You’re Going to Need One of These if You’re Going to Bake One of Those
One of the world’s favorite baked items can’t be produced without a special machine. You may have had one for breakfast recently. You guessed it: the waffle. If you are going to bake one at home, you are going to have to purchase a waffle iron. There is no practical way to bake a waffle without the iron that bears its name.
There are a surprising number of great dishes you might order from your favorite bistro and wonder how they managed to make that. The answer is usually that they had a special tool to help them do it. If you are going to reproduce those dishes at home, you are going to need a high-end bakery supply source where you can find what you need when the process calls for something interesting. Here are a few other examples of special items every baker’s kitchen should have:
A Pizza Stone
Many believe you can never cook great pizza without a pizza stone. Sure, you can cook good pizza. It might even rise to the level of really good pizza. But if you want to produce great pizza, you are going to have to kick it up a notch.
Choosing to go with a pizza stone is the easy decision. Choosing the right kind of pizza stone is where the work comes in. Despite the name, pizza stones come in clay, steel, or cast iron. They each have their prose and cons. Stone is fussy. Steel can be difficult to work with and is expensive. And cast iron is heavy.
That said, one of the key differences between restaurant pizza and your pizza is that they are using a pizza stone of some kind, likely, the best money can buy.
A Good Mixer
Mixing is one of the most basic functions in baking. And humans are notoriously bad at it. Our mixing is uneven. And no two mixing sessions are exactly alike. The act of mixing also grows tiring, and can produce repetitive stress injury if you do a lot of baking.
That means you are going to need a really good mixer if you are going to prepare the perfect Sprite cake. All too often, a baked good is ruined from under mixing, or even over mixing. There are also the mixing techniques that sound so easy, but are so tricky to master. These techniques include the following:
Many of these techniques can be aided with the right machine. A good blender will help produce more uniform results with less physical strain. No baker’s kitchen should be without one.
Molds and Shape Cutters
You didn’t think those gingerbread cookies were cut out by hand, did you? There is certainly no artist behind each individual animal cracker. That doesn’t mean you can’t make those interesting and weird-shaped confections at home. You can make just about any shaped baked good you can imagine. And you don’t need to break out the jigsaw.
The same is true for molded goods. Muffins require a muffin tin. But that is not the only specialty tin you can buy. There are also tins for making interesting tacos, and just about anything else you can put in an oven. Molds and tins add next-level creativity to your kitchen efforts. And they tend to be very inexpensive. The only real downside is that they can take up a lot of space because you won’t stop at just one.
There is no substitute for culinary education, skill, practice, and experience. No kitchen is complete without them. But your kitchen will be even more complete with the addition of a few other items. So if you want to make great pizzas, cakes, and creatively designed goods, you are going to need a pizza stone, a good mixer, and a variety of molds and cutouts.