In reality, you can use the same set of measuring cups for both dry and liquid ingredients. The only downside is when you only have one set as you need to wash and dry them when switching between measuring dry and liquid items.
Liquid Measuring Cup - as much as possible, don’t buy the plastic ones as the markings are prone to fade over time. I got a Rubbermaid brand which is like an acrylic type.
Measuring Spoons – stainless steel is a good choice though I never have problems using plastic ones.
SPATULAS, BOWLS, SPOONS, SIFTER
Rubber spatulas – A must staple in your kitchen. I tell you it’s difficult to scrape a bowl using a spoon. A large spatula is good for batter that calls for folding
Straight Edge Spatula – This is ideal for spreading and leveling off ingredients
Wooden Spoon – Some recipes call for simple mixing, you will find that a wooden spoon does the job well.
Mixing Bowls - go for stainless steel bowls as they are easier to wash and do not easily get scratched
Sifter - many recipes require dry ingredients to be sifted, you should have one in your kitchen.
BAKING PANS AND SHEETS
Learn from me… do not buy pans you don’t need yet. Get the basic ones depending on what you plan to bake. To me, the best and cheapest material to choose is ALUMINUM. Buy the thick ones.
Baking Pans – choose the size that you would mostly use in your baking. Ideal size for most recipes are:
* Rectangular – 9”x13”x2”
* Square - 8”x8”x2”
* Round – 8’x2”or 9”x2”
Cookie Sheets – are essential for baking bread, biscuits and cookies. They can also be used as base for baking pans. Make sure you get the measurement of your oven before going out to buy the sheets (ehem).
Springform Pan – this one opens on the side and has a removable bottom. This is ideal for baking cheesecakes or other pastries that are difficult to remove. A 9-inch pan would be an ideal size.
Muffin or Cupcake Pan – you can buy either a 6 or 12-cup tray. Get the size that would hold a regular or 3oz cupcake.
Buy other sizes as needed.
If you opt for glass or non-stick/dark pans, make sure to reduce the temperature by 25degF when baking as they tend to get hotter than aluminum ones.
OTHER BAKING ESSENTIALS
You won't need this immediately but you will find them helpful as you go along.
Oven Thermometer– many baking gurus would recommend getting one for your oven. I never used oven thermometer (except for the built-in one in my industrial oven before). I just relied on the automatic thermostat on my oven. Most ovens now come with automatic thermostat although as an oven ages, getting an oven thermometer would be a good option.
Greaseproof Papers - used to line baking sheets and pans
I tell you, the list could be endless and if you visit your baking supplier without a plan and list on hand, you are guaranteed to buy things you won't need yet. I'm speaking from experience.
Lastly, buy good quality tools for baking as you would be using them over and over. You wouldn't want to buy pans every month because your cheap pan had warped.
Before I forget, if you are like me, buy a KITCHEN TIMER, please! This will save you from the punishment of eating the burnt brownies.