This is my list of what I must have in order to get into the mood to bake. A caveat, – I am such a sloth that unless things are easy, I can’t drum up the motivation, so some of these are most likely superfluous to serious home bakers. What are your must-haves?
1. Clear storage containers
These are great; I always know how much flour, sugar, nuts, etc I have. If I have to rush out to purchase basic baking ingredients, my short attention span means that by the time I get back, my mind has moved on to other things. These by Sistema come with measuring cups, – how clever!
2. Kitchenaid Artisan Mixer
This is my souvenir from San Francisco. Even paying full retail and shipping, it was still hundreds cheaper than purchasing one in NZ. To my happy surprise, Williams Sonoma gets so many requests from travellers that they stock the 240V version (in any colour as long as it’s black). The Kitchenaid mixer has completely changed my attitude to baking, – it’s industrial strength, and nothing is an effort. It takes 2-3 minutes to beat egg whites to stiff peaks, creaming fridge cold butter is a breeze, and the control is brilliant.
I have spatulas of varying sizes and they all get used. I like the really big ones, – these are $8 from a kitchen supply store. These are a must for folding batter, scrapping bowls, flipping pancakes.
4. Electronic scales
A good electronic scale is crucial for baking. Some recipes have low tolerance for error, and a strict ratio of dry to fat.
5. Measuring cups & spoons
I like my metal set of measuring cups, though I haven’t yet found a good set of metal measuring spoons. These are constantly in use.