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Just getting into baking? While there are a few baking supplies you likely already have in your kitchen, like mixing bowls and wooden spoons, there are several more tools and ingredients you’ll want to add to your collection.
Here’s what you’ll need to get started whipping up cookies, pies, cakes, and more.
15 Baking Essentials to Have in Your Kitchen
1. Sheet Pan
If you’re baking cookies, pastries, or even a pizza, you’ll need a sturdy, nonstick sheet pan. Sheet pans are flat and rectangular with a small lip and come in a variety of sizes. For beginners and minimalists, an 11-inch x 17-inch sheet pan is perfect for most baking projects.
2. Springform Pan
When you’re shopping for baking supplies, add a 10-inch springform pan to your list. Springform pans are used when making cakes, tarts, and frozen desserts. The sides of the pan are attached to the base of the pan with a spring latch, which helps cheesecakes and other delicate desserts come out perfectly.
3. Pie Pan
While pie pans may not be a must-have when considering baking essentials for beginners, most bakers appreciate having them on hand. Pie pans come in glass and metal varieties, and standard sizes are 9-inches and 10-inches. In addition to pie baking, they’re great for cinnamon rolls!
4. Muffin Pan
Muffin pans can be used for muffins, cupcakes, and other small baked goods. Though you can use muffin paper inserts, it’s helpful to have a non-stick muffin pan to ensure that everything comes out smoothly.
5. Measuring Cups and Spoons
Measuring cups and spoons are an essential part of your baking tools set. They’ll help you measure both wet and dry ingredients, ensuring that your recipes come out properly. Make sure that you have a full cup, ½ cup, ⅓ cup, and ¼ cup and a tablespoon, teaspoon, and ½ teaspoon. Many sets include more options, but these are the most important.
6. Cooling Rack
No matter the baking project, it’s helpful to have a basic cooling rack. Cookies can be placed cookies directly on the rack to cool, while with cakes or pie, you’ll set the pan on the rack. This allows air to move beneath the pans to cool your creations and ensure they don’t burn in the pan.
7. Parchment Paper and Aluminum Foil
Want to avoid taking a delicious batch of cookies out of the oven and realizing that they’re stuck to the pan? Make sure you have parchment paper and aluminum foil on hand.
8. Kitchen Scale
When it comes to baking essentials, tools like a kitchen scale might seem like a pricey investment. But remember that in baking, your ingredients have to follow the recipe exactly. Kitchen scales allow you to measure ingredients by weight and help with precision.
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How to Bake Perfectly Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
Moving on to the next category of baking essentials—ingredients! Almost every baking recipe requires some kind of flour as a binder. All-purpose white flour is a must, but you can also stock your pantry with options like cake flour and wheat flour, or keto baking essentials like almond flour.
Leaveners are what give your baked goods their shape and size. Leaveners include things like baking soda, baking powder, yeast, and eggs; and they work in conjunction with other ingredients to help your goodies “rise” as they bake.
Salt is a must in baking—it not only adds flavor to bread and savory baked goods, but it also helps to control the leaveners. You can get by with iodized table salt for most recipes, but you can also add flake salt, kosher salt, and Himalayan salt to your cupboard.
While you probably wouldn’t think to bake a cake or pie without sugar, you may not know that it’s also necessary for breads and savory bakes, too! Sugar helps to keep baked goods moist, to accommodate proper browning and caramelization, and to soften other ingredients. White caster sugar and brown sugar are the most common types, but some recipes call for confectioners’ sugars, palm sugars, raw sugars, or sugar substitutes.
Fats—such as dairy butter, oils, and ghee—are crucial to baking because they help control gluten structure and texture. The process wherein the fats coat the flour and gluten to keep them from overforming is called “tenderization,” and you’ll see its magic in action when you bite into a spongy piece of cake or a fudgy brownie!
14. Spices and Extracts
Spices and extracts are also among the list of baking essentials—ingredients you can’t skip in a recipe! Keep it simple with vanilla extract and cinnamon powder, or branch out with almond, mint, or fruit extract and spices like cardamom and star anise, which are often used in baking, too.
Add-ins will make your recipes uniquely your own! In addition to always-popular chocolate chips, consider adding peanut butter or butterscotch chips, nuts, and fruit fillings to your baking supplies list.
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