Necessary machines for any confectioners are general. Be it a simple tool or a big machine. Bearing in mind that I am a home baker as well as a professional baker, I’ll break it down into two groups based on my experience. You might want to keep in mind that even at home, while I don’t have a Hobart mixer sitting in my kitchen, there are a few things I consider as indispensable when making pieces of bread or assembling desserts. Ready?
In The Professional Point
Hobart mixers are essential. Bread doughs and batches of quickbreads and cakes get done in large amounts. There’s also a couple of Kitchen Aid mixers for some icings and other smaller quantities. It’s the only way to accomplish the work. Both types of blenders have different attachments.
Scales. Usually, balance scales with weights for accuracy.
Mixing bowls of many sizes.
Some assorted baking pans, sheet pans, cake pans, bread pans, bread baskets, tart molds, muffin tins, and the like are also there. Some places have cheesecake molds, while others use cake tins, freeze then unmold the finished cake.
Bread Cloths For Artisan Loaves
Bench knives, offset and straight spatulas, rubber spatulas, large mixing spoons, bread knives, paring knives, chef knives, pastry bags and tips, thermometers, cutters fluted and plain, bowl scrapers, and each person usually has a few favorites they bring with them.
Racks, lots of frames are too there. For cooling, for prepped items to store in the walk-in or freezer, or for the proof box.
Proof boxes. Most can double as an overnight refrigerator so doughs can get stored in the box, then the timer can be set to start the proof 1st thing in the morning.
While You Are Baking In Your Home
Scale. It’s not a balance scale, but it’s pretty accurate and easy to tare.
Assorted sizes of mixing bowls. It helps when I have a complicated recipe, and lets me arrange in place everything before I start.
Bench knife. Since it can also get used to quickly cube butter, scrape off my cutting board or counter, as well portion any dough, I can’t imagine not having one. Mine is by Oxo and is ergonomic, so I love it! Bread knife, paring knife, rubber spatulas, thermometers, chef knives of 2 lengths, and because I make cakes offset and straight spatulas. I also have a set of round and fluted cutters for biscuits and cookies. Bowl scrapers for more giant bowls, and of course, my tool kit also has pastry bags and tips.
I have a few half sheet pans, two cheesecake molds, two mini muffin tins, an oversized muffin tin, and regular muffin/cupcake tins. Also, I have different sizes of cake tins, a square 8 x 8 brownie pan, bread pans, and a few others. Besides, I bake a lot, what can I say?
I have an old burlap sack that I cut and washed that I use for artisan bread.
I have a handheld mixer only. The bread dough gets done by hand, but I don’t mind the work kneading.
I have a frame that I built out of scrap wood, and I have a plastic cover over it that acts as my proof box. Even on the coldest days, it keeps my doughs nice and warm.
I’m sure I left something out, but I think I got the basics. Well, basic for anyone who bakes often. I know it sounds like a lot of stuff, but I use it, and I’ve had years to collect it.
My husband is a chef, and between the two of us, we almost have enough to stock a professional kitchen. We’ve got so many tools, but we do use them.
Most home cooks could get by on a few mixing bowls, paring and chef knife, scale, and mixer, with a few baking tins and pans. Unless you’re planning to set up a catering business, you don’t need a lot.