Imagine how our lives would be if we were trying to do everything by hand, not using any tools at all!
Especially baking. Because baking is all about precision. It's about the process of making something more than the ingredients themselves. And the right process often involves the usage of the right tools.
But with so many tools available in the market, it's very hard to differentiate between what's absolutely necessary & what would be just good to have.
Well, worry not - after baking in the Dohful kitchen for more than a year now, I have come to have a good understanding of what tools you really can't live without. And I have compiled that list for you.
Table of Contents
1. Stand Mixer/Hand Mixer
The first thing I bought when I started baking was a hand mixer (almost a decade back). I recently graduated to a Stand Mixer, both at home and in the Dohful kitchen. Trust me, you can’t live without this device as it not only saves your arms from all the hard work, it also makes sure a similar kind of mixing every time you bake. Plus there’s a lot you cant do with hands - think whipped cream!
2. Cutting Board
Another must-use item, and not just for baking. I have been using chopping boards in my home kitchen also since a long time and find it very hard to chop or dice anything without the board. Also, it's especially needed in the Dohful kitchen because we hand-chop all our chocolate for the cookies and chocolate has a tendency to get stuck everywhere.
Having a chopping board makes the cleanup after so easy. There are various kinds of chopping boards in the market - wooden, plastic, etc. You can buy any, just make sure to buy the heaviest one you can, else it would just keep moving as you cut and that can’t be good.
3. Oven mitts
Every home should have a couple of Oven mitts if you ask me. Again a versatile essential item that can be used while baking as well as day to day cooking. Picking up potentially hot vessels is a breeze thanks to these. The best kind of oven mitts is really thick and even have silicon on the outside (which actually touches the hot surfaces) to prevent you from feeling the heat.
4. Oven Thermometer
I know what you must be thinking. That the oven has a thermostat which indicates when the temperature inside has reached the desired level. Well, even I didn’t know I needed this till I actually got one. It’s like my best friend while baking now. Placed inside the oven, it tells me the temperature inside the oven always. I don't have to worry about my oven overheating or being cooler than it should be. So get this - as soon as you get an oven. Trust me, you need it.
A Silpat is basically a flexible silicon lining sheet which you can use instead of baking paper. If you’re using a silpat you don’t need to apply any sort of lubrication on your baking tray, plus the cleanup after becomes a breeze. I have started using Silpats for various purposes (like baking Cookies, Granola, bread croutons and a lot more). The best thing about a Silpat I feel is that you get no paper wastage guilt at all - you bake, you give it a wash under running water and its as good as new! That being said, you can’t use Silpats for non-tray baking like cakes or brownies etc. But it’s definitely worth the buy.
6. Kitchen Weighing Scale
When I first started baking I was not used to measuring all my ingredients carefully. I belonged to the ‘baking is an art’ school of thought. But soon I realized that it wasn’t true at all. Baking like any other ‘art’ is actually a combination of Art & Science. If my ingredients are not measured to the T always, there is no chance that I can get the same results every time. So if you’re starting to bake, this is a must-have in your kitchen.
7. Measuring Spoons
While I totally stand by my previous point, having a set of measuring spoons is equally important. Though you should always measure out the smallest of ingredients (eg: Baking Soda, Baking Powder) in gms, it’s easier to measure them out in teaspoons. I have shown the correct way of measuring out baking powder below.
While this list is in no way exhaustive, this is definitely the starting point of what you should buy if you are starting out as a baker.
Do you think I’m missing something?
Do let me know in the comments section!