The Holiday Season is fast approaching, or as some like to call it, Baking Season! It’s the time of year home bakers dream about, as they pin countless cookie, pie, and cake recipes onto Pinterest boards and stock their pantry cabinets with sugar and flour.
There is nothing like seeing joy on the faces family and friends as you share your homemade treats. It’s even better when you hear them rave about your baking skills. Best of all, you get to taste a few morsels yourself, fresh out of the oven!
Baking takes time and effort, but the rewards are great. And you can easily simplify things by creating an organized kitchen that is ideal for baking. Check out this list of essential tools every home baker needs in the kitchen.
1. Aluminum Foil: Aluminum foil is great for keeping direct heat off of your cakes and piecrust edges as they bake, helping to prevent burning.
2. Cake Pans: You should have at least two 8X8 round cake pans for baking layer cakes, an 8X8 square pan for brownies, and a rectangular jelly roll pan for cake rolls and sheet cakes. Other pans include loaf pans for breads, Bundt pans, and springform pans for cheesecakes.
3. Cookie Cutters: These are used to cut decorative shapes from rolled out cookie dough. Cookie cutters are made from aluminum, copper or plastic and come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes.
4. Cookie Sheets: Cookie sheets are designed to allow air to circulate around the cookies so they bake evenly. You should have at least two on hand. Keep them organized in your cabinets with a chrome tray divider.
5. Dry Measuring Cups: Dry measuring cups allow you to measure out dry ingredients like flour in 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, and 1-cup increments. Just fill them to the top and level them off with a knife or cake spatula. They do not have a pouring spout.
6. Electric Mixer: Electric mixers have a range of speeds that allow you to thoroughly blend your ingredients with ease. They come in both hand and stand varieties, with a number of attachments. If you are planning on doing a lot of baking, invest in a quality stand mixer, and a heavy-duty mixer lift for your kitchen. Then visit Willow Lane Cabinetry online for other great kitchen cabinet pull out ideas!
7. Flour Sifter: Sifters are usually made of stainless steel or heavy plastic. They have a mesh bottom, and are used to incorporate dry ingredients together or sift flour. Sifted flour is easier to mix into other ingredients when making a cake batter or dough.
8. Liquid Measuring Cups: Liquid measuring cups are usually made of glass, with a lip for pouring. They allow you to measure accurate amounts of liquids like milk or water when baking.
9. Measuring Spoons: Measuring spoons are used to measure small quantities of both liquid and dry ingredients.
10. Mixing Bowls: Invest in a good set of stackable mixing bowls. You will need one for wet ingredients and one for dry ingredients at the least.
11. Muffin Tins: This pan allows you to make 12 or 24 muffins or cupcakes. Don’t forget the paper liners!
12. Parchment Paper: Uses for parchment paper include lining baking pans and wrapping baked goods so they do not stick together.
13. Pastry Blender: A pastry blender is used to cut cold butter into flour, allowing you to distribute the butter without melting it. It is often used for making piecrusts, biscuits, and shortbread cookies. It is comprised of five or six parallel, curved steel wires that are attached at both ends to a handle.
14. Pastry Board: This flat board is used for rolling out cookies or a piecrust.
15. Pastry Brush: A pastry brush looks like a flat paintbrush, and is used to brush milk, water or egg whites on pastries.
16. Pie Pans: Pie pans are round and shallow, with sloped sides that hold up the edge of a piecrust. You should have at least two.
17. Pie Weights: Pie weights are small ceramic or aluminum balls that are used to keep an unfilled piecrust from bubbling during baking.
18. Rolling Pin: As the name implies, rolling pins are used to roll out dough. They come in handy when making piecrusts or sugar cookies. They can also be used to crush cookies and crackers. Rolling pins made of hardwood are heavier and produce the best results.
19. Spatulas: You should have several spatulas for baking. A metal cake spatula has a flat edge for icing cakes. Rubber spatulas have a paddle shape with long handles, and are used for scraping batter out of bowls. A small spatula is always good to have for cookies and brownies.
20. Whisk: This handy kitchen utensil is comprised of a series of metal hoops with a handle. Whisks come is a variety of sizes, and are used for whipping ingredients like eggs and cream to incorporate air into them.
21. Wooden Spoons: Wooden spoons are thicker than metal spoons and do not scratch non-stick pans. Keep a variety of wooden spoons on hand for stirring ingredients.
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