Baking guide

An ever popular pastime, baking is one of the best ways to relax at home, not to mention the perfect excuse to make tasty desserts. Whether you're a baking novice, a pie expert, or just looking for something new to entertain the kids, finding the right equipment for the job is as essential as using the right recipe.

Tesco have created a comprehensive guide to help you find the right baking utensils and baking accessories to let you craft delicious home cooking every time. From baking trays to spatulas, and measuring spoons to rolling pins, we have all the info you need to kit out your kitchen. You'll be putting together beautiful cupcakes and scrumptious tray bakes before you know it.

Essential baking utensils

Different baking tasks require different utensils, but every keen baker should have their kitchen stocked with these essential items available to buy from Tesco:

  • Spatula
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Measuring spoons
  • Rolling Pin
  • Cake tester
  • Icing shaker
  • Piping bag
  • Timer
  • Scales
  • Pastry Brush
  • Whisk

Tins and tray types

Baking trays and cake tins come in a range of shapes and sizes. From muffin trays to tart tins and traditional circular cake tins for your food, the selection available gives you the help you need to make a whole host of tasty baked treats.

Quiche tin

Quiche tins tend to be shallow circular tins that are ideal for evenly cooking quiches. They come in varying sizes for family cooking or dinner parties, and tend to be non-stick so you can easily remove your freshly cooked quiche in one piece.

Loaf tins

Despite the name loaf tins are not always made of tin. They are a necessary tool for creating a well-shaped loaf of bread with even slices. They tend to be lidless allowing the loaf to rise.

Cake tins

Cake tins are designed to help you bake the perfect cake, from special wedding cakes to traditional Victoria sponges filled with jam and cream. They tend to be made of either aluminium or stainless steel.

Muffin trays

The easiest way to bake light muffins is with a muffin tray. These baking trays have handy muffin size depressions inside them, letting you easily create uniformly shaped and evenly cooked muffins when you pour your mixture into them. They usually have non-stick surfaces so you can remove the muffins once they're cooked. Darker coloured products make for muffins with a crispier finish, whereas shiny trays tend to bake muffins with softer sides, so what you choose is entirely down to your own personal preferences.

Baking tray

Baking trays are a flexible cooking utensil that let you prepare everything from a key lime pie tray bake to a Sunday roast chicken. There are lots and lots out there when it comes to baking trays, but most will be rectangular in shape with a lipped edge. Shallow trays are ideal for roasting root vegetables or baking cookies, whereas deeper trays are better suited for cooking chicken or dishes with a lot of sauce.

Pizza tray

Pizza trays let you bake your own fresh and delicious pizzas quickly and easily. They frequently have vents on the bottom to allow the pizza to nicely crisp in the oven, and tend to be non-stick.

Loose bottom

Thanks to their removable bottoms, loose bottom baking trays are an ingenious way to safely bake delicious cakes. Take your baking out of the oven and once it's cooled you can remove it from the tin and it will not get stuck or crack in the middle.

Tart tins

Tart tins are small loose baking tins that let you create delicious individually baked sweet or savoury tarts. They usually come in sets of four or six.

Bakeware materials

Baking trays and tins are constructed from varying materials including ceramic, silicon and aluminium. Here are some of the advantages of each.

Aluminium

Aluminium is a popular material as it is cost effective and conducts heat very well. The only downside is that it is not the most durable metal and can become scratched or damaged over time.

Ceramic

Ceramic dishes tend to be used more for casseroles and stews rather than typical baking. The surface of these products heats up evenly and can withstand very high temperatures, so they can be used for a range of recipes.

Silicon

A non-stick material, silicon baking pans are increasingly popular. They are dishwasher safe, and can handle regular use in the oven.

Linea steel

Linea steel offers a high-quality option for your household baking. Sturdy, non-stick and versatile, linea steel baking trays should last for years with the proper care and washing, though they are not dishwasher safe.

Baking cookies and biscuits

Baking your own delicious sweet treats means that you can use your creativity to create unique shapes and tasty flavour combinations. These top tips you can help you get it right each time.

Use the best ingredients for biscuits, selecting free range eggs and soft butter that is easy to mix, for example. Try not to pack in the flour too tightly when you're measuring so there is plenty of air between the grains.

When you're measuring out the ingredients, use a measuring cup for dry ingredients, and a liquid one for liquid ingredients. This will help ensure that the amounts are precise and accurate, since baking is a scientific process.

A great way to keep the cookies even is by taking advantage of a cookie scoop, this lets you easily keep your biscuits the same size. Double check how long you need to bake it for, and remember to rotate the cookies halfway through.

Baking shortcrust pastry

Shortcrust pastry tastes even better when it's handmade, and even though it may seem a daunting task to begin with, our top tips will show you how easy it can be.

First things first, run your hands under the cold tap to lower their temperature. It is easier working with dough and pastry when you have cold hands. Another key consideration is using unsalted butter instead of margarine for a better colour and a richer flavour.

Once you've kneaded your dough, let it rest for at least a few hours and preferably overnight for the very best results. Once the pastry has had time to rest you can start to shape it how you'd like.

Creating puff pastry

Puff pastry is a bit more complicated, so most people tend to buy it pre-made, but with a little practice any amateur chef can master this slightly less healthy, but delicious ingredient.

The key to successfully making puff pastry is to ensure that the layers don't mix and stay distinct. The best way to do this when you're rolling the pastry is to keep it quite cold. If you are new to the process, try a recipe that requires less butter as this also keeps things simple. Puff pastry is perfect for topping pies or as a base for puff pizzas.

Cake decorating

No cake is complete without a decorative iced finish, and with our broad range of unique cake icing tools from brands such as KitchenCraft and Tala, you can make show-stopping creations that add colour, sweetness and personalisation to cakes.

Cake decorating is also lots of fun, and a great way to get the kids involved in the cooking. You can purchase ready-to-roll icing, or you can choose to make your own. As with any type of baking getting the right consistency for your frosting is crucial, otherwise it can run off the sides of the cake, ruining any patterns or letters you are trying to create. Tesco offer a range of piping bags and icing shakers to help you do everything from writing your child's name to creating star or leaf shapes with the appropriate nozzle.

Baking can be a process of trial and error, but with the right ingredients and the best utensils you can practice show-stopping cakes for special occasions like birthdays, or everyday treats that include cupcakes and biscuits.

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