A cheat’s guide to baking
Kneading dough. Beating butter. Waiting for your oven to heat up. Baking can be one big slog. Take the bother out of baking with our cheat’s guide…
1) Making bread
Why it’s great: Freshly baked bread is the nation’s favourite smell –enough said.
Why it’s difficult: Making your own bread takes time and effort. Kneading the dough by hand makes it elastic and springy and lovely. But kneading is proper hard work especially once you’ve been at it for 20 minutes. Then you have to prove the loaf before putting it in the oven. There’s a lot going on.
How tech can help: Making your own bread is easy with a breadmaker – it handles everything from kneading to baking the loaf.
- Place your ingredients into the breadmaker – flour, water, salt and yeast – and select your type and size of loaf.
- Let it knead. Mechanical arms inside the machine knead the dough for you – no elbow grease required.
- Prove it. Once kneaded, the machine proves your dough too.
- Bake. The loaf is baked inside the breadmaker – voila.
A breadmaker we love: Bake everything from the standard white loaf to speciality breads with different grains and flours with Panasonic SD-2500 breadmaker. Easy as it is, making bread in a breadmaker does take time. Get a shuffle on with the rapid bake mode. You can get the crust just-so too. Check out the Panasonic SD-2500 breadmaker
2) Preparing cakes
Why it’s great: Baking afternoons are special - great fun with a slice of nostalgia.
Why it’s difficult: Eggs and milk slopping over your bowl when mixing. Arms aching from endless beating of butter and sugar. Being chained to your handmixer. Though fun, baking can be chaotic.
How tech can help: Enough chaos. Take control of your bake with a stand mixer – a fixed mixer and bowl that does all the work for you.
- Save your arms. Beating ingredients by hand can give you proper arm-ache. You can knead dough, fold cake mix, whisk eggs and cream butter with a stand mixer.
- Multitask. Ingredients in, switch on. While it gets on with the mixing you can get on with something else (you don’t need to hold it like a hand mixer).
- Clean sides. It can be hard to concentrate when you’re surrounded by a messy kitchen. The mix stays in the bowl though with splash guards and slow-start technology.
A stand mixer we love: Baking afternoons are all bliss and no bother with the Kenwood kMix KMX52 stand mixer. It beats, whisks and kneads with aplomb. With its curvy retro lines, saving time and effort has never been so stylish.
3) Baking cakes
Why it’s great: There’s nothing like turning a cake you’ve baked yourself out onto a wire rack.
Why it’s difficult: Cakes can take a while to bake in the oven. And you also need proper baking tins and greaseproof paper. Then there’s waiting for the oven to get to the right temperature…
How tech can help? Microwave baking. Yup. Bake cakes in your microwave. You’ll get the best results with a combination model – which combines microwave cooking with a grill and fan oven.
- Fast baking. Not enough time to bake? Bake a sponge or fairy cakes in minutes thanks to the moisture in the mixture.
- No need for baking tins: Proper baking kit can be expensive. All you need for this is a microwave-safe dish.
A microwave we love: Bake cakes super-fast and evenly with the Panasonic combination microwave. Other great features:
- No rotating plate. Place bun tray and large dishes in the microwave thanks to its flat-bottom. A level surface, and no glass plate.
- Built-in oven: Bake your cake evenly with the combination of microwaves and a fan oven