Are you considering taking up baking as a hobby or a side hustle? Well, we are willing to bet that your family and friends would be thrilled to hear it. After all, who doesn’t like homemade baked goods? And let’s not forget the enjoyment you’ll experience yourself when you taste the fruits of your labour.
Baking itself is not an expensive hobby, but it does require a start-up cost. You need the right equipment and tools in order to bake effectively. Something as simple as the wrong pan or knife could destroy your masterpiece!
You don’t need to spend thousands, but there are a few essentials that you’ll need to get started. Here are the best home bakeware essentials to support you on your baking journey.
A good set of muffin tins make an incredibly versatile addition to your home bakeware kit. Not only can you use them to make muffins, but you can make cupcakes and cinnamon buns in them too. We are all for preserving the longevity of your baking tools so that they will last as long as possible.
After you wash your muffin tins, always let them drain fully and then towel dry them before you stack them. If you don’t dry your tins thoroughly, rust will form, and your baked goods will stick to the tins. This makes it impossible to remove your muffins, cinnamon buns or cupcakes in one piece. You can also line your muffin tins with paper muffin cups to get more wear out of them, but that can be expensive, especially if you’re baking a lot.
The same applies to bread tins, which you can line with parchment paper if necessary. Here are some of the top recommended bread tins for some inspiration.
While you may be accustomed to using cookie sheets for baking cookies, it’s actually even easier to use a silicone baking mat. Cookies won’t get stuck onto a silicone baking mat as they would on a metal baking pan, and they are easier to clean. Silicone baking mats can last a long time as long as you take proper care of them. Make sure to scrub them well after each use, or you could end up with a thick layer of residue which is impossible to remove and could mean you have to replace them more frequently. If you’re baking a lot of cookies, you could experience a bit of shredding at the edges of the mat or rips that can form over time (usually after about two years).
In some cases, you’ll want to use a baking pan, such as for cakes or brownies. Taking care of baking pans is entirely different from a silicone mat in that scrubbing too much can scratch and damage the pan and make it prone to rust. To make your pans last as long as possible, avoid scrubbing and, instead, soak them as long as needed to dislodge stuck-on food and use a soft cloth to wipe away any grease.
A quality bread knife is one of the first tools every baker should invest in. If you’ve put effort into baking a delicious loaf of bread, the last thing you want to do is try to slice it and end up with jagged edges or flattened slices. A good bread knife should be perfectly crafted to slice cleanly through the bread while keeping each slice intact. We love the bread knife from Victorinox. Our favourite is the 10-1/4 inch serrated knife, which is curved, so it’s more ergonomically friendly, giving you full control over your slicing. The blade stays sharp and is well suited for professional bakers or those baking from home. Plus, it’s excellent value for money.
If you’re committed to your bread baking venture, then there are a few other kitchen essentials that we recommend.
A dough blade will help you to shape and divide large portions of dough into multiple smaller portions. This is super helpful if you plan to bake many loaves of bread as you can make a larger batch of dough and split it into sections much easier than trying to pull it apart with your hands.
While you may be used to measuring ingredients in cups, they simply aren’t accurate enough for making bread. If you want your bread to come out consistent, you need to use a digital scale to weigh your ingredients (including the water) instead.
Why could you possibly need a razor blade in the kitchen? Well, we all know that bread rises when you’re baking it. This is because the heat inside the oven speeds up the fermentation process of the bread, which creates gasses and causes your bread to expand. During this expansion process, the surface of the bread will inevitably crack, and by scoring the bread with a razor blade, you can control where that crack happens. If you don’t score your bread first, it will likely crack in a place that isn’t aesthetically pleasing, and it could even ruin the loaf. Scoring also gives you the opportunity to get creative with the design and do something fun or stick to the traditional single slash design.
A proofing basket is essential, especially if you’re baking sourdough. You can find proofing baskets in many different shapes and sizes, and the one you choose will dictate what the appearance of your bread we be like. A proofing basket helps your bread hold its shape while they rise. You can use a basic round or oval shape or mix it up with a patterned basket that gives it a special design touch.
There’s no doubt about it, dough is sticky. It can be extremely difficult to get all the dough out of your mixing bowls meaning that you’ll often end up wasting a lot of ingredients, especially over the long term. A dough scraper is a great tool to pull out every last bit of dough from your mixing bowls.
It’s unlikely that you’ll have access to a commercial bread oven, so we recommend investing in a Lodge Combo Cooker, aka a Dutch oven. It’s important that you limit the amount of steam that can escape from the bread, and a cast-iron combo cooker will do just that. It will also hold the heat well so the dough will have a long cool down, ensuring a soft crust. These cast iron dutch ovens are incredibly sturdy, so you’ll only need to buy one in your entire lifetime.
Check out these essential sourdough tools
Even if your personal oven doesn’t seal tightly, the dough’s temperature can be maintained in a bread-specific Dutch oven until it’s time to release the lid and allow the crust to caramelize. One thing to note about cast iron is that it’s important to season it before baking to ensure longevity and prevent rust, otherwise, your dough will end up sticking to the pan. Using a Dutch oven at home is a game-changer. It traps steam released during baking to create a great crust and consistent bake.
Invest in quality home bakeware essentials that are built to last, and start baking delicious loaves of bread, muffins, cinnamon buns, cookies and more! These are the essential tools you’ll need to get started on your baking journey. As long as you have the basics, you can make just about anything. You can always add to your toolkit as you decide to try out other complex recipes, but until then, the items on this list will do!