10 things every baker needs
You need the right kit to be a baking whizz. We take a look at what you should have in your cupboards.
Been bitten by the baking bug? With the Great British Bake-Off upon us, its time to get your apron on. Whether you’re whipping up cupcakes, sponges, flans or fruitcakes, there are some essentials you’ll need to whip up a storm.
So roll up your sleeves – here are 10 things you’ll need for your bake.
1. Mixing bowls
Every baker needs a variety of mixing bowls in different shapes and sizes. There are plenty of options to pick from but you can’t go wrong with stainless steel.
Why we love them: They’re lightweight, won’t absorb smells from previous bakes and won’t chip if you’re an over-enthusiastic mixer. Baking winner.
To achieve light and fluffy cakes you need to use the precise amount of ingredients. Take out the guesswork by using some good quality kitchen scales – they’re available in two options:
- Digital: Switch between grams and ounces easily depending on your recipe, and measure even small amounts accurately.
- Mechanical: Prefer something more old school? Mechanical scales are inexpensive and simple to use.
Scales we love: Measure flour, sugar, butter and even liquids with Salter’s Black Glass Digital Scales in both metric and imperial.
3. Baking trays and tins
Any baker will know the frustration getting their perfect cake stuck to the tin. Never again lose the side of your sponge to a stubborn tin with non-stick carbon steel bakeware. Cakes slip out easily. Plus they help ensure even baking, rapid cooling, and are easy to clean.
4. Rolling pin
You can’t make pastry without having something to roll it with. For pies or tarts, you need a quality rolling pin to make your pastry thin and even – something you won’t achieve with an empty glass or bottle. Which type should you use?
- Wooden. If you’re just starting out as a baker, try a classic wooden rolling pin. Simply sprinkle some flour over it before you start rolling.
- Non-stick. Metal rolling pins prevent dough from sticking but are more expensive than wooden ones, while polyethylene rolling pins are ideal for rolling out marzipan or fondant icing.
5. Pastry brush
A good egg wash is important for turning out beautiful pastry or bread. A pastry brush will help you spread the glaze neatly and evenly for an expertly finished bake.
Some bakers don’t see the point of using a sieve, but it lets you gradually sift in the ingredients, distributing them evenly throughout the mixture avoiding any lumps and adding air.
Want to get all the cake mix out of the bowl? You need a rubber spatula that’ll scrape around the bowl’s nooks and crannies. When it comes to baking, a rubber spatula goes places a wooden spoon just can’t reach. Plus can use it for smoothing icing on to a cake.
8. Stand mixer
If you bake regularly, your life will be much easier with a stand mixer or food processor. Kneading, mixing, whisking – it'll do it all so you don’t have to. While the ingredients are mixing you can also get on with something else.
Sleek, stylish and easy to use, it’s not hard to see why the KitchenAid Artisan Mini is so popular. It has notorious staying power so can be used for generations to come.
Not sure which mixer is right for you? Check out our guide to finding the right one
9. Measuring spoons
Perfect for measuring small amounts of vanilla extract and precise pinches of salt. Measuring spoons tend to come in sets of 5, ranging from a mere ¼ of a tsp to a full tbsp.
10. Hand mixer
Whether you’re whipping cream, beating egg whites or creaming butter and sugar, a hand mixer will save you time. A less expensive and smaller option than a stand mixer if you’re on a budget or short for space.
Hand mixer we love: The stylish Braun Multi Quick 9 Hand Blender is powerful and comfortable to use thanks to its soft-grip handle. And you don’t need to worry about making a mess – it’s got dishwasher safe parts.