Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Equipment

I am starting with just a few items here as I wouldn’t want to alarm you and think you must rush out and buy everything all in one go, heaven forbid! As we head through our bakes each month Maria and I will add new equipment posts as we go along and maybe I will be investing in a new tin or something too myself *smile*.

For the best results in baking you always want to use the right equipment and tools. Please don’t feel if you are a new baker that you have to own everything in one go as it takes time to build up a good amount of equipment and I for one don’t own every piece of equipment available. I would advise you to start with the basics and any bakeware you purchase is worth aiming to get good sturdy baking equipment and if possible the best quality, they will last you many years and in the end pay for themselves over and over again. You could always let family and friends know you have a new hobby of baking and who knows they may well help add to your stock of equipment!


The Oven:

The first thing when talking of equipment for me is getting to know your own oven. Does it have hot spots or the temperature seems hotter than it should be? I have a fan oven and when following a recipe I always turn my oven temperature down by 20°C when baking to help prevent drying out of a bake or burning. Oven thermometers can be purchased from kitchen shops and be moved around the oven to check temperatures, but I must admit I have never bothered with one of those.





Cooling racks:

A cooling rack is a great piece of equipment to have especially the ones with little wire mesh I find are the best. It helps the air circulate around the baked goods and helps prevent a sponge or cookie from becoming soggy if left to completely cool in the tin. They are also invaluable when coating with melted chocolate, for example, the unwanted chocolate drips away through the mesh.



Mixing Bowls:

It is good to have various sizes of mixing bowls to hand that stack together perhaps to save space in the kitchen. Mixing bowls should have a flat bottom so they can stand up easily. . There are various types’ stainless steel, plastic, glass, ceramic bowls that can be purchased. Glass bowls are idea for using to sit on top of a simmering saucepan to melt chocolate, whip up egg yolks and sugar etc. Ceramic bowls and stainless steel are perfect for whipping up egg whites, creaming butter and sugar together making short crust pasty etc. Plastic bowls are good for use in the microwave but if strong flavours are used the plastic may absorb flavours after awhile. Whenever ingredients are mixed together in a bowl please ensure the bowl is large enough you have chosen, for example whisking egg whites doubles in volume.






Baking Sheets:

Baking sheets come in different sizes and depending on how large your oven will depict the size. You need it to fit snugly inside your oven but allowing a little space around all sides for the air to circulate. Heavy duty baking sheets that don’t buckle in the heat are far the best to buy; it may cost a little more but will last a life time and will again pay for itself over the years.


Measuring scales

Measuring scales whatever style you aim for are a valuable piece of equipment to have as a baker. Baking is more of a science than cooking and ingredients have to be weighed accurately for the recipe to work. There are spring scales, balance scales and electronic scales the choice is purely individual taste as to which one is preferred, however the electronic scale are the most accurate.




American measuring cups for dry ingredients:

The dry ingredients cups come nestled together in a set in graduated sizes; 1/4 cup 1/3 cup 1/2 cup and a 1 cup. To measure with cups is to scoop the ingredients into the required size cup and level off with the back of a knife.



Measuring Jugs or liquid cups:

The liquid jugs (cups) are used for measuring milk, cream etc; they can come in various types of materials such as plastic, glass, metal. The sides are marked with various levels being metric, imperial or cup measures.







Measuring spoons:

Measuring spoons come in sets of graduated sizes, 1 table spoon, 1 teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon, 1/4 teaspoon; they can come in metal or plastic.



8 comments:

Magnolia Wedding Planner said...

This blog is becoming a bible for me :-D thanks a lot darlings!
Kiss
Silvia

sowmya said...

a very useful blog for people like me who are new to baking...hope to learn a lot from here..thank you...

Rosie said...

Hi Silvia, awe thanks sweetie and it's our pleasure. Maria & I just love to share with you all our passion for baking and helping anyone to enjoy as we do home baked goods.

Hi Sowmya, welcome to our little blog and hope to *see* you here lots and hopefully to join in with our monthly bakes :)

Best wishes to you both Rosie x

culinarytravelsofakitchengoddess said...

Excellent post. I must admit I love my balance scales though :)

Gloria said...

Marìa & Rosie, I want to say I make a post to Sweet and Simple Bakes and put the link of here, tomorrow you will see and tell me is OK or not.xxxGloria

Kelly-Jane said...

Oh where could I got those pink measuring cups please? they are gorgeous!!

Nickki said...

Hi Rosie and Maria, I'm loving your blog! I can't wait to make the flapjacks. :) I agree that the american measuring spoons/cups are invaluable for baking...I wouldn't be without mine! xxxx

Rosie said...

Hi George my mum used to have a lovely old set much like what Tamsin Daylewis uses on her show :)

Hi Gloria,many thanks for posting our link and that apple pie looks great!! I hope you will join us in baking some flapjacks this month :)

Hi K.J. I found a link for you on Amazon.com

http://www.amazon.com/KitchenAid-Cook-Cure-Measuring-Tool/dp/B0009Y6N6W/ref=pd_bxgy_k_text_b

Hi Nickki, awe thanks sweetie and those flapjacks are so scrummy :)

Rosie x