Products and Equipment

What we use in our baking is important; it can be the difference between an “it’s OK I suppose” result or something totally tasty and sublimely scrumptious. Before I start though, I’d better just say that what follows is mostly my opinion. Other bakers may disagree or have better options. If so, please let me know (nicely, of course) then I can add in any relevant comments or other views.

I’m not going to list all the things you ought to have in your kitchen in order to bake. That’s been done in lots of excellent books. I’ll pick out few items that I think are great and say why.

Feb 2021

If you ever see a Tortenboden-Schneider Cake Base Splicer, buy it. However, buying it and spelling it, both present quite a challenge. Mine belonged to my wife before we married, nearly 30 years ago. I’ve looked on Amazon, but can’t find it. Pity – it’s excellent: accurate, reliable and simple. Maybe another company are making something similar. If so, I’d get one, pronto.

May 2020 – I’ve not added anything here for ages, sorry. Anyway, let’s make up for it by mentioning three neat and handy little items. None are expensive, all are really, really useful.

First are the lovely spotty shower caps – great for covering bread dough while it rises, better than messing around with tea towels or wasting expensive cling film. These are elasticated, cheap and easy to clean. They don’t need to be spotty, but what’s wrong with a bit of colour in the kitchen?

Second is my wonderful Kenwood mini-food processor. It’s great for chopping up small quantities quickly and easily. Works especially well on nuts and chocolate.

Third today is this set of scales, complete with useful metal bowl. I’ve had several of those flat scales, but have never been happy with any of them. One problem was always that when I put a dinner plate on to weigh food the figures were always hidden by the plate. Worse still was the frequent variations and inaccuracies that I experienced. These seem better on all fronts. I thought I wouldn’t use the bowl that often, but not so. It’s in daily use.

Original posting (Maybe 2019) – I love my little “cranked handle” spatula. It really does make smoothing cakes and other mixtures so easy. For a couple of years i used the back of a spoon or a large flat spatula. They were OK, but it was always a bit of a contortion to use them. Not so with this little gem.

IMGP3393 Fri 14 Sep 2018 - small crank handled spatula

Here’s an Amazon link should you wish to buy one of these from them.” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>KitchenCraft Sweetly Does It Palette Knife / Mini Spatula with Angled Blade, Stainless Steel, 37 cm

I’ll keep it small in terms of equipment and work towards bigger items soon. Pictured below are three very useful small items: two plastic dough scrapers and a metal one. All are extremely useful. Probably the one I use most is the blue one. Here are a few slightly less obvious uses: smoothing the sides and tops of cakes, especially those with buttercream; pressing down mixtures prior to baking (e.g. shortbread bases and crumble toppings); cutting into bread dough, such as crosses on soda bread; cleaning the last bit of mixture out of a bowl.

None of these are expensive. The plastic ones are especially economical, costing around £2 each – a bargain, I’d say.

My three useful scrapers

Here are two links for purchasing similar to above, should you wish to do so.

Dough Pastry Scraper and Cutter Stainless Steel – Pizza Dough Cutter and Chopper – Multipurpose Bench Dough Scraper (1-Pack) by MisterChef

Vogue E401 Plain Plastic Scraper