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I have a lot of people ask me about what baking tools I use. I went through my kitchen and pulled out my favorite items…what I consider to be my essential baking tools.
1. Kitchen scale-A kitchen scale is a must have for successful bakers. Baking is a science, and measurements must be as precise as possible. Plus, you won’t need to wash any measuring cups!! You just weigh your ingredients directly into a mixing bowl. You can find a good kitchen scale for around $30-$50. Make sure you can measure in ounces and grams. I prefer this OXO brand scale because it measures ounces in fractions as opposed to decimals. Most ounce measurements in baking are given fractions.
2. Pastry brushes- Pastry brushes are wonderful to have in your kitchen. I like the silicone brushes. I have had so much trouble with the brushes with tiny hairs. The hairs always fall out. I also like having different sizes for different purposes. These brushes are essential for brushing egg wash onto bread or pie crust before baking, brushing heavy cream onto scones before baking, brushing excess flour off of croissant dough when laminating, and I love using them to brush glaze onto scones after they are baked.
3. Cookie Scoops– I LOVE cookie scoops!!! Sometimes they are called ice cream scoops. They come in a variety of sizes. I use my large one to scoop cake batter into my cupcake pans, and the small one is great for scooping cake batter into my mini muffin pans for mini cupcakes. Using the cookie scoop ensures that the same amount of batter goes into each cupcake liner, and they will bake evenly. I also use the large one to scoop my chocolate chip cookie dough. Again, it ensures that all of the cookies are the same size. I love THIS set of 3 different size scoops from Amazon.
4. Dough Whisk– These dough whisks are not an absolute essential, but they sure do make mixing a large bucket of dough quick and easy. I use these when mixing up my crusty artisan bread in five minutes a day dough. Click the link for recipe. Its amazing and super simple!!
5. Spatulas-Spatulas, lots and lots of spatulas! I own quite a few more spatulas than what is pictured. I love all of the different sizes. I probably use my medium spatula the most. But the large spatula is great for folding in egg whites, and mixing a large amount of batter. The skinnier one is good for getting into tight spaces. I recently discovered the small spatulas and now I don’t know how I ever lived without them. They are wonderful for mixing food coloring into smaller bowls of icing, and excellent for scooping ingredients out of measuring cups. THIS set is great. It comes with 4 different sizes.
6. Dry Measuring Cups- I have three sets of dry measuring cups in my kitchen. Some days, I actually use them all! I love my 3/4 C scoop. In the future, I would love to invest in a 2 Cup measure as well. I love the stainless steel cups. They hold up quite well. I love THIS set. It comes with 6 measuring cups including odd sizes like 2/3 and 3/4 C.
7. Liquid Measuring Cups- It is essential to have at least one glass liquid measuring cup in your kitchen. The glass measure is needed for measuring warm/hot liquids, or it is great for melting butter in the microwave. I love my “Perfect Beaker” measuring cup. It is a 2 Cup measuring cup that has pints, ounces, teaspoons, tablespoons, cups, and milliliters.
8. Pastry Blender- A pastry blender is a must for cutting butter into flour when making scones, shortbread, and pie crust. Yes, these things can be done with a mixer or food processor as well, but most of the time, I do not feel like hauling out my food processor, using it, and cleaning all of the parts when I can use my trusty pastry blender!
9. Bowl Scraper and Bench Scaper- The white bowl scraper on the left is a wonderful flexible tool that is great for scraping dough and batter out of bowls. The bench scraper on the right is great for cutting butter into small pieces for scones and pie crust, scraping butter and flour off of your counter, and cutting scones (or anything needing cutting) into squares or shapes before baking. I love the measurements on the bench scraper. They come in handy when shaping dough into a specific size and shape.
10. Thermometer- A thermometer is essential for many purposes in baking from candy making and swiss meringue frosting to checking the temperature of bread for doneness. I just got this lovely thermometer for Christmas this past year. I love that it has a probe for internal temperature and an infrared thermometer that measures surface temperature.
11. Pastry Mat- I absolutely love my pastry mat. It has measurements along the sides, and circle measurements for rolling pie crust. I roll everything on this mat. It is a non-stick silicone mat. It is also great for rolling cookie dough and cutting out cookies. If the cookie dough sticks, I can lift up the mat and peel it away from the dough without ruining the cookie shape.
12. Whisks- I like having whisks in a variety of shapes and sizes each used for different purposes. I like to use the small whisk to beat eggs before going into a batter if necessary. I like to have a nylon whisk to use in my non-stick pans. This comes in handy when whisking a custard for ice cream, creme brûlée, or pastry cream.
13. Parchment Paper- Parchment paper is an absolute must!!!! I line all of my baking pans from cake pans to cookie sheets with it. It prevents sticking and over browning. I also like to line gift boxes and gift bags with it when I am sharing baked goods with someone. It prevents the bag or box from getting grease/butter marks.
14. Muffin/cupcake liners– I like the look of these parchment paper cupcake/muffin liners. They give my baked goods more of an organic look.
15. Cooling Rack- I have quite a few cooling racks in my kitchen. I especially love this large one. Cooling racks are essential for cooling your bakes items on after you remove them from the pan. It ensures that the bottoms will get too moist or overdone when cooling.
16. Baking Pans-Of all of the multitude of baking pans I own (I had to buy an extra storage cabinet for my basement to store them all) I chose to show you this insulated baking sheet. I believe I have had this pan for over 12 years. I have tried to replace it, but I can’t find anything that works quite as well as this beat up looking pan, so I just stick with it! I bake all of my cookies, scones, croissants, and just about anything needing a baking sheet on this insulated pan. The insulated pans ensure that the bottoms of your items will not burn or over brown. I also like lighter colored baking pans. I do not have good luck with the darker colored pans. In my experience, they tend to cook things quicker and not as evenly.
17. Rolling Pin– My wooden rolling pin broke about a year ago. Before that point, I had always used a wooden one. A lovely salesman at Williams-Sonoma convinced me try this silicone rolling pin, and I love it! I love the straight style with no handles. I find it much easier to distribute even pressure when rolling. I also feel like I use less flour when rolling because the silicone does not stick as much as my wooden rolling pin did.
18. Stand Mixer- My cadillac of baking tools is my new Kitchen Aid Mixer. My old 6 qt mixer died on me the week before Christmas as I was making a double batch of cinnamon rolls. I was also planning on making three batches of macarons that week to give as gifts. Needless to say, when the mixer died for the second time in less than a year (I replaced the gears the first time) I cried and freaked out. I started calling places to see if I could get it fixed, but there was no one near me who could fix it. So, my amazing husband convinced me to order the biggest and baddest kitchen aid mixer, the 8 qt commercial mixer! I have to admit that it did not take too much convincing to get me to realize that I needed something more powerful to withstand all of the baking I do. Whether you have a 5 qt mixer, or an 8 qt mixer, these stand mixers are absolutely wonderful tools to have in the kitchen. My baby is my baking sidekick! From mixing, whisking, kneading, making pasta with an attachment, and using any of the other great attachments you can buy for your mixer, it is an invaluable tool for any baker from beginner to experienced!
I really enjoyed sharing my 18 favorite and essential baking tools with you. Please feel free to comment below or email me with any questions you may have about baking tools. Happy baking and sharing!!!