by April Sanders
Not every cook is a baker, but if you like to bake, then you will appreciate a well-equipped kitchen full of the bakeware essentials you need. Treat your great-grandmother's chocolate velvet cake recipe with dignity by making sure you have the proper tools to show it off. But it's not only experienced bakers who will appreciate a kitchen full of bakeware essentials. Beginners will find baking to be much easier with the right equipment.
Measuring tools: A baker needs two sets of measuring cups: one set to measure dry ingredients and another set to measure and pour liquid ingredients. Glass or stainless steel measuring cups work well for liquid measurements, as sometimes you will need to use them to measure hot liquids. In addition to measuring cups, it is also essential to have at least one set of measuring spoons as well.
Mixing bowls: Multiple mixing bowls of different sizes are essential for mixing and preparing ingredients. You need large bowls for mixing single or multiple batches of cookies and smaller bowls for softening butter, whipping cream, separating eggs and more. If kitchen storage is scarce, a set of nesting mixing bowls is a huge space-saver.
Baking pans: If you are a baker, you probably enjoy whipping up a homemade cake for birthdays and other special occasions. You should have at least two round cake pans for a double-layer cake, a 9-inch by 12-inch rectangular cake pan for sheet cakes and a square cake pan for baking brownies. If you enjoy baking bread, you will also need at least a few loaf pans. Finally, make sure that you have at least one cookie sheet, one pie pan and one muffin pan. There are many types of bakeware available, from glass, cast-iron and nonstick to silicone bakeware. Different types of baking may require a specific type of baking pan. Choose a versatile bakeware set or individual baking pans to suit your specific needs.
Hand tools: A rubber spatula, or a few rubber spatulas of different sizes, is essential for scraping dough out of a mixing bowl or frosting a cake. A well-equipped kitchen will also have a set of wooden spoons for stirring and a whisk for beating. Cookie and biscuit cutters are also nice to have. A hand-held pastry cutter (or blender) is an important tool in order to achieve a light, flaky crust. For frequent bakers, a quality electronic mixer is a must.
Rolling pin and pastry board: No baker worth her salt will use pre-made pie dough. A rolling pin and pastry board are essential tools for rolling out pie or cookie dough. If you enjoy decorating those cookies or cakes with pastry frosting, you will also need a pastry bag with a set of pastry tips and a pastry brush to brush on butter for a shiny finish to your crusts.
Cooling racks: For a dessert to cool properly, air must circulate under and over it. For this reason, cooling racks are also an essential bakeware tool for a well-equipped kitchen. Choose one round cooling rack for cookies and pies and an oblong rack for larger desserts such as sheet cakes.