Food, Uncategorized

Baking Essentials

This list is for your enjoyment-or for those of you who have someone in your life asking you what you’d like for Christmas and is willing to pay extra for 2-day shipping.

A caveat (I love that word-and I won’t tell you how recently it was that I read it in a book and read “cave-eat”). Keepin’ it real.

Okay, the caveat is this-you don’t NEED these items. But they really make baking and cooking easier. I actually take most of these items with me whenever I visit someone for more than six hours-how long can YOU last without chocolate chip cookies?!

by the way: *I tried to find the brands I use or prefer. Cook’s Illustrated is my go-to for equipment reviews.*

Zero idea what I’d do without this:

Silicone Rolling Mat

Why this is fabulous: It’s silicone (think grip tape for your dough and the countertop). The measurements on the sides and the diameters in the middle come in super handy-as does the pie crust recipe printed on it.

Don’t knock it until you’ve weighed it:

OXO 1157100 Digital Food Scale 5lb

Why this is fabulous (and dangerous): I started weighing my ingredients about five years ago. It is so simple and so much more accurate than my half-ass measuring that I was doing. Yes, I did just say that. I am not a perfectionist which is tough when you’re a baker. This scale keeps me consistent-no matter how little time I have to pull something together. The dangerous part: It’s SO easy to make something (think no measuring cups to sort through and wash) that I bake more often…and unless I have someone to take it to it ends up on my lips…and ultimately my hips : )

For use with the above rolling mat:

Ateco French Rolling Pin with Tapered Ends

Why this is fabulous: Everyone needs a rolling-pin-no brainer there. However, I’m partial to the weight (so light!) and style (so easy to roll things out without the limits of separate handles) of this French rolling pin. It’s super cheap, too.

What don’t I use this for?

Winco DSC-3 Dough Cutter - Stainless Steel with Wood Handle

Why this is fabulous: Dividing dough for rolls, loaves, various shapes. Slicing off chunks of butter; since I weigh my unsalted butter and neither Costco nor Sam’s club sell sticks (just 1lb. slabs) of unsalted butter I find this is very handy for slicing off pieces of butter for recipes. I also use it for transferring diced objects from my cutting board to a bowl or pan, cutting brownies or anything into geometrical shapes.

No sheet-these are the best! If you’re not laughing right now you have to say that out loud. Ha!

Chicago Metallic 77823 Commercial 18-by-13-by-1-Inch Cookie/Jelly-Roll Pan, Set of 2

Why this is fabulous: I don’t know what brand I have-but I absolutely love my rimmed baking sheets. I line them with parchment and bake cookies, rolls, croissants on them. I pull them out when play-dough is involved. Beads stay put on there, too-which makes them great for containing crafts. The size also holds an entire batch of cookies (one that uses 1 cup of butter and about 3 cups/15oz. or so of flour) to make into bars when you’re supposed to meet friends for a picnic in the park and have 30min. from start to sitting on a blanket basking in the sun. Smash it in and bake for 20min. and you’re good to go!

That’s it for now…what do you have an essential item in your kitchen?

Oh. My Crockpot. That goes without saying. I think I’d like to be buried with my Crockpot in hopes Jesus decides I can have it with me in heaven. I think he’d agree its really important and essential and would really save him time. He’s got a lot to do between breakfast and dinner!

La Gringa


6 thoughts on “Baking Essentials

  1. Jamie says:

    I have over 400 emails in my inbox… yes, you read that right… 400! I have gotten so far behind on my inbox that I’ve given up on getting it under control (at least until after Christmas… that’s one of my New Year’s goals); and the only emails I read lately are those that really grab my attention, or come from a VERY reliable source. Which brings me to, I always read your posts because I can be assured that what I read will not only be informative, or educational, or challenging, or compelling, but best of all will almost always will make me laugh. You never disappoint… this made me laugh out loud, which is the best kind of laugh! BTW, when you said “Yes, I just said that”… I had just asked (in my head, not out loud) did she just say that! Too funny. Keep em coming.


    • Jamie says:

      Oh, and just in case anybody asks, I would like one of those mats, some of those sheets, some parchment paper and the slicer… I have a scale (thanks to you) and a crockpot, so no need to put those on my ‘just in case anybody asks’ list.


  2. anne says:

    Love this post. I have to tell you I buy unsalted butter in sticks at Costco all the time, this time of year its usually on an end cap in refrigerated section. Thanks for the craft tip/cookie sheet. I just keep sweeping all of it up and hope it will all be gone.


  3. Jen says:

    Love it! You inspired me to be a scale baker and now I can’t live without it. 🙂 I AM thinking your Kitchen Aid is feeling a little depressed and left out right now. I mean what would we do without that thing? My list would also include a chopper. I know pro cooks snub their noses at then but my eyes are so thankful when I’m chopping onions and my chopping hands are thankful when I’m making minestrone.


  4. sherry says:

    Preach it sista! I have and L O V E all these things, slightly different versions, but love them!!!!! I’m going to have to include the pampered chef batter bowls though! Use them constantly! Have you heard of Demarle? silcone bakeware –euro–french company, very fun and cool “design” pans. Oh, and a instant read digital thermometer! i have been known to bring that with me.
    R I C E COOKER!!!! We’ll be in Denver from the day after Christmas through the day after new years. Will you guys be around?


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