It’s that time of year again…the sweltering summer heat has receded, the nights are frosty, and the ovens are back on, baby! Some of you might call this time of the year “soup szn” (which I agree with, by the way), but I like to think of it as the best time to bake. It’s also that time of year when you need to start procuring some gifts for those food-minded folks in your life (or maybe yourself). Having worked as a professional baker (and in many other culinary settings), I’ve compiled this list as a jumping-off point to get your holiday baking and gifting needs kicked into high gear. There’s something here for everyone on your list, from novice to pro that will get the season off to a warm and fuzzy start.
A springform pan might not be something you use on the regular, but when you do, you want it to be high-quality and reliable like this one. This pan boasts a sleek, non-stick surface and tight clamping mechanism that helps prevent leaks, especially with higher hydration batters. It transfers heat well, allowing for evenly cooked confections. You don’t have to use it just for sweets either, it can easily handle baked pasta with no issues!
Having been a home baker for many years at this point, one of the biggest issues I’ve run into is finding a place with a stable ambient temperature to store my sourdough starter. I’ve kept it over my radiator or in the oven with the light on in the hopes of providing the right amount of warmth. For many of us, it can be difficult to find that sweet spot, but the folks at Sourhouse designed Goldie to find that special “Goldilocks” place that is not too hot, and not too cold, allowing temperature and humidity to be precisely controlled. The company was founded by a home baker and an industrial engineer, so you know they’ve put some serious thought into this issue.
If you’ve baked fresh bread, you’ll likely know the importance of scoring your loaves before putting them into the oven. It helps dictate the shape and amount of rise each loaf will have, and if done incorrectly (or not at all), it can lead to some serious blow-outs and misshapen loaves. What I like about this lame is its small, manageable size which allows for greater dexterity when slashing into the dough. It’s also ambidextrous and can retract the blade when not in use, an important safety feature for any skill level.
An ideal gift for bakers who are building up their baking arsenal, these beautiful pans are high-quality specimens from a trusted brand. They’re reliably non-stick, they won’t warp at high temperatures, plus they’ll look great in the oven and on the countertop. They’re also produced outside of Minneapolis, right here in the USA.
King Arthur is already known for its high-quality flours and baking tools, but their baking mixes are excellent shortcuts for even the pickiest bakers. Give this collection to someone who enjoys baking but doesn’t have the luxury of time. It includes everything needed (except perishable ingredients) for cinnamon buns, stollen, and more, and comes packed in a rustic tote that is perfect for use year-round.
This collaboration between Our Place and Diaspora Co. was originally designed for Diwali celebrations, but this gorgeous set of tools is ideal for making any of the deep-fried snacks of your dreams. The set includes a golden, slotted skimming tool and a matching wavy resting rack for cooling and draining all your fried goods. A set of clay diyas (small lamps that symbolize the triumph of good over evil) also look fantastic while providing light to any holiday table.
You’ve likely used a Cuisinart food processor at some point, considering its long history in home kitchens. However, this revamped, 50th anniversary version of the retro classic adds a touch of nostalgia, but in a fresh, modern machine. Its 14-cup capacity can handle large batches of purées, doughs, and spreads, and the razor-sharp blade will make chopping and blending easy as pie. Perhaps this is the time to give a replacement to friends or family whose original appliance has given up the ghost long ago.
The number one thing any aspiring baker needs is a reliable scale. It makes a huge difference in achieving accurate yields and measurements and helps you level up from novice to professional level, no question. (Pro tip: commercial bakers weigh everything instead of measuring by volume). I love the high capacity of this scale, which maxes out at 22 pounds, making large-scale projects like bread that much easier. This snazzy new model from Zwilling can even charge your smartphone or tablet, making it even more useful in a kitchen tight on counter space.
Hedley and Bennett is a brand loved by professional chefs and home cooks alike. Already well-known for their incredible aprons, they’ve proven themselves as a company that makes high-quality products in all areas of the kitchen. Every home baker needs a quality bread knife, and this one won’t disappoint. I love the ergonomic shape and extremely sharp blade, which allows you to cut through even the crustiest loaves with comfort and ease. It also comes in a variety of colors, from black (“caviar”) to green (“shiso”).
Whether you’re making a cake or whipping up a batch of pancakes or waffles, this beautiful bowl makes all of your batters a breeze. It’s got a hefty handle to stabilize while you stir, and a dedicated pouring spout so you can transfer its contents easily. It’s also available in a series of pastel colors that will look great on display in your kitchen.
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