Last week, I shared a post on The Most Basic Top 5 Baking Tools that I believe you must have if you want to bake. Because of the love and enthusiasm you guys showed to that post, I bring to you a Baking Tools 2.0, where I extend the list to other tools that will make the job of baking so much easier and more efficient!
Now I am not saying that without these tools, you cannot bake! If you are creative and love to bake, there’s nothing in the world that can stop you! I’m just giving you a list of things that will make you more productive in the kitchen. Measuring cups and spoons, silicon spatulas, whisks, etc are all tools designed to reduce effort and increase productivity! The list of tools I’m about to give, like the last one, is inexpensive and very easily accessible.
If you are a baker, you would most likely already have these tools. But if you’re someone who is testing the waters and thinking of baking, this list is all you need to build your baking kit. These are some of the things I absolutely swear by, and use almost every time I bake, irrespective of what I am baking!
1. Parchment Paper
Is there anything worse than putting in so much time and effort making something, waiting for it to come out of the oven, and seeing the cake refuse to leave the sides of the cake pan? Not that it would taste any different right off the pan with a spoon, but you would want it to come out, right? This is where parchment paper comes in as your saviour.
I don’t think I can recall any time where I’ve baked without lining my pan. Especially, since I like to use the traditional aluminium cake pans. You do not need to do this step if you’re using silicon moulds, but with every other mould, I suggest you line your pan. Parchment paper or butter paper is available easily at all grocery stores.
2. Fine-mesh sieve
This is one tool I’m sure every one of you would already have in your kitchen, which comes in handy while baking. I usually sift together my dry ingredients before mixing them with the wet ingredients. Not only does this ensure that everything is well combined, it gives the baked goods a finer and lighter texture.
Also with heavier flours like almond flour and ingredients like cocoa powder, that tend to be lumpy, you need to pass them through a fine mesh sieve to get rid of the lumps.
3. Pastry brush
Now this tool is more handy and versatile than you imagined. You can use it to grease a pan before pouring in the batter, brushing dough with egg wash or melted butter, or even dust excess flour from rolling out pastry dough! A pastry brush makes it very easy to get to those inaccessible nooks and crannies of your irregularly snapped cake pan, or the crevices of your tart ring.
Pastry brushes come in a variety of materials, and you can buy them for as cheap as 100 bucks from any local store that sells utensils.
4. Offset Spatula
This is one tool that I reach out for so often, whether it is to level the batter in the pan before baking, or frost a cake! If you want your cakes to have beautiful levelled surfaces, it it important for them to be levelled once you put them in the oven. Tapping the cake pan on the counter to level it will push out all the air that we worked so hard to incorporate in the batter. This is why, I like to use an offset spatula to gently level the surface of the cake batter to have even layers of cakes.
I also absolutely cannot imagine having to frost a cake without using an offset spatula. It allows me completely control of what I’m doing, without putting excess pressure.
5. Springform pan
A springform pan has a latch that opens, and you can remove the sides. It also usually has a non stick coating, making sure your cake does not get stuck to it. A springform pan is ideal for cheesecakes, ensuring that it comes out smoothly. You can also use this to prepare deep dish pizzas!
If you don’t want to buy a springform pan, I suggest you get a loose bottom pan. The sides of this won’t release, but it is still easy to use and very convenient.