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Baker’s Pantry Basics

Every home baker needs to start somewhere, and we’re here to help with everything you need to set up your beginner’s baking pantry.

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Measuring and Portioning

1. MEASURING CUPS AND SPOONS: Baking is all about precision and consistency, so you can’t get by with one type of measuring cup; you’ll need dry and liquid-measuring cups (a 2-cup size is perfect to start with) to measure accurately.



2. DIGITAL SCALE: A digital scale is the secret to perfect baking, and it will make your life much easier. Measuring by weight is more accurate, and you can measure right in the bowl you’re mixing in, which means fewer dishes to clean.


3. INSTANT-READ DIGITAL THERMOMETER: A digital thermometer is terrific for checking the internal temperature of all manner of bakes, as well as liquids in doughs and batters and for frostings and glazes.


4. SPRING-LOADED SCOOP: A good spring-loaded scoop will guarantee uniformity in size and an even bake across dozens of cookies and muffins. It’s also great for portioning fillings that get swirled into batters. A 1 1⁄2- to 2-tablespoon scoop is the most-used size for cookies, and a 1⁄4-cup size is great for muffins.


5. ZESTER: A zester is a must, from getting just the skin of citrus to grating chocolate for garnish and freshly grating spices like nutmeg. Look for long blade and a soft-grip handle.


6. REAMER: A reamer is economical, compact, and long-lasting. And unlike other juicers, such as a citrus press, a reamer allows you to juice any size of citrus, from a tiny Key lime to an enormous Ruby Red grapefruit.


7. KITCHEN SHEARS: Kitchen shears deserve a spot with your baking tools. They’re ideal for trimming piecrust, shaping wreath breads, snipping focaccia into squares, cutting pizza slices, mincing dried fruit, and gliding through parchment paper.



8. RULER: A ruler is essential for ensuring even length, width, and thickness when rolling out pastry, portioning dough, and a lot more. It also takes the guesswork out of measuring pans and will help you get perfectly straight lines. Rather than being overwhelmed by recipes specifying precise dimensions, gain confidence by adding a simple ruler to your tool drawer.

Mixing and Shaping

1. ROLLING PIN: The best rolling pin is a long, solid piece of wood with two sturdy handles for even pressure. If properly cared for, it will last a lifetime.



2. WHISK: A balloon-shaped whisk will fluff up everything from batters to eggs and also combine and aerate dry ingredients.


3. OFFSET SPATULA: The slender, angled blade of an offset spatula helps you maneuver through tasks such as spreading batters into pans, frosting sheet cakes, transferring cookies to a wire rack, and much more!
4. PASTRY BRUSH: A long-handled pastry brush with natural bristles is great for whisking away excess dry ingredients and applying just the right amount of egg wash.



5. SILICONE SPATULA: This simple tool folds together wet and dry ingredients and gets every bit of dough out of a bowl We love spatulas that are all one piece since they are solid and easier to clean. Invest in spatulas in two colors: one for sweet recipes and one for savory. This way, you’ll never end up with cross-contamination of flavors.


6. NESTING GLASS BOWLS: Glass bowls are superior to ceramic and plastic bowls, which tend to scratch over time and can be stained or ruined by trapped odors. Glass bowls are microwave-safe and sturdy enough to be used as the top of a double boiler. They’re heavier than metal mixing bowls, but the weight is welcome when they’re not wobbling on a counter.


7. PASTRY BLENDER: The slender, curved blades of a pastry blender quickly cut cold fat and incorporate it into flour and other dry ingredients for biscuits, scones, and pie doughs to create a flaky texture.



8. BENCH SCRAPER: A bench scraper expertly cuts and divides dough and helps you efficiently clear your work surface.
9.FINE-MESH SIEVE: A heavy-duty stainless steel sieve with an ergonomically shaped handle is comfortable to lift and hold when sifting dry ingredients or sprinkling confectioners’ sugar.



Baking and Cooling

1. LOAF PAN: A metal loaf pan gives a straight, neat edge, lovely height, and beautiful form with even browning, as a metal pan conducts heat well. It’s the signature pan for babka, brioche, banana bread, sandwich bread, and simple cakes.


2. BAKING SHEETS: You’ll reach for baking sheets repeatedly, from prepping and organizing ingredients to evenly baking cookies and catching any potential drips from a pie filling. Investing in a nesting set will cover all your needs without taking up too much space in your kitchen.


3. PARCHMENT PAPER: Nonstick parchment paper is great for transferring rolled pastry dough from a counter to a baking sheet, and it helps your baked goods evenly brown. It saves you from scrubbing your pans after baking, and you can cut pieces for makeshift muffin pan liners and pastry bags. Plus, pre-cut parchment rounds and sheets are so convenient and easy to use.
4. 9-INCH PIE PAN: You may think all pie pans are created equal, but a well-made metal pie pan will give your piecrust a lovely golden color and an even bake.



5. 12-CUP MUFFIN PAN: Of course, a muffin pan is necessary for muffins and cupcakes, but it’s also adaptable enough to bake fantails, financiers, tarts, popovers, and more.



6. 9-INCH ROUND CAKE PAN: A durable, round metal cake pan lets you whip up a one-layer cake or morning buns. We love a pan that has a nonstick coating for easy release and speedy cleanup.



7. 9-INCH SQUARE BAKING PAN: A durable square baking pan will give you the best brownies and blondies every time.




8. 13X9-INCH BAKING PAN: You can use a rectangular baking pan for countless recipes, from sheet cakes and dinner rolls to cobblers and focaccia.



9. WIRE RACK: A wire rack promotes fast, even cooling and allows excess glazes and sauces to drip cleanly off cakes, cookies, pastries, and more.

The post Baker’s Pantry Basics first appeared on Bake from Scratch.

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