Having these time saving and helpful little tools make all the difference in the ease of creating your recipe. While one can get by on far less, I recommend these tools as basics. None of them are high priced items, and are accessible to aspiring bakers.
This article is geared to young and aspiring bakers, looking to buy those tools that might be most helpful in baking anything from cakes to cookies and pies. When I started out, gratefully my mother had furnished most of the small tools I would need for cooking and baking as my wedding present. If this is not the case for you, then check this list and see if these might be added to your needs.
1. Rolling Pin
A rolling pin is helpful in rolling out pie dough, of course, so if making a pie, it certainly makes life easier. One can roll out pie dough with a large bottle or jar, but a rolling pin has a longer surface that makes it far easier. Making biscuits does not require a rolling pin, but can make quick work of it. Roll cookies also require a rolling pin, and during holidays when a lot of baking occurs, it will be a life saver. If you are a young mother with small children, taking simple cookie dough and rolling it out in one solid mass on a baking sheet makes quick work of cookie making.
2. Pastry Cutter.
There are two basic types of pastry cutter. One has a handle with a series of thick wires connected in a loop to the handle. The other has a handle and then a space off each side that is solid metal, then solid loops coming down from that metal plate. Which type to get is purely a matter of choice and to what one becomes accustomed.
Personally I prefer the first type. This tool is usually specific for one use, the making of pie dough, but it is still a time saving and handy tool to have in the kitchen. Some cookie doughs also call for cutting in the butter or other fat to the flour, and it is also great for mixing up streusel.
It may seem to you that a sifter is unnecessary these days, but I use my sifter almost daily in the course of baking. Too many times I have made pancakes from scratch and had a small clump of baking soda in a bite of pancake. There is nothing worse. I sift together any combination of dry ingredients to ensure that they are distributed properly throughout and no one ingredient is going to predominate in a bite. I do not generally sift before measuring as some older cookbooks will recommend, but I still use the sifter to keep things well dispersed.
4. Wood Spoons and Silicone Spatulas
Technically, these are more than one item, but often they come in sets. You may find a set of three sizes of wooden spoons, and at least two spatulas. Some recipes are best mixed with a wooden spoon and some specifically recommend a wooden spoon. Silicone spatulas are newer, but when looking to buy, search for ones that are made all in one piece and do not have the spoon part attached. These often fall apart, or worse, begin to build up residue underneath the joint. The last thing one wants is germs being transferred to a recipe through a spot on the handle of the spatula, or falling apart in the middle of mixing a batter. These days the solid silicone spatulas are becoming more common and should not be difficult to find.
5. Hand Held Electric Mixer
While you will not be making bread with a little hand mixer, they are still wonderful for creaming butter and sugar and mixing small batches of filling or meringue. A hand whisk may be good to have, but unless you have a really strong arm, go for the little hand held mixer. Even a small one with 3 speeds is better than none. I had only a small rotary egg beater when I made my first lemon meringue pie. Go for electric, if possible.
About The Author
My name is Chris Rawstern and I have been on a cooking and baking journey for 42 years. Many people have asked what A Harmony of Flavors means. Have you ever had a meal where the visual presentation was stunning, the smells were incredible, the taste was so remarkable that you ate slowly savoring every bite, wishing the experience would never end? Then you have experienced what a truly harmonious meal can be like.
My passion is to teach people how to create a Harmony of Flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things. I would love to hear from you, to help me continue my journey to explore diverse
culinary experiences and hopefully to start you on a journey of your own.
Visit my Web site http://www.aharmonyofflavors.com my Blog at http://www.aharmonyofflavors.blogspot.com my Marketplace at http://www.a-harmony-of-flavors-marketplace.com or Facebook page A Harmony of Flavors. I share a recipe or tip each day to the fans that have liked my site. I hope to see you there soon.