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Zmbi
3
Nov 8, 2017
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What would be essential for an aspiring baker who has to make due with a smaller then I would like kitchen
Nov 8, 2017
jkiemele
222
Nov 8, 2017
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A KitchenAid stand mixer and quality (non-flimsy) pans.
Nov 8, 2017
Rgconner
61
Nov 8, 2017
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A scale in grams.
Baking requires very exact ratios and measurement, and volume (cups/ml) is not good enough.
Nov 8, 2017
Tesshan
46
Nov 8, 2017
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A proper scale and a good oven
Nov 8, 2017
xylian
22
Nov 9, 2017
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Your situation sounds like my previous residence. I found the following useful:
1. Good quality half sheet pans: they can be used not only for baking and roasting, but as an ad hoc prep work surface (on the stove top or elsewhere as "extra counter space") 2. A medium-sized straight rolling pin: my counter space was so small that a large rolling pin was unwieldy. 3. Half sheet Silpats: on top of their intended purpose, multiple silicone mats can be used on your prep surface, switching various ingredients off the minimal counter space if necessary 4. A set of Pyrex glass bowls with lids: they are not only versatile as mixing bowls, but they can also be used for storage. They stack well when unused.
I had a stand mixer but I don't believe it's truly necessary unless you can spare the counter space.
Nov 9, 2017
josh.russell
236
Nov 9, 2017
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Definitely agree with everything here. I would add a good whisk and a good scraper. Also, to follow up on the pyrex note, Duralex is a fantastic glass brand. The Lys stackable bowls set, with lids, is fantastic. Something I personally own.
Nov 9, 2017
Atnguy3n
41
Nov 10, 2017
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A cast iron skillet is a good multi-tasker -- you can cook and bake lots of different things in it. It's a heavy piece but I think quite invaluable in a small kitchen.
Nov 10, 2017
b9d9ffdad3ac59e7f6f
135
Nov 12, 2017
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Minimal setup: flat scale, a set of at least 3 stackable bowls (stainless steel), half sheet pans (at least 2), rolling pin (no handles), balloon whisk, spatula.
Get a simple, accurate to 1g, tare-capable, metric-capable scale. You need exact measurements, and tare allows you to zero the container out. Bread and professional measurements are given as ratios (baker percentages) and it's easier to do ratio math in metric. Make sure you can see the read out if a bowl is on the scale. Flat so it stores easy (vertically even).
Recommending stainless steel bowls since it is ovensafe (e.g., timballo) and will take a beating. Why 3 minimum? Baking often requires preparing dry and wet ingredients separately, and the third is for whisking eggs and holding other miscellanea. You'll probably want even more bowls to hold individual ingredients for mise-en-place, material is less important here. Stackable so they take less space to store.
Jelly roll pans are simply smaller sheet pans but they are variable-sized. Sheet pans are standardized so you can fit cooling racks and silpats in them. They are versatile, as they can double for roasting veggies or simply supporting ramekins. You want a rolled-edge (less likely to warp) 18-gauge (lower is thicker, less likely to warp) stainless steel half sheet pan since they are literally half (18"x13") the size of a sheet pan (18"x26"). Why 2? You can bake two sheets at a time, or bake one while prepping the next one.
A cooling rack so stuff doesn't get soggy with condensation. And it'll fit in a half sheet pan for storage, since you're storing the half sheet pans anyway.
Plain wood rolling pin for rolling out dough. Handles just get in the way and take up space; yeah, you basically want a dowel (note that hardware store dowels may be treated with chemicals that aren't foodsafe). Like xylian said you can get a smaller one that suits your space.
If you have room for only one whisk then a balloon whisk will whip egg whites to peaks very quickly, and break up flour/sugar clumps well enough to not require a flour sifter (and it's debatable if a sifter is even necessary compared to whisking).
Silicone spatula to scrape stuff, fold ingredients in. It's more versatile than a bowl scraper.
What I didn't list:
A mixer. If you don't have room for a stand mixer then you simply do it by hand. You can make a NY-style cheesecake with a bowl and whisk. It will take longer and you will have sore arms, but it's possible. I do suggest an electric hand mixer for less dense things, as well as dough hooks. But again, you can do all of this by hand. You'll know if you want to dedicate the room for one quickly enough.
Silpats. They fit perfectly in a half sheet pan but honestly never use it for baking traditional things where I want the heat of the sheet to transfer. There are fun applications for a bakeable non-stick surface like Mango Chili Leather http://modernistcuisine.com/recipes/mango-chili-leather/ but consider it also for quick cleanup when working with sticky dough. Easier to bring it to the trash or sink than to clean a stationary surface. Also, very easy to store. I roll mine around my rolling pin.
Pastry/dough scraper. You may want this but it depends on what you're making.
Bread pans, springform pans, Bundt cake pans, other vessels. I don't know what you're making and these take up significant storage space. I bake breads that need a form in a Dutch oven, and I make quickbreads in standard stainless steel pans. Though I tend to gravitate toward breads that don't need a form.
Nov 12, 2017
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