Baking Supplies Buying Guide

It’s been said that cooking is an art, but baking is a science. This baking supplies buying guide outlines the tools and materials you’ll need to unleash the expert baker within.

Baking Supplies 101

You're going to need good quality baking supplies to achieve the best results in your baking. Without the right tools and ingredients, it's difficult to bake cookies to the perfect flavour and moistness, bread to the ideal chewiness or cake to ultimate lightness and texture. There's a lot to learn in baking, but start with the basics and soon you’ll be on your way to making great family meals and desserts.

Baking Tools & Materials 1

Measuring%20Spoons

Measuring Spoons

Recipes often ask for minute amounts of ingredients. A good set of measuring spoons is indispensable. They're available in plastic or metal and can be purchased individually or in nested sets.
 
Measuring%20Cups

Measuring Cups

What spoons are to small amounts of ingredients, measuring cups are to larger amounts. For the greatest accuracy, choose measuring cups made of glass or transparent plastic with the scale visible on the outside. Measuring cups also come in metal, but the scale is visible only on the inside. For liquid ingredients, choose a measuring cup with a spout for pouring. Measuring cups are available in a variety of sizes and can be purchased in matched sets.
 
Thermometers

Thermometers

Your oven's built-in thermostat may not provide the precision temperature measurement needed for baking. An oven thermometer is best: depending on the design, oven thermometers can stand upright or hang from an oven rack. When cooking candy, jellies or jams, you should use a candy thermometer. This device features an adjustable clip for attaching to the side of saucepans.
 
Baking%20Pans

Baking Pans

Baking pans are essential in baking, whether you’re making everyday items such as muffins, or more delicate fare, such as cheesecake. Baking pans prevent the sides and bottoms from blackening and come in a variety of types including:
• Aluminum pans
• Ovenproof glass pans
• Non-stick pans
• Springform pans
• Pie pans
• Muffin pans
• Loaf pans
Baking%20Dishes

Baking Dishes

Baking dishes are available in a variety of sizes, shapes and material choices, including glass and ceramic. You should always choose a dish that matches the item you’re baking. For example, when making a soufflé, you should use a soufflé dish, which is round with tall, straight sides.
 
Baking%20Sheets

Baking Sheets

Baking sheets are flat, rectangular sheets of metal used for baking cookies, biscuits and breads. The two main varieties are aluminum baking sheets are non-stick baking sheets. The former distributes heat more evenly, while the latter bakes goods more quickly and requires less cleanup.
 
Spatulas

Spatulas

The three main types of spatulas are straight edge, rubber and metal. Each has specialized functions during the baking process. At the preparation stage, a straight-edge spatula is useful for leveling off excess dry ingredients when measuring. After blending, the flexible head on a rubber spatula is ideal for scooping the bowl clean. Once delicate baked goods are removed from the oven, a thin metal spatula will lift them off the pan with minimal breakage.
 
Electric%20Mixers

Electric Mixers

With so much to do, who wants to waste time mixing by hand? The good news is there are lots of great electric mixers available. Electric mixers come with a variety of attachments that allow you to mix, whip, beat, whisk or knead ingredients. For everyday use, electric hand-held mixers are lightweight and easy to use. If you plan to make large quantities of baked goods, an electric stand-up or table-top mixer would be more suitable. These bigger mixers come with special attachments such as paddle beaters, which will blend hard ingredients such as butter sticks.
Liners

Liners

Whatever you're baking, you'll probably need to use liners at some point in the process. Aluminum foil, parchment paper and wax paper are the three main types. Aluminum foil is a versatile wrapper that's great for shielding your baking cookies from excess heat to prevent burning, or for wrapping your bread dough before freezing. Use parchment paper to line your baking bans for a non-stick surface that's a breeze to clean up. Wax paper is handy for creating non-stick surfaces that don't go in the oven. You can use it to line your counter top when making dough or to create layers between baked goods before storing them.
 
Flour

Flour

There are four main types of flours: bleached all-purpose, unbleached all-purpose, self-rising and whole wheat. Bleached all-purpose flour is suitable for all types of baking. Unbleached all-purpose flour can be used interchangeably with bleached all-purpose, although it adds colour and a finer texture to baked items. Self-rising flour is all-purpose flour with baking powder and salt added; it's commonly called for in biscuit recipes. Whole-wheat flour contains wheat kernels that contribute texture and hearty flavour to breads.
 

Baking Tools & Materials 2

Bread%20&%20Cake%20Flour

Bread & Cake Flour

As the names suggest, bread flour is used for baking bread, while cake flour used for baking cakes. The main difference between the two is the amount of protein they contain. Bread flour has more protein, resulting in baked goods with higher gluten content. This translates to the stronger texture associated with chewy baked goods, such as bread. Cake flour has less protein, resulting in baked goods with lower gluten content. Cake flour is used for fine, delicate baked goods, such as biscuits and cakes.
 
Fats

Fats

Fats add flavour and help tenderize baked goods. Butter and margarine are the most commonly used fats. Butter, available salted and unsalted, is a creamy, flavourful animal fat that will give your baked goods a smooth texture and rich taste. Whipped butter, which contains more air than regular butter, contributes softness to baked goods such as muffins and breads. Margarine, which is made from vegetable fat, can be used as a substitute to butter, but it's less flavourful. Lard is another fat used in baking. Made from pork fat, lard is used to create flaky, moist crusts and biscuits. 
 
Sugars

Sugars

There are four main types of baking sugars: granulated, superfine, brown and powdered. Granulated sugar, commonly known as white sugar, gives baked goods a crisp texture and takes on a brown colour when caramelized on desserts such as crème brûlée or baked apples. It should be used in recipes both when it's called for and when the sugar type isn't specified. Superfine sugar is granulated sugar ground to a fine texture so that it dissolves more easily. It's used to make delicate baked goods, such as meringues. Brown sugar is white sugar mixed with molasses. It’s available in dark and light varieties which can be used interchangeably. Powdered sugar, also known as confectioners’ sugar, is finely ground granulated sugar mixed with cornstarch. Powdered sugar is often used to make icing and should not be used a substitute for granulated sugar. 
 
Honey%20&%20Molasses

Honey & Molasses

Compared to sugar, honey and molasses will give your baked creations a richer, sweeter flavour. Honey imparts a light, floral taste on baked goods such as cookies. Baked items containing honey also brown more quickly than those made with granulated sugar, resulting in faster cooking times. Molasses, which derives from sugar cane, has a slightly bitter taste, making it useful in making gingerbread-type baked goods. 
 
Baking%20Soda%20&%20Baking%20Powder

Baking Soda & Baking Powder

Baking soda and baking powder are leavening agents that contribute body to baked goods. The main different between the two is baking soda needs an acid to be present in the recipe, while baking powder is baking soda with acid already included. If your biscuit recipe calls for buttermilk and baking powder, do not substitute milk for the buttermilk because the buttermilk contains the acid needed by the baking powder. 
 
Yeast

Yeast

Yeast is used as leavening agent to make breads and cakes rise. It does this by consuming sugars in the flour and expelling gas. There are two forms of yeast used in home baking. Active dry yeast is the most common. It has a sharp taste and a longer shelf life than compressed yeast. Compressed yeast becomes active more quickly than dry yeast and has a milder, sweeter taste, which makes it ideal for soft breads such as Italian or French bread. 
 
Eggs

Eggs

Eggs play a vital role in ensuring that muffins, cakes and breads rise properly. Egg whites contribute to the structure of the baked good, while egg yolks enhance the colour and flavour. Brown and white eggs can be used interchangeably in baking recipes. Use a large-sized egg if size is not specified in your recipe. 
 

Baking Supplies Buying Tips:

• Buy the heaviest rolling pin to create smooth dough with less effort
• Don’t substitute oven thermometers with meat or candy thermometers as they won’t work the same way
• Use sticks of margarine when baking as whipped and tub margarine are softer and contain too much air for baking

Specialized Baking Tools

Pastry Blender +

Pastry blenders are handheld tools used to cut cold butter and distribute fat without melting. They consist of five or six U-shaped stainless steel tines attached to a metal or wood handle.

Pastry Brush +

A pastry brush, also known as a basting brush, is used to lightly coat pastries with milk, egg whites or glaze.

Pastry Cutter & Crimping Wheel +

Pastry cutters and pastry crimping wheels are closely related devices used to cut dough. The difference is the cutter has a straight edge, while the crimping wheel has a crimped edge that adds a decorative touch to your pastry crust. Both are similar in appearance to a paint roller.

Pie Weights +

Pie weights are small ceramic or metal balls used to prevent pie or tart crusts from shrinking during "blind" baking. Blind baking means baking the crust without the filling. First, line the crust with parchment paper or aluminum foil, then place the weights on top of the crust before putting it into the oven.

Double Boiler +

A double boiler is comprised of two pots fitted one atop the other, where the lower pot is filled with hot water that heats the top pot. Double boilers are used to apply gentle heat in the preparation of delicate foods such as custards and sauces. It’s also a good way to melt chocolate, which can burn easily if melting in a microwave.

Cookie Cutter +

Once you've rolled your dough into a sheet, you can use a cookie cutter to cut out cookie-sized pieces in decorative shapes. Cookie cutters are available in a wide variety of fun and interesting shapes that kids love. They're typically made from aluminum, copper or plastic.

Rolling Pin +

Rolling pins are primarily used to roll dough into sheets, but you can also use them for other purposes such as shaping cookies and crushing crackers. Rolling pins are made from a variety of materials, including wood, marble and plastic.

Whisk +

Whisks are designed for whipping air into ingredients such as egg whites and cream. They consist of a series of looped wires attached to a handle. Whisks come in a variety of shapes depending on their intended use.

Wooden Spoon +

Wooden spoons are thick, sturdy and lightweight, making them a good choice for stirring and mixing batter. Also, unlike metal spoons, they don't have hard, sharp edges that could scratch non-stick pans.

Sifter +

This kitchen utensil is used to sift ingredients such as confectioners’ sugar onto cakes and cupcakes. It’s also used to blend dry ingredients, and to break clumps and add air to lighten flour. When flour sits for a long time, it becomes compact and dense. Sifting flour makes it lighter than non-sifted flour, which can affect your baking results. Sifters come in stainless steel or plastic.

Baking Supplies Handling Tips:

• Always wash your hands and baking utensils
• Make sure your hands are completely dry before operating electrical baking tools
• Wear oven mitts when removing baked goods from your oven
• Don’t eat raw cookie dough that contains uncooked eggs as it may contain salmonella or other harmful bacteria
• Don't leave eggs out of the refrigerator for more than two hours because bacteria can breed within the egg
• Apply egg wash to unbaked dough to add shine and assist in browning the crust during cooking
Legal
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.

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