If your life is now nothing but banana bread and focaccia gardens, you’re not alone. All this baking may have you ready to upgrade your tools. Whether you’re an avid baker or a beginner, these are the best baking tools to buy.
From mixers to dough scrapers, there are a few different tools you might want to have on hand. Here are some picks from Mia Rigden, trained chef, founder of RASA, and host of Well+Good’s Alt-Baking Bootcamp, and Zachary Golper, professional chef and owner of Bien Cuit, a bakery with three locations in New York City.
Bake like a professional by using the best baking tools you can buy
“As simple as this sounds, a good wooden spoon will help a lot,” says Golper. “These are inexpensive so getting one that is ergonomic to your hand is a nice addition to your collection. Staub makes an aesthetically lovely, durable, and aromatic olive wood spoon perfect for mixing doughs.”
2. Lodge Cast Iron Muffin Pan, $16
“Using a cast iron muffin pan lends a more complex flavor to a simple recipe, and actually adds iron to the final product,” says Rigden. This pan is pre-seasoned in 100 percent vegetable oil, and retains and distributes heat extremely well.
If you make a lot of bread, Golper says it’s good to have a couple of nice linens dedicated to the fermentation process. Though you can use a simple kitchen towel, he recommends using a baker’s couche. “Having a couple on hand is a good idea so that you can keep making bread, but always have time to let your couche fully dry. Matfer Bourgeat makes a good couche that is available in a large roll several yards long, which allows the home baker to cut them to sizes that are appropriate to your baking needs.”
“You’ll need a cast-iron Dutch oven for great results in your bread baking,” says Golper. “Baking in clay or earthenware can be nice, too, but they crack easily so are not my personal favorites. I prefer the non-enameled version of cast-iron Dutch ovens as the dough never sticks to the non-enameled version. My simple, all-time favorite is the Lodge 7-quart Dutch oven. Never fails. Ever.”
Silicone baking mats make any pan nonstick, replacing the need for butter, oils, sprays, and parchment paper. “I love how clean, easy, and chic these look for baking cookies and macaroons or placing chocolate dipped fruit and nuts,” says Rigden.
When choosing a dough scraper, Golper likes ones that are stiff enough to divide dough on its flat side, yet flexible enough to bend with the arc of your mixing bowl on its curved side. “Wooden ones feel nice to touch, but my personal favorite for value and quality is supplied by Kerekes, one of my favorite baking supply companies located in Brooklyn,” he says.
7. Great Jones Holy Sheet, $35
Rigden says this is the nonstick baking sheet of her dreams. It’s made of aluminized steel and reinforced with steel rods so it can withstand extreme temperatures. A custom nonstick ceramic coating makes it easier to clean up without having to worry about chemicals.
8. KitchenAid Tilt-Head Stand Mixer, $289
If you like to bake things like cakes and pastries, a stand mixer is such a nice thing to have. Not only do they make mixing your batter so much easier, but they’re also incredibly beautiful. If you’re baking bread, Golper says to mix your dough by hand. Trying to use this machine for bread will ultimately shorten the lifespan of the appliance.
Once you’ve got all your shiny new tools, you’ll want to get to baking. Try one (or all!) of three bread recipes Golper kindly shared with Well+Good, or make the carrot cake from the latest episode of Alt-Baking Bootcamp:
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