Tools of the Trade
I often receive emails or comments asking about a particular piece of kitchen equipment or a specific ingredient. As you might imagine, there are some tools and ingredients that I absolutely swear by and that are indispensable to me. I have listed below my most commonly used pieces of kitchen equipment and some of my favorite ingredients, with specific brand and product information included, where possible. Hopefully this will make shopping for new kitchen toys and stocking your pantry even easier!
- Baking Stone: Pizza Baking Stone from King Arthur Flour
- Belgian Waffle Maker: Waring Professional Stainless-Steel Belgian Waffle Maker
- Biscuit Cutters: Ateco 6-Piece Double Sided Round and Square Cutter Sets
- Blender: Vitamix Professional Series 500 (I previously used a KitchenAid 5-Speed Blender and loved it.)
- Cake Pans: Parrish Magic Line Pans – 8-inch square, 9-inch square, 9×13-inch, 8-inch round, 9-inch round and 9-inch loaf pan
- Cast Iron Skillet: Lodge Logic 12-inch Skillet
- Citrus Zester: Microplane Ultimate Citrus Tool
- Cookie Sheets: Vollrath Aluminum Cookie Sheets
- Dutch Oven: Le Creuset 7¼-Quart Round Dutch Oven
- Food Processor: Cuisinart 11-Cup Food Processor
- Half-Sheet Baking Pans: Lincoln Wear-Ever Half-Size Sheet Pans
- Hand Mixer: Cuisinart 7-Speed Hand Mixer
- Ice Cream Maker: KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment
- Instant Digital Thermometer: Thermapen Instant Read Thermometer
- Kitchen Scale: Escali Pana Volume Measuring Scale
- Knives: J.A. Henckels 8-inch chef’s knife, 7-inch santoku knife and 6-inch utility knife
- Oven Thermometer: Taylor Classic Oven Thermometer
- Pastry Mat: Silicone Rolling Mat from King Arthur Flour
- Pots & Pans: Calphalon Contemporary Stainless Steel Cookware
- Slow Cooker: Crock-Pot 6½-Quart Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker
- Stand Mixer: KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Stand Mixer
- Whisks: Rösle Balloon Whisk and French Whip
- Chocolate & Chocolate Chips: I use Ghiradelli chocolate, which I buy at my local grocery store, for all of my baking. I will also use Lindt chocolate when I need high-quality white chocolate.
- Cinnamon: I use Penzeys Vietnamese Extra Fancy Cinnamon
- Cocoa Powder: When a recipe calls for unsweetened cocoa powder, I use Hershey’s Cocoa (natural unsweetened), which can be found at your local grocery store. For Dutch-process cocoa powder, I use Penzeys Dutch Process Cocoa Powder.
- Diastatic Malt Powder: This is used in my bagel recipes and I purchase it from King Arthur Flour.
- Espresso Powder: I purchase Medaglia D’ Oro Instant Espresso Powder at a local Italian market.
- Fleur de Sel: I am currently using Fleur de Sel French Sea Salt from Williams-Sonoma.
- Flour: I use King Arthur Flour exclusively for almost all of my flour. I keep the following flours in my pantry (the first three I can purchase at my local grocery store): All-Purpose Flour, Bread Flour, Whole Wheat Flour and Hi-Gluten Flour. I purchase cake flour from the grocery store and use either Swan’s Down or Softasilk brands.
- Malted Milk Powder: Some readers have been able to find this at their local grocery store, but I never have and order mine from King Arthur Flour.
- Maple Syrup: I purchase my maple syrup from the grocery store or Sam’s Club. The key is to buy pure maple syrup, not the artificial syrup most of us grew up putting on our pancakes, or your recipes just won’t turn out.
- Pastry Bags & Decorating Tips: I use Wilton brand decorating bags and tips, which I purchase at Michael’s craft stores.
- Peanut Butter: I use either JIF or Skippy brands of peanut butter for my baking. Important Note: Unless a recipe specifically calls for natural peanut butter, using it can wreak havoc on your recipe unless you use a no-stir type that does not need to be refrigerated.
- Vanilla Beans: Vanilla beans can be extremely expensive, so I find it most economical to buy them in bulk. I purchase Madagascar Vanilla Beans from Penzeys.
- Vanilla Extract: I love the Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract from King Arthur Flour, and I go through a lot of vanilla extract, so my most economical option is the 32-ounce bottle!