Written by adam on Aug 5, 2006
Baker Must-Haves (TheWife's Edition)
Filed Under: Tips
editor's note: The must-have kitchen and baking items have everyone thinking and talking. The original post is here
, and Alicat's list
is here. As far as TheWife goes, you'll note that there are actually more than 10 total items on this list. Good thing she teachers language arts.
It's amazing how every baker's ideas of the "Must-Haves" is different, yet the same. Here's my take on the subject, straight from the MIA pantry.
10. I agree with Ali. Pam with flour, or any other baker's spray with flour ROCKS. I believe we currently have Baker's Joy. Along those lines, it is also essential to have a good selection of fats on hand at all times. I prefer unsalted butter. I also keep shortening, stick and tub, for certain occasions.
9. A stand mixer. I personally prefer a stand mixer to a hand mixer. It is easier to add the ingredients while still mixing. I also firmly believe in the power of the arm for mixing, but there are times when an electric makes things lighter and fluffier than you could do on your own.
8. #9 reminds me that to mix by hand you need a good, heavy, nonreactive bowl. I use a ceramic one.
7. Parchment paper. I have not yet made the leap to Silpat. I gag at the price every time I look. I know. It is more cost effective in the long run as one piece can be used more than 1,000 times. But, can you cut it to fit the bottom of your cake pans?
6. Stainless Steel baking pans. Stainless steel is better than nonstick for baking. The bottoms of baked goods tend to overly brown, or even burn with nonstick. Be sure that you buy heavy metal pans. Those thin ones at your local discount store bend easily and don't distribute heat evenly. In a pinch, you can sometimes layer two cheap metal pans together. Besides, if you do your fats properly and use parchment paper where appropriate, sticking is NOT an issue. So, why would you need nonstick bakeware?
5. Alicat is right on - CHOCOLATE! I tend to keep semisweet morsels, unsweetened chocolate, and Mexican chocolate. From time to time I will get other kinds, but I usually have something in mind for it. Hmmm. That gives me an idea. Methinks it's time to make a German chocolate cake. If Adam actually reads this and responds online, I'll bake it up and share the photos. I might let him have a piece. If he's good.
4. Dry goods. The basics. Unbleached all-purpose flour. I like King Arthur. Baking soda. Plain, iodized table salt (not sea or kosher salt). Baking powder. Oh, and throw in a bit of stone ground cornmeal.
3. Sugar. Three basic kinds: white sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar.
2. I almost forgot - cooling racks and a pastry blender. I use these A LOT.
1. Vanilla extract. No imitation stuff. Yuck. Buy the good quality stuff. It's worth it.
Responses to "Baker Must-Haves (TheWife's Edition)" ...
This is a lady that knows her way around the "Baker's Rack." Trust me, even through the trials of motherhood and meninaprons-hood and moving, she can darn sure whip up a mighty cake of cornbread. Hail to the chief! or was that chef?