Baking Tools for a budding baker will make a great gift!
I can still remember the thrill of my Gran giving me her favorite mixing bowl and her Pyrex jug
And 20 years later I am still using them!!
Don’t you love the idea of giving a gift that will be used time and time again evoke so many memories and also last generations?
I have treasured baking tools that I reach for constantly and they still stand up to the test of time.
Many tools I have bought over the years have not lasted the distance.
They either broke, discolored or I realised they were not food safe ( Remember Teflon!)
So let’s look at what is needed and at the same time save money in the long run
I have put together a list of 10 essential baking tools that will last the distance for many years.
I like using an assortment of mixing bowls, plastic, metal and Ceramic bowls
Plastic bowls are lightweight and easier for children to use and they don’t put extra pressure on hands and wrists using and carrying the bowls
Metal or stainless steel bowls are fantastic and will last the distance….BUT they are not suitable to microwave in and for some recipes a quick blast in the microwave is needed – Like when softening butter or chocolate
Ceramic/Glass – now these will also last many years and they can be used in the microwave and another thing I love about them is that they can also be used as serving bowls. I often will make a salad or side dish of vegetables in a ceramic bowl and use it on the table
Multi use is what I am all about!
Measuring Cups and Spoons
The right set is invaluable!
They provide accuracy and are used in all recipe books and are universal in measurements
Make sure you get a set that has metric measures on them as well
Do not buy a cheap flimsy set – they will break and the measurements are likely to wear off.
Buy a stainless steel set as the measurements will be stanmped on, they are foodsafe, they are suitable for the dishwasher as well.
And check that the spoons are rectangular in shape! Round spoons are useless when you use a lot of spices as you cannot fit the spoons into the spice jars!
This video will show you the difference in a round spoon and a rectangular spoon.
Spoons and Spatulas
These are often interchangeable!
I must admit I did love using a wooden spoon but over the years the wooden spoons have not lasted the distance. Mainly because over time they are no longer food safe ( wood will absorb food and bacteria if you are using it for wet ingredients) They also do not cope well with the dishwasher and let’s face it…I throw everything I can into the dishwasher
Look for spoons or spatulas that are made from GOOD quality silicone.
Do not buy a low quality one as they will discolour and become sticky.
The couple that I have bought are coming up to 15 years and they are still good as when I bought them.
Again another tool that I use a lot! I have 2 sizes – one for smaller amounts – like a couple of eggs into a cup of milk and then I have a larger size that I use while heating and stirring over a pot ( Yes I still enjoy standing and watching a sauce come together!)
I did buy a silicone coated whisk – but what I found is that the silicone came away and split and I was left with gaps and holes and this is no longer a foodsafe utensil – There was no way of knowing what was caught under the silicone. Look for stainless steel whisks with a solid handle. Nothing worse than a poorly made handle making the whole utensil useless.
I remember my mum buying me a set of scales and they are still going strong 18 years later!
I love that they can reset back to zero so I can leave a bowl on the scales and weigh ingredients as I go
Make sure that the scales give you enough time to read it before it turns its self-off…So infuriating when you step away to grab something to add into the bowl and the scales have turned off and you are left trying to work out the weight of what you need to still add
Ensure that they have a nice sized top so you can balance larger bowls or plates on them ( I weight everything including parcels that need to be posted)
I cannot live without cake tins that are easy to get a cake out of the tin!!
The cheesecake style tins are my favourite – BUT watch that that they will leak if you have extremely runny batter or the cakes produce a lot of liquid like some of the fruit based cakes that have a caramel style top – eg pineapple upside down cake…The caramel will ooze out of the tin
A good sized Loaf pan is also needed – I do breads, loaves ( Including meatloaf) and I will also use them to set terrines
You will need 1 flat tray and 1 cupcake tray. The flat trays are used for cookies and also you put your cake tins on to them before putting them into the oven. Now I would go for a surface that does not scratch and you can give it a scrub. The non stick ones while they do come in handy – they usually do not last the distance. If you grease or line a tray with parchment paper – you will not have food that sticks to it.
Cupcake/muffin trays on the other hand can be non stick as you keep them clean by using cake liners in them.
Hello Pyrex Jug!!
I think majority of kitchens would have a Pryex jug and they are still in the best seller lists on Amazon in the kitchen and dining section.
I have 3 sizes – small, medium and large and I use them to pour, measure, mix and also to make béchamel sauce in the microwave…….Yes I know I said earlier I like to stand and stir a sauce but sometimes I don’t have time or I need to make a double batch and that is where the microwave does come into play.
Sieve and Sifter
A Sieve is always needed. They can be used for straining liquid ( Sometimes they are called strainers), Separating lumps and particles out of sauces and liquids and also lumps out of dry ingredients and of course they can be used to aerate flour and help to mix dry ingredients together when they are sieved together into a mixing bowl.Sieves are fine to be put through a dishwasher if you are using wet ingredients though them
Make sure you get a stainless steel one that is wide enough to sit easily over mixing bowls or saucepans, Also ensure that the mesh is strong so that you can push thicker sauces through it or crush dry ingredients through the mesh. And the mesh needs to be fine so that bigger particles do not get through into your food.
Another alternative for use with dry ingredients is a sifter.
With a sieve you need to shake and tap dry ingredients though the mesh .
A sifter uses some sort of crank to mechanically push dry ingredients through the fine mesh. The crank will either be a handle on the side or it will be a crank that is part of the handle. Both work as well as the other and it comes down to preference.
Some sifters will have 2 mesh layers to ensure no large particles get though. Sifters are invaluable when using dry ingredients like powdered sugar or baking soda – these type of ingredients naturally clump and you do not want clumps of them in your cooking. The sifter also acts as a way to mix dry ingredients and if you get a larger ones ( Buy one that holds at least 2 cups)you will add your dry ingredients and spices into the sifter and then sift them all together into the mixing bowl.A metal sifter is not suitable to go into the dishwasher as you use dry ingredients just shaking the sifter at the end of using it is enough to clean it.
There are some good quality plastic ones that can go into the dishwasher.
A Hand Mixer
Yes no doubt a keen baker will eventually move to a bench top mixer…….They look stunning on a kitchen bench top too! But when starting out a hand mixer will be sufficient – Trust me on this!
They are a must when creaming the butter and sugar and beating eggs…..Trying to do this by hand is so time consuming. A good hand mixer is a cheap investment and I have had mine for 15 years and I use it on a regular basis.
Make sure that there are enough variable speeds and the beaters are easy to lock into place and easy to remove.
Baking tools for later as you start working with pastry or decorating cakes
Kitchen Bench top mixer, Rolling pin, Cookie cutters,cooling racks, pie dish, tart case, piping bags and nozzles.
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