“Baking a cake or baking bread requires certain essential baking tools, a really good recipe, and a sophisticated sense of smell.” – Unknown
I vaguely remember days past when I would grab my iPad and head down to the local coffee shop for a warm muffin and a latte. It was a luxury I took for granted until COVID forced the coffee shop to close and I had no choice but to dig out my coffee pot.
I tried to be philosophical about it. After all, I can make a pretty mean cup of coffee. However, I soon realized that if I wanted warm muffins then I was going to have to learn how to bake them myself and I was not prepared. I didn’t know much about baking and I didn’t have any baking tools in my kitchen.
After watching a couple of YouTube videos, I soon realized that my crusted Pyrex dish and oversized grilling spatula were not going to cut it. I needed some basic, but REAL baking tools.
Baking Cookbooks and/or Recipe Websites
Baking is not like regular cooking. You can’t just open the fridge, dump leftovers into a pot, and add chicken broth (my version of soup).
Baking relies on chemical reactions from precisely measured ingredients. That is why a good cookbook is definitely your most essential baking tool.
I found a copy of Small Victories, by Julia Turshen and discovered that the ”Happy Wife, Happy Life Chocolate Cake” actually brought me great joy and should just have been named “Happy Life Chocolate Cake.”
My second most-used resource for baking cookies was Blue Bowl Recipes.
One of the key differences between baking and cooking is the need for precise measurements. When the recipe calls for one tablespoon of baking powder and two cups of flour, I turn to my King Arthur measuring cups and spoons that I purchased for myself after reviewing many different brands.
King Arthur Measuring Utensils
Made of stainless steel and clearly marked with the sizing on the handle, these two essential baking tools make it easy to mix quickly and accurately. The thing I love most about the spoons is the slim profile. The profile makes it easy to dip the measuring spoon into a jar or container and pull out what you need, scrape off the excess and not worry about making a mess.
GIR Mixing Tools for Bakers
Make sure you grab a GIR spatula and whisk. These are by far, two of the most used items in my utensil drawer. A silicone spatula and whisk combo are necessary for mixing wet and dry ingredients.
The GIR baking tools are great because they are lightweight but sturdy. Each allows for an excellent grip so you can really give a mixing bowl a dose of elbow grease.
GIR’s lifetime guarantee ensures that you don’t have to worry about going too hard. They are confident that their products can withstand the pressures of your kitchen.
Great Jones Baking Sheet Pans
Like me, you may need new baking sheets. One of mine was warped and the other was definitely missing most of its non-stick coating.
I learned from a cooking video that thin sheets and low-quality metals warp faster. The Holy Sheet from Great Jones didn’t have either of those flaws.
Reinforced with steel rods, the Holy Sheet can withstand extremely high temperatures. The half-sheet baking pan is ideal for sheet cakes and would make a good sheet for a dozen cookies. I ordered mine in the fun “blueberry” color, but Great Jones has a beautiful “broccoli” line, and I’ve got my eye on that one as well.
Other Baking Tools You Might Find Useful
I’ve given you a list of what I consider to be essential tools, but there are other items you might also find useful for baking.
- Silicone Baking Mat
- Food Processor
- Cooling Rack
- Cake Pans
- Loaf Pans
- Stand or Hand Mixer
- Rolling Pin
- Pie Crust Baking Ring
- Parchment Paper
- Kitchen Scale
- Oven Thermometer
As I try out new baked goods recipes, I’ve found that the above items have made their way onto my “want” list.
Home baking has definitely risen in popularity as a result of the pandemic. Baking, specifically bread baking, seems to be having a moment, and I think the next time I grill a steak, I will pair it with a fresh loaf of bread.
I started baking out of necessity, but if you want to know the truth, even though I miss the coffee shop experience, I don’t think I’ll go back to “store-bought” baked goods ever again.