Listen, I get it. Nobody relly absolutely NEEDS these tools and equipment, but they certainly make everything easier. So, if you have decided you will start baking more, or just recently discovered you have a passion for it then this list is for you. The following will save you a lot of thought about what you should buy or not.
If there´s something we can do to help you is tell you what you most likely will actually use, and which tools you won´t really get use out of.
- Measuring cups and spoons: When it comes to baking compared to the rest of the world of cooking, there´s a main difference, in baking you have to measure pretty much everything, it is almost completely necessary to do it, a little more or less of some ingredient and the result may vary; this is where the measuring cups and spoons come in handy. Which ones to buy? Measuring cups and spoons usually come in sets, in spoons its usually a tbsp, 1/2 tbsp, 1 tsp, 1/2 tsp and 1/4 tsp; in cups it´s usually 1 C, 1/2 C, 1/3 C and 1/4 C. There are some other sets that include some more measuerments but with these is enough. If you can afford it we recommend you purchase sets that are made from stainless steel, they last longer and tend to be cleaner, but you could also use any other plastic set and it would work just as fine.
- Mixer: A mixer is really necessary. Before they existed as we now know them imagine our grandmas making a merengue? just like that using a hand whisk or a plain fork, and a strong arm. It is nowadays much easier for us, we just turn it on and go. ¿Which one to buy? Generally there are two types of mixers, hand mixers and standing mixers. Hand mixers are a bowl and the mixer as separates; standing mixers can stand by themselves, as a whole. In both cases they normally come with different hooks, usually a whisk and normal beaters. When it comes to mixers it all comes down to how much you think you´ll use it. We have two, a standing mixer and a hand one, and we use both of them a lot. If you can afford it we recommend you get a standing one, which are more expensive, but are worth it.
- Mixing bowls: You´d think with just one bowl, the one that comes with the mixer is enough, but it isn´t. There are recipes in which you need three bowls at a time. ¿Which ones to buy? We recommend you buy three bowls, in different sizes, and made of glass, that way you can easily see what you are making, and more importantly, you can put them in the oven or microwave if needed. But in any case, whichever bowls you already own will do too.
- Rubber spatula: A rubber spatula is one of the most important tools, of course you can use any other tyoe of spatula, but a rubber one is exactly all we want it to be when using it for dessert recipes, when pouring a batter into cake pans or into another bowl without waste. ¿Which one to buy? We recommend you buy two rubber spatulas, in different sizes, a big one, and another one smaller, both of them will serve the same purpouses, stiring, mixing or even frosting cakes.
- Parchment paper: We ran into parchment paper way later than we started baking, and completely changed everything for us. So if you´re just begining please use it right from the start. Parchment paper avoids cakes, cookies, etc. to stick to the pan we baked them in, just like butter and flour do, but way better. There are a lot of types, and is called by different names, just make sure it is made to be used for baking. ¿Which one to buy? Parchment paper come in different presentations, some in rolls, in pieces, and there is also white or “natural” which is brown in color, the one you purchase depends entirely on your preferences, we like always having a white roll and natural color pieces, either way, you can always cut it to make it fit whatever it is you´re baking.
- Baking sheet: Given that most of the things bakeable can be baked using this, it is a must. It is important because of how versatile it is. ¿Which one to buy? In this case we strongly recommend you to buy a stainless steel tray, because you will use it for everything, and it will last for long. There are also some made from aluminium but they are not as good for our overall health.
- Cake pan: Its importance is pretty obvious, where would we actually bake the batter we just prepared? ¿Which one to buy? Now, we say cake pan to refer to any mold or pan you use for baking, meaning you should buy whichever you think you´ll use the most. It could be a cake pan, a muffin or cupcake tray, a pound cake or bundt cake mold, etc.
Now we know there are lots of other tools and equipments available that make it even easier, like a food processor, or a scale, but we decided to just mention those that are pretty much absolutely neccesary, and that cannot be easily replaced. That way once you have the basics then you can go ahead and start purchasing those other tools that may be on your wishlist.