Baking is a fun and therapeutic hobby. It doesn’t hurt that you get to share and enjoy delicious treats when you’re done making them either!
It’s always a little confusing to take on a new challenge. Browse through this baking guide to find out what you need to start your baking adventure!
Knowing what kind of baking equipment you’ll need to get before starting any recipe is just as important as knowing what kind of ingredients you’ll need to make the dessert itself. Gear up with these basic tools along with tips on how to use them!
1. Muffin\cupcake tray & 8” cake mould
The 8” cake mould is a common size for a majority of the recipes that you can find online. While a standard cake mould is more than fine, try to buy a wither a springform pan or silicone mould to make it easier to remove your cakes.
There are also pros and cons to square and round shapes. While square moulds make it easier to line the pan, round moulds are easier to clean when your cake bastter seeps through and attaches itself to the sides of the mould.
Muffin trays are great because they’re so multi-functional. They can be used to sort sauces, grow small herbs and succulents and most importantly, make delicious muffins and cupcakes. However, what’s so great about them is that they can also be used to make mini versions of other recipes.
2. Parchment paper
Greasing your cake moulds with oil or butter will help make the cakes easier to remove after baking. However, nothing will work as well as using parchment paper, also known as a baking sheet.
You can also use non-sticky parchment paper as a placement for when you’re kneading and shaping doughs and pastries. This way, you get to have a clean surface to work with while making cleanup easier as well.
Only downside to parchment paper is that they’re not reusable. However, you can buy silicone baking mats to use for certain tasks so that you can reduce the amount of parchment paper that you’re using.
Spoons just aren’t up to the task of scraping and smoothing out batter in comparison to spatulas. A silicone spatula is the best for the job!
(image credit: Marco Verch [Flickr])
With a silicone spatula, you can scrape every bit of the batter from your mixing bowl. However it is still sturdy enough to be able to help in the folding process, which is common in many recipes.
They also come in many different sizes, so if you happen to be using a moulds that are smaller or larger than normal. An example would be tart moulds.
Another key item you will need is a sift, also known as sift. You need it for separating powders like flour and dusting icing sugar.
One great tip for beginners is to always sift your powdered ingredients. The reason why you should always do this is because powders have a tendency to always clump up. When you sift the powders, you can be sure that you will only get finely textured powders that will help to mix the ingredients thoroughly.
5. Measuring cups/spoons
It’s always important to follow your given recipe as much as possible. Baking is like a fun game of chemistry, a lot of it is about how well you measure your ingredients.
You need to get both measuring cups and spoons to help you quickly measure out your ingredients. They are not accurate but they are handy if you are already familiar with a recipe, so you would already know roughly how much of each ingredient that you need.
Thankfully, baking is a very forgiving craft. Some minor errors in the weight of the ingredients rarely affect the final outcome of your desserts.
6. Weighing scale
Of course, not all baking ingredients are powders, so you will need a weighing scale to make sure you are using the correct amount of other non-powder ingredients. Because every ingredient has their own density, this means that the weight might be different from how much you actually measure using your measuring cups and spoons.
For recipes that need exact measurements, it’s best to use a weighing scale to measure out your ingredients. Another beginner’s tip is that you can have a range of 5 grams of difference from the listed weight.
The whisk is a cheap and economical mixing tool that you will need for mixing and whipping many common baking ingredients.
There are times that you can mix your ingredients using other tools like the previously mentioned spatula or a wooden spoon. However, you will need a proper whisk for beating and whipping ingredients like egg whites and angel cake batter. These kinds of mixtures need to have lots of air combined into them. So the wide space between the whisk’s wires help with that.
However, if you really intend on doing a lot of baking, it might be better for you to get an electric mixer. It mixes ingredients faster and has several different types of attachments that you can use for different types of mixing.
The very last but most important thing that you need is a positive and persistent attitude! Not every recipe that you try making is going to turn out perfectly.
It could be common problems in your cake where you didn’t whip your creams and eggs enough or more complicated mistakes. Either way, there’s always a way to make a more improved version on your next go as you gain more experience and figure out what went wrong the last time.
If you would prefer a friendly and guiding presence for more complicated recipes, come and join us at one of our many baking classes!