Like you, the best chefs started with more or less basic and efficient utensils, which allowed them to progress. What are the essential elements for any good pastry chef?
How many baking utensils can you name? There are dozens of them, but which are the most indispensable? Here’s the answer.
Kitchen utensils: priorities
When you enjoy baking and want to expand your skills and repertoire, there is no better way to learn than by varying the pleasures. If a fully equipped kitchen can provide an ideal setting for baking, then what is about baking utensils? To what extent is it necessary to complete one’s range of equipment and what are the indispensable elements for any budding or experienced pastry chef? Our list of essentials will help you prepare for successful cakes, pies, creams and other sweets.
A pastry robot
Very fashionable, this type of small appliance will give you a serious helping hand in the kitchen. Thanks to its versatility, a food processor is a pastry utensil capable of kneading dough, mixing or beating the ingredients that make up your recipes. Its power and capacity are important criteria: in order to obtain satisfactory results, choose a model with at least 700 watts and a capacity of 3 litres for family use. Depending on the model, you’ll have a range of useful accessories for making a variety of baked goods. But robots can’t do everything, especially the dressing part. Other accessories can be useful for this part: stencils, sockets, cutters… Find the shops that sell a selection of pastry utensils directly online, on sites such as www.the-shops.co.uk/ for example.
For any self-respecting cook, preparation bowls are almost as essential as cutting boards, knives and pots and pans. You’ll find them in a variety of materials: glass, which is heavier and more fragile than stainless steel, is nevertheless the most natural of them all. Avoid aluminium, which can impart a slight acidity to food. Remember to vary the dimensions and depths of these essential baking utensils for good baking. Check, if necessary, if they are compatible with your microwave oven, as you may need to reheat them quickly from time to time.
A rolling pin
You don’t have that basic, inexpensive baking utensil yet? A rolling pin helps to flatten and shape all types of dough, from pie crust to pizza dough. Wooden rolling pins are the most common because the flour adheres very well to its fibres. You will find them with or without side handles: it’s up to you to choose what you find most practical. Some carved models allow you to leave a pattern on the dough to decorate your cookies, for example. You will then complete it with several cookie cutters, which allow you to cut out and make shapes in spread dough in a single gesture.
A set of cake moulds
Whether they are made of metal, glass, silicone or ceramic, cake and pie moulds are crucial to the success of certain pastry recipes. What is the best option for this essential pastry utensil? The correct answer is that all these materials have different characteristics and you just need to know them before you buy. Metal and glass, for example, are highly conductive and therefore heat your dough faster than silicone. Silicone, on the other hand, limits burns and is available in many fancy shapes. Resistance, price, weight: it’s up to you to choose what suits you best.
A kitchen scale
It is perhaps the most important baking utensil on the list, for the simple reason that it can accurately measure the amount of ingredients used in a recipe. If possible, purchase a digital scale that can be set in grams and has a tare function. Don’t hesitate to invest in a quality model: you will gain in accuracy and robustness. After all, a kitchen scale is subject to a lot of uncertainties when preparing food! You will use this precious kitchen tool in many preparations, whether salty or sweet.
A kitchen whisk
Even if you have a sophisticated pastry robot, a hand whisk will still do you a great service. Indeed, you won’t always want to mess up your appliance to perform a quick or delicate operation. This is where a pastry utensil such as a hand whisk can be a valuable ally. It will also allow younger children to learn with you about this culinary art without having to use an electric appliance. Spiral, flat or balloon type: each whisk has its own speciality! If you’re hesitating, opt for the classic, very versatile version of this kitchen utensil.