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Bare Essentials for the Beginning Baker

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As Brent has mentioned, I couldn’t cook (or bake) my way out of a paper bag when we got married. As a result, I was never too concerned with “kitchen stuff.” When I first started cooking, I got a few mixing bowls and a spatula at the dollar store. I’ve gradually improved my arsenal since then, but truthfully, I still don’t even have a pizza cutter!

A friend recently asked me what I thought were some good beginning ideas for kitchen baking equipment. The timing was perfect, because I was recently contacted by Cookware.com asking if I would like an article from an expert to put on the site. I got to choose the topic, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to get an expert’s point of view on my friend’s question, especially because this is one I’ve been asked by quite a few people. Below is the article, written by an expert from Cookware.com. Would these be essentials for you? I have a lot of these items, but I’m still missing a few, and I might list my baking stone as an essential now that I’ve realized how great my pizzas are with it! Let me know if yours differ, or you think something is missing. I would be interested in seeing what you guys think!

Bare Essentials For The Beginning Baker

There’s something undeniably wholesome and delicious about homemade baked goods. Whether you have a passion for pie, a craving for cookies or a boisterous love for bread, the art of baking is one that should be coveted and shared.

If you are new to baking, that’s great too! It might be a good idea to seek advice and baking tips from friends, family members and other experienced bakers in your life. They might be able to give you indispensable advice or fabulous ingredient substitutions or combinations that work really well. As soon as you smell your first batch of homemade cookies, your life will never be the same.

In addition to reading up on baking, you must make sure that your kitchen is stocked with all of the essential baking tools. Chances are you already have the necessary cookware sets that you use for meal preparation, so all that’s left is some basic bakeware. Here’s a quick bakeware essentials guide to help get you started.

  • Mixing Bowls: A set of PVC-free plastic, stainless steel or stoneware mixing bowls is a must-have for any baker. While most come in a set of 4 stackable bowls, you can purchase them individually as well.
  • Mixer: A handheld or stand mixer is also an essential bakeware tool that every kitchen should have. Stand mixers are more expensive, but if you invest in a high quality product, chances are it will last you for quite some time, assuming you take good care of it.
  • Cookie Sheets: It would be a good idea to have between 2 and 4 non-stick cookie sheets on hand. If you have more than 2, make sure they are in varying sizes.
  • Cake Pans: 2 – 3 aluminum cake pans make baking a 2 – 3 layer cake infinitely easier.
  • Springform Pans: At least 1 non-stick springform pan is a great thing to have to help keep those messy fillings at bay during the baking process.
  • Muffin Pans: Have 1 – 2 muffin pans in your kitchen. An excellent tool for making cupcakes as well as muffins. If you have kids in the home, you might want to buy some more. You never know when you’ll be asked to bring in birthday treats for twenty children!
  • Tart Pans: While not absolutely essential, you might want to have at least one tinned steel tart pan to your bakeware collection. They are great for making both tarts and quiches.
  • Pie Plates: A quality Pyrex pie plate bakes crusts so that they are crisp and delicious. Ready-to-serve, You can whip it right out of the oven, onto a trivet to cool right on your kitchen table.
  • Loaf Pans: Finally, for delicious, homemade bread, purchase a couple of loaf pans. These versatile tools are also great for meat loaf.

Keep in mind that this list isn’t designed to be comprehensive. These tools are all recommended bakeware essentials. As a beginning baker, you also don’t need all of these pieces at once so pace yourself. Cookware and bakeware is a long term investment. Think about the countless meals you’ll be making in your kitchen over the years. This will help you justify spending a little bit of money here and there to improve the functionality of your kitchen.

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10 responses »

  1. Hahaha, I think my life would be much easier if I had some more of these things! Whenever I want to make a loaf, I ball up a bunch of foil down the middle of my brownie pan and pour the batter into one side …

    Reply
  2. Great way to stock up one’s kitchen!!

    Reply
  3. Fabulous tips for the beginner!!

    Reply
  4. These are great tips! I’m a new baker myself, so this list is perfect for me!

    Reply
  5. Apparently I am all set as I have everything on this list. 🙂 I have a bit of a weakness for collecting kitchen gadgets so this is not a problem for me. In fact, I often joke about what I would ask for if I got married because I have gotten so many things over the years for birthdays and Christmases. I’m not sure if you have a kitchenaid stand mixer or a large food processor but I find both very handy when baking.

    Reply
  6. Pingback: Bare Essentials for the Beginning Baker « The Idle Loaf

  7. This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

    Reply
  8. I do have most of those things on that list, but no tart pan — I’m more of a pie girl. (Just call me casual in the kitchen!)

    I don’t think a stand mixer is essential — I have a hand mixer, and whip it out only for egg whites and buttercream. Occasionally cookies, too, but only when I’m lazy or my Earth Balance is still a little too cool.

    I think that a baking stone (for breads and pizzas, obviously,) and a scale are both missing from that list! While I don’t bake by weight all that often, sometimes it comes in REALLY handy! (Especially cutting Daring Baker’s Challenges in quarter!)

    Reply
  9. I love my stand mixer, but I definitely don’t consider it an essential. I also don’t have a tart pan – or a pie plate.

    Ha! Sarah – your comment made me laugh. How very McGuyver of you.

    Reply

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