So, you want to try moving away from boxed mixes and make your banana bread from scratch? Or maybe you want to give making homemade bread a go? To be a successful baker, you need the right tools. Not only will it save you from the disappointment of spending hours in the kitchen only to have your dinner rolls made from scratch look and taste like hockey pucks, it makes the process muuuucccchhhh easier.
As you may or may not know, baking is a science. Using the correct measurements and techniques will ensure your bakes turn out as they are meant to be. Moist, fluffy cakes and quick breads…ooeey gooey brownies…buttery, flaky biscuits. Yum!
Stand up mixer. I have to say, this is my favorite kitchen appliance. Hands down. My husband got me this Kitchen Aid mixer for Christmas before we were married. He looked at me kind of funny when I opened it because I don’t think he expected me to be so overcome with joy over a kitchen appliance. I think I squealed. But, this mixer helps make batters and doughs the right consistency without taking your arm out of your socket by hand mixing.
Dough rolling mat. If a recipe calls for you to roll out dough to a specific dimension or diameter, a dough rolling mat with the measurements on it will help. I bought this one from Pizzacraft. What I really like about it, aside from the measurements, is that the surface is non-stick. It makes rolling out pie dough super easy. Simply sprinkle some flour on the mat and roll away. I don’t know about you, but to me, it’s so aggravating when you’re rolling out a pie crust and a big chunk of it sticks to your board. Ugh.
Bench scraper. This baby comes in handy for cinnamon rolls or any other dough that you need to portion out. You can just lop off what you need without tearing our cutting your dough. And, it makes cleaning up a snap. Those dough pieces that get stuck to your board, let them dry up a bit and then use the bench scraper to scrape those bits off your work surface. It also comes in handy when you cook. For example, it makes transferring chopped or diced food from the cutting board to your bowl or pan easy. So, double bonus on this tool.
Scale. This one is a game changer. Because baking is such a science, you really need exact measurements. I really like this OXO scale (another Christmas gift…I think I see a trend). It’s easy to use, accurate and gets the job done. Some recipes don’t have the weights, only the measurements. If that’s the case, be sure to pack your brown sugar and level off granulated sugar, flour, etc. with the back of a knife or other straight edge. If you are baking yeast breads – this is a must-have tool.
Patience and practice. The most important tool of all. Yes, baking is a science, but it’s a FEELING too. After you get into it, you’ll know if a cake batter is too thin by just looking at it. You’ll know if a dough doesn’t feel right when you’re kneading it. You need patience and practice to get to that level.
So, there you have it…my 5 essential kitchen tools for beginner bakers. Did I miss anything? If so, drop ’em in the comments! Ready….set….BAKE!