Does it seem like every post in your feed showcases a crusty sourdough boule? Or a focaccia garden? (See photo below, and you’ll get the idea.) With so many Americans quarantining at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, it seems like everyone’s baking up a storm.
Reducing the number of trips to the grocery store is one good reason to stock up on baking supplies. But there’s another that’s more psychological in nature: Baking can be a balm for the soul.
“Especially now, there’s something very satisfying about creating your own dough and using your hands to make bread and baked goods that you can feed to others,” says Andrea Correale of the catering company Elegant Affairs.
Want to get on the baking train? Equip your kitchen with the right gear so your baking is easier and more fun, whether you’re making fancy French baguettes or a simple batch of muffins.
1. Standing mixer
Any baker worth her salt will invest in a standing mixer, lest she break her arm trying to mix \ dough to the right consistency. And if yours is a gorgeous robin’s-egg blue like this one, you’ll brainstorm a dozen other cooking projects just so you can use it every day.
This 10-speed appliance has optional add-on pieces for rolling out pasta and shredding cheese, plus it comes in candy apple red and silver ($349, Amazon).
2. Bread knife
Sure, you can use any ol’ knife to cut bread, but a serrated one is made for the job and can swiftly slice through a dense outer crust. The German Wustof brand is high-quality, which means this cutter will last longer and keep its edge sharper than lesser knives ($60, Williams Sonoma).
3. Canister set
A canister set for flour, sugar, and oats makes sense with all the pancakes and banana bread you’re probably making. Correale likes to keep extra flour nearby to sprinkle on counters to prevent sticking.
This simple three-piece set comes with bamboo lids with silicone seals, which’ll keep your grains fresh—and the glass jars pop in the dishwasher for easy cleaning. Not a baker? Use yours for dried beans, rice, small pasta shapes, or sweets ($33, Home Depot).
4. Rolling pin
Wooden rolling pins are fine, but a marble roller is a game changer. The cool surface of this pin keeps your buttery pastry dough cool and less likely to stick, and the marble’s weight can flatten thick pieces quickly.
This attractive pin sports rubber wood handles and comes with its own nifty stand so it won’t roll away from you when it’s not in use ($25, Crate & Barrel).
Unless you want to end up covered in flour, consider a new apron for your baking projects. This machine-washable cotton number is adorable thanks to its halter-top neckline and pretty floral pattern ($32, Anthropologie).
6. Loaf pan
Of course you can be creative with your dough and mold your loaf into a freeform ball, but a loaf pan gives you the proper shape, which means you’ll get nice even slices for sandwiches.
This baking pan is made from commercial-grade steel and features genius ridges to allow air to flow and ensure even baking ($16, Williams Sonoma).
7. Dough scraper
It’s a simple tool, but also a baking workhorse, so it’s worthy of a spot in your utensil drawer.
Julie Coraccio—author of “Got Clutter?”—votes for this scraper for sweeping together bits of sticky dough and dividing it into sections. And the blade sports measurement markings so you can portion your dinner rolls properly ($10, Target).
8. Measuring cups
Did you end up donating that half-cup measure to the dog’s dry kibble bag? You deserve a new, full set of measuring cups for your flour and sugar. This lightweight yet sturdy quartet is just the ticket ($12, Amazon).
9. Bread bowl
Dough can proof (or rise) in any type of bowl, but why not pick the loveliest dish you can find for this task? This number has an easy-to-grip pattern on the outside and also comes in blue, cream, red, and turquoise ($41, Wayfair).
10. Pie plate
A deep-dish pie plate made from quality stoneware is a worthy investment. This bright pick is safe to pop into the freezer, microwave, oven, and broiler, and it also comes in flame orange and a French blue ($50, Amazon).
11. Bundt pan
Everyone knows coffee cake is more show-stopping than blueberry muffins any day of the week. This shiny 12-cup Bundt pan, made from aluminum, is gently priced and will add a touch of fancy to your sweets ($13, Target).