Baking Basics 2 - Pans and more
So here is the part 2 of baking basics much delayed then I would like it to be but life is a little upside down these days :( Nothing seems to be in place and hence the delay in this post, I duly apologize for the delay specially to Chandu who has threatened to kill me if the post doesn't come up soon ;-)
So we spoke about the Ovens etc in the last post, today lets talk about the other equipment you would need to start, the must haves and the wants.
Measuring Cups & Spoons - Baking is a science more than its an art specially in the starting, one thing I always emphasise when I talk to people who are starting to bake is measure measure measure. A whole lot can go wrong if you try an approximate the baking powder from 1 tsp to couple of pinches which depending upon how generous you are in your pinches can be anywhere between 1/2 tsp to 1 tbsp. Actually while we are at pinch some of the measuring spoons come with a teeny spoon which says a pinch, how cute is that but ohh I digress as usual , so measuring spoons come usually as a set of four 1/ 4tsp, 1/2 tsp, 1 tsp, 1 tbsp. That is most that one needs in a normal scenario.
One also needs measuring cups for measuring dry ingredients like flour, cocoa powder, grains, sugar etc. The measurements which come normally are 1/4 cup. 1/3 cup, 1/2 cup and 1 cup.
The third kind of ingredient one could have is liquid ingredients likes milk, oil, water, one would need a measuring jar for it, which is typically marked with ml, fl oz and cup measurements and that's more or less all one would need. A simple one that u get in market would do well but incase you want to go fancy check out this OXO one and if you are going to US get me one too ;-)
Kitchen Weighing Scales Though in most cases the measuring cups and spoons will do as you start baking more you will realise the real need and value of a kitchen scale. Though a lot of recipes are mentioned in cups and spoons there are whole lot of recipes out there in weight and though we can get an approximate of cup to weight measurement its what it is an approximation and can sometimes result in quite a mess up of the recipe. So may be I won't put weighing scale as a must have it certainly is the requirement.
So we know how to measure our ingredients now, so what next mixing? Lets see what all we'll need for that.
Seive - A common utensil in most households but also a very important one in baking. Sifting flours is a requirement for most recipes.
Balloon Whisk - You can't really think about baking without having a balloon whisk, eat the eggs, mix together the wet ingredients, whip up the cream name the task and this can do it.
Mixing Bowls - Mixing bowls in various sizes, to mix and to fold.. to put the final ingredients together. Must have.
Handheld electric Mixer - Excellent when you have to beat things for a longer time and can't really do it with hands. Making meringues, mixing sponge cake batters. A good investment for baking and otherwise. I hear philphs is good.
Cookie Cutters - the one in pretty shapes, aaah whats the fun of making cookies if one doesn't cut them in those little flowers or hearts or cut them out in names? I have a Wilton 101 cookie cutter set and it covers the most of the shapes that one can think of, it also has A-Z and numbers. Topping my wishlist currently is a snowflake cookie cutter though.
Dough scrapers - Its a tool which is used to handle the dough while kneading it for bread or bringing together cookie and pie dough, very useful and very handy specially if you think you would like to bake breads, It comes in plastic and metal version.
Baking Pans - First and foremost let me list down all kinds of baking pans one would need.
Round Cake Pans - For our classic cakes, I would say 6 inch, 8 inch and 9 inch are good sizes to have.
Square Pans - for brownies and bars, a 8inch or 9 inch should be good enough. A smaller is ok too if you think you don't want to bake in large quantities. Most brownie recipes come for a 9-inch square pan though.
Muffin Pan - My personal favorites, everyone would like to bake those muffins and cup cakes. Invest in a 6 muffin or 12 muffin one depending on the size of your oven.
Loaf Pan - If you are anywhere like me this will be the most used after the muffin, a pan for bread lovers.
Bundt Pan - For those lovely looking ring/bundt cakes.
Springform Pans - exteremely uself for those cheesecakes, with detachable bottom and sides.
Moving over from tins and pans to some disposable stuff u will need.
Butter Paper/Parchment Paper - For lining your cake tins and cookie trays. I personally like parchment paper much much better, its reusable and its non stick in the true term.
Paper Muffin Liners - who doesn't like to eat muffins served in the cutest of the liners, they make baking muffin a breeze.
Slipat - Slipat is something you are allowed to beg people going to US for, its a boon to cookie lovers. Absolutely lovely wishlist for cookie bakers. Place your cookie on it, bake, remove... place the next batch yup that's it.
Pastry Brush - For basting and for coating your breads and pie with eggwash/milkwash.
And now that we have baked lets look at what happens post that.
Cooling/Wire Racks - a very important accessory for any baker. As cooling a cake/bread on a solid surface will just make it soggy.
Now that the cake is ready to eat, would you want to dress it up? Decorate it with some icing may be.
Palette Knife - Excellent tool to spread icing on the cakes.
Pastry Comb - for making more patterns on the cake, specially those simple but elegant lines on the side of the cake.
TurnTable - Did I discovered this I used to think how to people go round and round to decorate a cake, turns out its the table which goes round and round ;-)
So I think more or less covered stuff.. Don't get afraid by a long list of things required, you really don't require everything to start but this is all you will need if you want to bake regularly.
See you in the next part soon enough.