It’s that time of year again: a dozen amateur bakers head to The Tent to find out who’s the best in Britain.
I don’t know about you, but Bake Off rolling around always makes me want to buy bakeware. I don’t even bake that much in my current home, because the oven and I aren’t on the best of terms, but it’s still tempting.
So I’m not lying when I say that looking at a whole feature of Bake Off-ready bakeware is a blessing and a curse. I want everything, but my rational side is annoyingly loud and good at holding me back.
Still, it’s good fun, so let’s have a look at what’s out there, shall we?
Bake Off-ready bakeware
First things first: measuring. Kitchen scales are all fair and well and an absolute essential – but what if there are no weight measurements? A lot of American recipes use cups instead, and I always find converting them into grams a headache. Enter a Bake Off-ready bakeware saviour: measuring cups. These geometric designs from Sass & Belle look super stylish. However, there are plenty of other designs out there too, from cute patterns to solid colours.
How’s your icing? I’m the first to admit that I lack skills, so an icing gun is a handy addition to your kitchen kit. But even better – this one, from Vonshef, is also excellent for making biscuits. Simply pop in your dough and select the right cutters, from flowers to hearts and other motifs. Looking at it is bringing up memories of standing in my grandma’s kitchen for hours on end. I’d be working dough through a meat mincer for the same results… so maybe it’s time for an upgrade?
Good tins and dishes are a must, and a pie dish is arguably the most Bake Off-worthy piece of bakeware. It’s not only hard-wearing, because ceramic can take a lot of use, but beautifully simple, too. Not to mention a pie dish might be the most versatile piece of bakeware you can own. Plus, it’s great if you like upside-down bakes like tarte tatin, but would rather not have to clean out caramel from your oven. (Please don’t ask, it’s a sore point.)
Staying on the topic of dishes and heavy-duty bakeware: a cast-iron casserole dish is a godsend. Great for searing and stews, it’s also one of *the* top pieces of Bake Off-ready bakeware to make Paul Hollywood’s signature bake a success. I’m talking, of course, about bread. What makes them so good, I hear you ask? They hold heat very well, which is one of the essentials you need to get right. And they’re one of the prettiest pieces of cookware you can own, too, which is always a bonus in my book.
A muffin tin is probably one piece of Bake Off-ready bakeware we all have at home – so why not venture off the beaten track a bit? Shaped pans, such as this Frosty Flakes design from Nordic Ware, are an easy way to make small cakes and biscuits even more fun. Whether you opt for a holiday-themed design like this one or a more neutral idea, they’re sure to wow your friends and family. Make sure you pick a good material, such as cast iron, that conducts heat well and spreads it evenly. So you end up with perfect bakes every time.
Featured image: Bella Perle home baking collection, from £8 for a beaded glass bowl, Dibor.
Missing appliances? Fear not – we have a whole feature dedicated to countertop helpers that will make baking a breeze.