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Baking materials

A Simple Guide to Baking Essentials

Baking is a great way to spend some extra time at home. It might seem intimidating at first. However, baking is actually easier than cooking. That is if you can follow strict instructions and procedures. While cooking is more intuitive, baking is more of a science and the right equipment is essential to a successful endeavor.

Getting It Right

The right measurements are crucial to getting a fantastic cake or pastry. If your recipe is off by even a teaspoon or two, what comes out of the oven might not be to your liking. While you can wing it in cooking, you’ll need to be a bit more accurate when baking. You’ll need a digital scale (one that measures to the gram) to keep things accurate, and 2-3 sets of plastic measuring cups for your liquids. You can make do with a single set, but you’ll need to continually clean them, especially when you’re making more complicated recipes. Your silver won’t be an accurate way of measuring ingredients, so purchase a couple of measuring spoons to keep things standard. Unless your oven has a built-in (and accurate) thermometer, get some specifically for baking. You’ll need an oven thermometer and a digital food thermometer (meat thermometer).

Extra Hands in the Kitchen

Baking can be quite grueling, especially when you’re baking for more than 10 people. While you can certainly mix your ingredients by hand, a mixer will make things a whole lot easier. Whether it’s a hand or stand mixer, make sure to get a feel for your equipment so that you don’t undermix or overmix your ingredients. A food processor is also handy when crushing nuts, making whipped cream, or making bread crumbs. You can even use one to do a bit of kneading for your pastries, although you’ll still need to finish it yourself. A few design molds can be handy when decorating cakes or cupcakes. Baking a cake can be a long, arduous process, so a few shortcuts for the decorations are a godsend. If you’re making cookies, cookie cutters can make your task more comfortable, especially if you’re baking for kids or special occasions. Shaping one cookie might not be a problem, but 20 or more will have you doubting your life choices.

Flour, Sugar, and More

  Kitchen with baking materials A trip to the grocer can provide you with most of the ingredients you’ll need to start baking. Flour, eggs, sugar, butter, salt, baking soda, and baking powder are essential for most recipes. If you’re making cakes, stock up on more sugar if you’re planning to make fondant cakes as well as the necessary flavorings (vanilla extract, cocoa powder, Belgian chocolates) and food coloring (preferably the gel type). If you’re making cookies, grab a few nuts and maybe a bag or two of chocolate chips. You’ll need yeast if you’re baking bread. Just make sure your yeast is still active by buying a fresh batch and testing it in warm water. Ingredients aside, you’ll also need cupcake cases/liners, cake boards, and boxes. Grab those cake pans and cupcake trays and start baking at home. While your first few endeavors might not be perfect, you can easily make small adjustments to make things perfect once you’ve baked once or twice.
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