If you’re determined to hone your skills and expand your repertoire in pastry making, you should have the necessary baking equipment. However, the vast array of baking tools can be intimidating—especially for beginners. Do you really need a wire whisk? What’s the difference between an offset spatula and the silicone one? How many sheet pans do I need?
We asked some of our seasoned bakers to list down the 10 must-have tools that ‘ll get you through any recipe.
1. Digital Thermometer
Temperature is key to tasty and safe food preparation. A food thermometer is the only tool that can accurately determine the “doneness” of egg products, meat, and poultry. In baking, a digital thermometer can help you check if the pastry is baked evenly. Take note that pastries should be baked at specific temperatures to get the desired appearance, texture, and juiciness.
There are different types of food thermometers. Make sure to get something with these features:
- High level of accuracy
- Instant read
- Clear reading
- Waterproof (it could fall in your syrup!)
2. Digital Scale
Pasty making is a precise science. A slight excess here and there can prevent you from getting the desired results. While measuring cups can be helpful, the cup sizes vary slightly from one store to another. A digital scale is the most reliable tool when calculating the weight of ingredients. Get a model with a gram setting and has a tare function so that it automatically subtracts the container’s weight.
3. Measuring Cups and Spoons
A set of measuring cups and spoons comes in handy all the time, particularly when measuring liquid ingredients. You’ll need a container with an approximate measurement for water, melted butter, oil, yogurt, etc. Here’s a guide to liquid measurements in the kitchen.
4. Mixing Bowls
Instead of getting a large set of mixing bowls with various sizes, invest in several 4 to 5-quart steel bowls. A glass bowl of the same size is also a good idea. It’s not advised to use aluminium bowls because it reacts with acidic substances, changing the food’s flavour.
5. Sheet Pan
This is a simple tool for pastry makers. Sheet pans hold the pastries in the oven to allow even temperature distribution and hold up to heavy use. You should also consider maintenance. Typically, a baker starts with a half-sheet pan (18 by 13) or a three-quarter one (21 by 15).
6. Rubber Spatula/Scraper
“You’ll be reaching for a rubber scraper a lot of times during any baking session. This tool can be used to scrape the last bits of dough or batter from the nooks and corners of your pan. It is also helpful when blending wet and dry ingredients. Silicone scrapers have higher heat resistance than rubber ones.”, shares Karina Wolfin, a kitchen appliance expert at Direct Appliance Rentals
7. Offset Spatula
Offset spatulas have a thin, flat blade that is blunt. It is used for turning pastries, pushing batter, and spreading frosting. Look for something flexible enough to smoothly slide without crumbling the cookies or squishing the dough.
8. Pastry Brush
This simple tool has more applications that most of us realise. It can be used to coat the dough with butter or egg, paint the pie crust with milk, and grease the pan before pouring it.
The wire tines of a whisk allow a single stir to mix the ingredients multiple times. As a result, you’ll blend ingredients better in a short period. A whisk is necessary for making whipped cream, emulsifying hard to mix liquids, and smoothing a gravy—among many other things.
10. Rolling Pin
The rolling pin is probably the most popular baking tool. Why not? It is used to roll our cooking dough, pie crusts, and puff pastry. You can also use it to smash chips, crackers, and other ingredients.
You’ll be able to maximise your investment in these essential baking tools after a taking a course at Sweet Artist Academy. Book your patisserie training now!
Written by Eliana Evison.