Everyday life may be slowly returning to normal for some, but for many, staying at home is still strongly recommended if not mandated. One upside of having nowhere to go is the chance that home chefs everywhere now have to try out new recipes or bake to their heart's content. You don't need to be an expert baker to make chocolate chip cookies or banana bread, but it does help if you have a few of the right tools to make things easier.
Whether or not you bake on a regular basis, everyone should have a few baking sheets
and either a hand mixer
or stand mixer
in their arsenal of kitchen accoutrements. In addition to being essential when wanting to make cookies, baking sheets are also useful when wanting to make sure a pie doesn't overflow while in the oven or even just cooking veggies or meat in the oven. Making sure to lay parchment paper
or a silicone baking mat
on the baking sheet before adding cookie dough, veggies, etc. will make clean up so much easier at the end of the cooking process. They can also help ensure that what you're making doesn't get stuck to the pan or burn as easily.
If you want to make cookies, pies--really anything that requires dough--you won't get far without a rolling pin
. While there are the fancy ones with patterns etched into them, a simple traditional rolling pin or a French rolling pin
are really all you need.
Making muffins, cupcakes, or banana bread might be a bit challenging without a cupcake pan
or a bread loaf pan
. While banana bread can probably be poured into a casserole dish, it most likely won't rise quite the same than if it were in a pan designed for small loaves of bread or cake. Muffins
and cupcakes would be pretty difficult to make without the proper pan since they are meant to be individual cakes themselves. And, of course, if you're making a cake, then having a round pan
, spring form
, or bundt pan
While not isolated to just baking use, having a set of mixing bowls
with various sizes is a good idea for any home cook. As with the baking sheets and mixer, mixing bowls are not exclusive to baking but do make mixing large quantities of flour, sugar, and other ingredients together much easier. And when needing to mix ingredients, depending on the recipe, having a pastry blender on hand can be extremely useful. When needing to cream together sugar and butter, doing it by hand first with a pastry blender
can make the process easier than trying to use an electric mixer as the mixer wont' be able to break up the butter quite as well.
Although some bakers might get carried away with wanting to try new and more difficult recipes that require more specialized equipment like piping accessories
, a baker's spatula
, or a pastry brush
, those aren't necessary for more simple, everyday baking like making chocolate chip cookies. You'd be amazed at just how much you can bake using just these basic tools.