Essential baking equipment

I came across a post on Rose Levy Beranbaum’s baking blog about her baking essentials and it got me thinking. This is her list on the left in bold, with my additions on the right.

A hand-held mixer – which I have and use regularly, although I do love and use my KitchenAid a lot too!
A weighing scale – after years of using regular scales, I have become an electronic devotee. It’s small, it’s slim, it takes up no room on my worktop and I can use it to measure everything, normally in the pan that I will mix or melt it in (saves on washing up too) in either grams, ounces, fluid ounces or mililitres. I don’t know how I lasted so long without it.
A set of measuring cups – essential if you do a lot of cooking from American or New Zealand/Australian recipes. Remember that those cup sizes are different, however.
A cup for measuring liquids – I normally use my electronic scales but I do find my pyrex jug very useful for any ingredients that need to get melted in the microwave.
A set of measuring spoons – always in use.
A sifter or strainer – I have the one that I bought about ten years ago, a green plastic thing that has seen me through many house moves and refuses to die.
A 9 inch by 2 inch cake pan – I’m not entirely sure what she’s talking about here. I have a 9-inch springform tin that I use for all cakes.
A 10 cup fluted tube pan – I have one of these but I rarely use it. I’ve found that it’s too easy to overbake a cake in the pan, especially if you are stuck with a fan oven, as I am.
Two wire cooling racks – I can and have managed with one, using the grill tray from the cooker or a cooker shelf if a second one is necesary. These days, since joining my Dublin and cottage kitchens together, I’ve two for those days that I get fits of baking and one is just not enough.
An instant read thermometer such as a Thermapen or CDN
– not yet and I’m not bothered.
A silicone spatula reserved for baking – I had two lovely red spatulas and used them all the time but since one broke I’m doing fine with just the small little one that’s left.
A baking spray containing flour – not something I find necessary when I can just dip my hand in the bag and sprinkle.
A reliable recipe – always! Sometimes this cook is not entirely reliable, though…

And, if you’re as into making Flapjacks and tray bakes as I am, you need at least two 23 x 30cm/9 x 12in Swiss roll tins. Mine are ancient battered old things that I picked up for a couple of quid years ago in Dunnes or Tesco. They have been used so much at this stage that the patina of age that has developed does duty as a non-stick layer but it’s always best to do a considerable amount of greasing if you’re cooking anything that might stick in them.

With this list to hand, I think I could certainly start going through my kitchen cupboards and seeing what excess I do have in there. But everybody needs some antique rabbit and tortoise jelly moulds, don’t they?



Food writer. Broadcaster. Blogger. Author. Married to Eight Degrees Brewing. Member of the Irish Food Writers' Guild, founder of Irish Food Bloggers Association and co-author of Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider (New Island)

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