Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Baking essentials

I probably should have been through this earlier on, but with all the baking I have been doing for the Jubilee parties recently, I realised just how useful certain implements are when I bake. There are certain things that I would not be able to bake without, and this is a quick guide to them.

Firstly, baking tins. I have a few basics that I use a lot. My 12 bun cupcake tin, 2 lb loaf tin and 7" square tin are all used very regularly. I also use 2 loose bottomed 7" round tins for sandwich cakes and 2 large flat trays which each take a dozen biscuits. I rarely use any of my other tins, they spend most of their time cluttering up my cupboard and falling out when I open the door.

I have a few bits and bobs which I always seem to be using. I can tell, because they are always at the front of the cupboard within easy reach.

These are:
1. Scales, with 1g increments.
2. Flour sieve (on the scales), with a removable top and bottom. Leave the bottom bit on so it's like a jug to weigh out the flour. When you are ready to use it, the bottom comes off and the flour can be shaken through the integrated sieve.
3. Flour/sugar duster (little white, domed cup), perfect for flouring a surface before rolling out dough or dusting bakes with icing sugar.
4. Measuring spoons and cups. A friend brought me these from the US, and they make it a lot easier than trying to work US measurements into weights.

1. Flexible spatula for scraping cake mix out of the mixing bowl.
2. Silicon whisk, can be used in any bowl or pan, even non-stick ones. I use it a lot when making cake mix, even though I have an electric whisk.
3. My large spatula was bought when I decided a few years ago that I was going to get into chocolate making. Short lived hobby! I use it to ice and fill cakes and to pick up fragile cookies to transfer them to a baking tray. It's also good for releasing cakes that are a bit stuck.

I tend to use my huge plastic mixing bowl for most mixing, I'd be lost without it (and probably much messier when whisking!). Apart form that, most other things that I use are general kitchen bits. I have collected all these things over the past few years from supermarkets, Steamer Trading Cook Shop, The Pampered Chef, Lakeland and online baking suppliers.

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