Baking is all about precision. We always say that there is a science to baking. There are just some ingredients you just can't do without and at a certain amount every time, so the resulting batter or dough is a success.
Baking isn't just about the ingredients. Even your equipment should be certain tools so you can achieve the right consistency and texture as well. While you can work with a bowl, spoon, fork, and a toaster oven, you can do it easier and faster with the right tools. The job of putting your baking ingredients together is important, too.
If you are on the market for such baking tools, some of the first and most basic baking items we highly suggest are these:
- a big mixing bowl
- silicone spatula
- measuring spoons and cups (You can get a weighing scale later.)
- a big whisk
- baking pans
- parchment paper
You can take your pick of baking pans because if you're looking to make cookies for your first baking project, you need a cookie sheet that fits inside your oven. If brownies, an 8x8-inch baking pan is a great size to start with. Cupcakes need cupcake pans while cakes will need cake pans.
However, if you already have all of these and have graduated from a totally new baker to one who has had a few baking projects under your belt, you may want to turn to more intermediate tools and gadgets.
This is where the electric mixer comes in. The electric mixer is a fantastic first baking appliance to buy. While you can certainly go straight to buying a stand mixer, the electric mixer is just as effective a mixer as a stand mixer with a few exceptions. Here's why we think an electric hand mixer is a great appliance:
- It results in speedier mixing and whisking than doing it by hand.
- It's also cheaper and easier to store compared to a bulky stand mixer.
- It's lighter and can be easy to use, especially when you're armed with a few tips.
- It's just as fast and power-packed as a stand mixer.
If you were convinced you needed this small kitchen appliance in your life and finally got one, here's all you need to know about using it:
Use the right attachment.
The most basic of attachments on the electric mixer will be one that looks like a whisk. It's the one you will use the most often as this is what you'll use to beat eggs, cream butter and sugar, whisk egg whites to soft up to stiff peaks with, and the general fast combination of baking ingredients into a cookie dough or cake batter.
If you purchased a mixer with other attachments, you might find one that might look like it's a whisk but is made of thicker metal and ends in a hook. This is your dough hook and will help you knead stiffer doughs such as for cinnamon buns, cheese rolls, and even pan de sal. You might still need to knead it by hand but this will definitely take out the bulk of the kneading for you.
Place the whisks in the batter before starting.
Of all the mistakes people make when using the electric mixer, this has to be the most common. If you have ever tried to whisk ingredients only to get a puff of flour straight in your face or have the ingredient fly up and out of the bowl, you are probably not placing the whisk heads in the bowl and in the ingredients, before turning the mixer on.
Make sure the whisks are submerged in the batter or whatever ingredients you have in your bowl before you start the machine or you might (likely) get a face full of flour or butter.
Start low then increase the speed.
Just like a stand mixer or any other machine, you want to start at the lowest speed first before you increase the speed to the level you want and need. Not only will this make sure that you don't get a face full of ingredients, but you will also allow the ingredients to better blend together first before agitating them into a semblance of a well-blended mixture.
Clean it like you clean a blender.
Once you have your ingredients well blended and no longer need the mixer, the next challenging task is to clean the whisk heads. This may seem like a tedious task but there is an easy way of doing this and it involves the same genius idea that you would use if you were using a manual whisk: Whisk the batter-covered heads in soapy water. This is the easiest way to clean the whisks, whether it's a handheld whisk, stand mixer whisk attachment, or an electric hand mixer beaters.
Are you ready to take your baking to the next level of ease? Then, you should be on the lookout for sales and bargain deals of this small and handy kitchen appliance the next time you're browsing through an online seller's products.