There is nothing better than self-baked goods. Isn’t it troublesome wanting to try that recipe you saved on YouTube and not having the right tools, so you just end up staring at your OTG and that pack of flour and sugar?
I started my baking journey as a hobby which slowly turned into a home business. As a beginner, there were so many things I did not know, like which baking pan to use for a 1/2 kg cake and which for a 1 kg cake, how to pipe, and the names of nozzles. To avoid any inconveniences and mistakes, I advise you to start with perfecting the basic baking dishes and purchasing essential tools required for those dishes. This will help you to stay on budget and at the same time enjoy delicious, lip-smacking goodies.
If you are a beginner, here’s a list of the essential baking tools you will need :
Invest in a good OTG or oven. I use a Morphy Richards OTG. You could also use a double deck/single deck oven which are big rectangular heroes. Also, isn’t it satisfying to watch the goods getting fluffed and baked.
So the common mistake beginners make is using inaccurate measuring spoons and cups. Invest in good measuring cups both liquid and dry. If not you will never get the desired results in your bakes. Keep them in reach as you will be using them all the time. A set of measuring cups includes a tablespoon, teaspoon, ½ teaspoon, ¼ teaspoon, one cup, ½ cup, ⅓ cup, and ¼ cup. For liquid measuring cups, you can use the 1-cup size or a borosil measuring mug.
Hand mixer or whisk
A hand mixer makes the job of beating, mixing, kneading easier than a hand whisk. There are handheld mixers and tabletop mixers. A wired hand whisk is available in many sizes. The small ones can be used for mixing melted chocolate, glazes, etc. The only disadvantage of using a whisk is that it is time-consuming and it can get tiring.
I personally use the hand mixer and only use the small whisk when needed for tempering chocolate.
These bowls come in varying sizes.You can use them for mixing ingredients or for storing the dough.
There are different kinds of baking pans of different shapes and sizes.
There are round tins, square tins, rectangular tins, Bundt mould tins, muffins and cupcake pans, loaf tins, pie pans, tart trays. They come in the following sizes – 6inch, 8 inches, 9 inches, 12 inches.
You can use a fine-mesh sieve for dusting sugar powder or cocoa powder on the finished bakes. It helps in avoiding sugar and flour lumps while making cake and cupcake batter. Sieving the dry ingredients aerate the mixture.
Pastry brush and baking sheets
Baking sheets/ parchment paper are used in lining the baking pans. If you want to share the goodies with near and dear ones then you can use them in packaging the finished bakes.
A pastry brush is required for egg washes and greasing. Did you know you can also use a pastry brush in decorating the cakes? Just hold the brush horizontal and rotate the turntable to get a beautiful and simple design.
Nowadays, designer scrappers are available in different shapes. Some are serrated, some are spatially serrated and some come in plain. Use them to add a finishing touch to the cakes and you can create various designs on the cake sides and edges. They also help in getting the last bit of the batter out of the mixing bowls and in folding the wet batter.
Piping bags and nozzles
Piping bags are necessary as they help in piping the batter or frosting. Also, they don’t make a whole lot of mess and are very convenient. Just transfer the batter or frosting to the bag and pipe the desired amount into the cupcake pans and frosting a cake.
Thinking of getting creative and practicing new piping techniques? Just add the nozzle to the nipped piping bag.
As a beginner, you need to know the nozzle names and sizes.
A serrated knife and offset spatula
A serrated knife is useful in cutting the cake sponge in even layers and reshaping it. An offset spatula helps in evenly layering the frosting and also in decorating.
Moulds come in various shapes and designs. There are silicone moulds (non-stick and flexible) and steel moulds.
The most essential tool for cake decorating. It makes cake decorating easy and can be used as a cake stand.
It is the basic essential tool of every baker. It helps to measure the cake and also in measuring the ingredients in grams and kgs.
They serve the purpose of cooling the finished bakes as soon as they come hot out of the oven. You can also use them in food photography.
Some recipes require zests of lemon, orange or chocolate bar shavings. A grater comes in handy for the same.
A thermometer is required for frosting recipes like pastry cream and french buttercream which requires a set temperature. You can also use it to check the temperature of melted chocolate.