In light of the Covid-19 global pandemic, many hardworking and resourceful Filipinos has been displaced from our work. Many of us would look into starting our home business to continue supporting ourselves and our family. If you are looking into starting a home business in baking, I hope this list will help you with your home baking business journey.
While there are many things that we would need in the kitchen, it is easy to feel overwhelmed with the abundance of options. Here’s a list 15 essential baking tools, not in order of priority, that you will most likely be needing first. Enjoy the baking journey!
1. Mixing bowls
There aren’t many baking tools that can truly be called “essentials”, but mixing bowls are definitely one of them. No matter how much or how little you bake, a mixing bowl is an indispensable tool for whisking eggs, mixing cookie dough, and preparing ingredients. It is good to have a set of mixing bowls of different sizes ranging from small bowls to a very large bowl.
2. Silicone spatula
When you need to mix and scrape the last bit of batter out of the bowl, a silicone spatula really comes in handy! Spatulas are very useful in baking but not all spatulas are created equal. Make sure to pick a spatula that is heat resistant so you can use it for stirring custards, ganache, and syrups on the stove as well as for folding cake batters at room temperature.
This is a simple yet very important baking tool. It is important to not skip the step of sifting dry ingredients, because sifting not only removes the unwanted debris and possible contaminant in the dry ingredients like flour, it also prevents air pockets from forming during baking. The sifter does not need to be expensive or branded.
4. Measuring cups and spoons
Measuring cups are essential for every kitchen. You won’t find many recipes (especially in baking) that don’t require measurements of some kind. Graded cups range in sizes from 1/4 cup to 1 cup and can range from 4 to 6 cups in a set. It is recommended to get measuring cups with a spout so that you can use it for both wet and dry ingredients.
Measuring spoons are used to precisely measure smaller amounts of liquid or solid baking ingredients. It usually comes in a set of six – from 1/8 tsp all the way up to 1 tbsp. Quite often, you can find measuring cups and spoons that comes together in a set.
5. Digital kitchen scale
A digital kitchen scale is another very useful piece of equipment. When you bake, you must weigh your ingredients. Why? So you will bake the same pastry perfectly every single time. Some recipes would give you the measurements in grams/ounces rather than cups, when that’s the case weighing scale will come handy!
6. Baking pans
Every home baker must have a few good baking pans. A square or rectangle pan is great to have when making bars such as revel bars, brownies, lemon bars, etc. The 6-inch round and 8-inch round cake pans are the most common sizes for cakes. In addition, if you want to make cheesecakes, then you definitely want to invest in a good spring form pan.
7. Hand mixer
This will be your partner in the kitchen, so it is worth investing in one. You may start with a budget hand mixer, and as your volume increases, you will find yourself needing one that can handle more workload – with a more powerful motor and does not heat up too quickly.
The Scarlett hand mixer below is the best selling hand mixer in Philippines by volume, and it happens to be my first hand mixer too. Not the most powerful with a 180W motor, but definitely gets the job at a very wallet friendly price.
I fairly quickly upgraded to the Russell Hobbs Illumina hand mixer. Although with a bigger price tag, it comes with a strong 500W motor that handles bigger workload with ease, very good looking, and a real joy to use.
8. Electric Oven
Getting a counter-top electric oven is an easy and affordable way to get you started with your home business in baking. Most home bakers in the Philippines has good experience with Kyowa and Hanabishi brands. They offer oven sizes from 23L to up to 90L. A good size to start with is the 45L, available from both Kyowa and Hanabishi. You can comfortably fit a 12-hole cupcake pan in the 45L oven.
9. Oven thermometer
This is an inexpensive and important equipment to have. It is important to know the exact temperate in your oven while baking. Most recipes need the temperature to be accurate, as slight temperature variation could sometimes send things into the wrong direction.
While all ovens have temperature setting on the dial, the final temperature in the oven depends very much on the ambience and current room temperature. Higher end ovens has digital controls to regulate this, but with inexpensive ovens like the Kyowa and Hanabishi above, you would need the oven thermometer for you to be able to manually calibrate your baking temperature.
10. Silicone baking mat
Silicone baking mats are non-stick and heat proof. It works the same as baking sheets, to prevent the pastries from sticking to the pan while baking. It is often used for baking bread rolls, pastries and flat products such as cookies, sheet cakes, and swiss rolls.
Silicone baking sheets costs more to purchase but you will be able to reuse them many times over compared to baking sheets that has to be disposed after each use, making it more budget friendly in the long run. They do come in several different sizes, make sure to get the one that fits just right in your oven.
11. Kitchen timer
There are many different designs of kitchen timers out there; you can even find some really cute novelty timers out there too. I love my easy-to-use digital timer that features a large screen and big buttons for ease of use. It has both count up and count down features.
If you’re comfortable, you could easily use the timer function on your smartphone. However, if buying a digital timer won’t hurt your budget – it is good to have a dedicated timer in the kitchen.
12. Cooling racks
Cooling racks provides you with a proper surface to cool your cakes, cookies, and other pastries after they are baked. It allows the air to be circulated around and under the baked goods so the steam evaporates rather than make the bottom of your cake or cookie soggy. A good stainless steel cooling rack will last you pretty much a lifetime, as long as you take good care of it, definitely a worthy investment.
The baking tools and equipment in this list in not in order of priority. However from my experience in the industry, these are the most essential items to start off with. Hope you will find this useful. Happy baking!