You're staring at sheet pans, mixing bowls, and pie plates, picturing future baking projects. Baking banana bread on a Sunday morning, make chocolate chip cookies on a lazy afternoon, perfecting your pie crust on a rainy day. Dreaming of the new life, you're about to embark on is a massive part of the fun of creating your wedding registry. But before you get too click-happy, there are a some things to consider when registering for bakeware and several essentials you want to make sure end up on your list.
"Make the most of your space, buy equipment that is multiple use and make sure you include a digital scale," says pastry chef and cookbook author Adam Young of beloved Mystic, Connecticut bakery Sift Bake Shop. Here's the bakeware you should register for, the things you can skip, and a few things to keep in mind when you're clicking add.
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What to Keep in Mind
When considering what bakeware to register for, keep these 4 pointers in mind:
Think About What You Already Have and Don't Have
Take a few minutes to inventory your current bakeware, making a list of any items that you think might need an update and anything that stands out to you as missing.
Opt for High-Quality Items
You want to select items that you'll use for years to come, so pay attention to durability and warranties by looking at online reviews and the materials. "Stainless steel will cost more but it will last a lifetime," says Young regarding sheet pans. "Stay away from aluminum, temperature fluctuations tend to cause aluminum to bow and won't last very long."
Aim for Versatility
Look for items that serve multiple purposes, such as bakeware that comes with storage lids. "We use sets of glass baking dishes that we bake with but have lids to hold something in," says Young.
Include a Range of Prices
The average wedding guest spends anywhere from $50 to $250, so mix splurge items with more affordable ones to make sure there are choices for all your guests.
Add These Sheets and Pans to Your Registry
Here's the basic baking pans you'll use on the regular:
Baking Sheets: For cookies and croissants as well as for roasting vegetables, you'll find plenty of uses for baking sheets. Young advises registering for several in different sizes, including half sheet, quarter sheet and the diminutive eighth sheet.
Rectangular Baking Pan: A 13 x 9-inch baking pan is one of the most commonly called for sizes you'll find in recipes. It's ideal for making sheet cakes, large-format brownies, and even casseroles. It's available in glass, ceramic, and metal options, with metal tending to be the most versatile for baking.
Bundt Pan: This type of round fluted tube pan comes in handy for making evenly browned, tender crumb Bundt cakes.
Loaf Pan: For that banana bread as well as for pound cakes and other quick breads.
Muffin Pan: From cupcakes to muffins to morning buns and popovers, make sure you have a muffin pan on your list. They come in metal and silicone and feature 6, 12 or 24 inset wells in several sizes, large, standard, and mini. Opt for one standard muffin pan, and then considering your baking habits add the others.
Round Cake Pan: Put at least two round cake pans on your registry so you can bake layer cakes. They come in several sizes, although the most common is a 9-inch.
Springform Pan: Often overlooked, this round pan has an expandable rim with a latch that locks into the bottom. A springform pan is used for making chocolate mousse cake, cheesecake, and shortcrust tarts.
Square Baking Pan: You'll also want a square baking pan for brownies, cookie bars, etc. You'll find they commonly come in 8x8 or 9x9.
Wire Rack: A wire rack is essential for cooling muffins, cookies, breads and cakes, it allows them to cool while also getting even air circulation to prevent sogginess.
Add These Baking Tools to Your Registry
From cookie scoops to whisks and slotted wooden spoons, there are many baking tools, small and large, you can add to your registry. Take a moment to consider what you need and focus on versatile items that you'll actually use. "I think people get carried away with gimmicky hand tools," says Young. "The classic whisk, classic spatula, there's a reason they haven't changed those in 50 years. They work the way they're supposed to." His advice is to keep it simple and opt for the classics.
Blender/Food Processor: Splurge on a high-quality food processor or blender. It'll come in handy for chopping and slicing large quantities of ingredients or blending cookie crumb crusts.
Chef's Knife: You'll want a good quality chef's knife on your list. The kitchen workhorse is the one you'll reach for time after time when it comes to slicing, chopping and dicing ingredients.
Fine sieve: Depending on what you typically bake, you might not need a sieve. Small size mesh sieves are most useful for dusting desserts with confectioners' sugar and cocoa, but if you like to make berry sauces from scratch, you might also find yourself reaching for this.
Hand mixer: Hand mixers are handy, especially when you need to whip something together that is too dense or heavy for a whisk but it isn't big enough to make pulling out the stand mixer worth it.
Kitchen Shears: Use these to score brioche loaves, snip fresh herbs, and so much more.
Measuring Cups (Liquid and Dry) and Spoons: These are some of the most essential items to have for baking, which requires a lot of measuring. You'll need both liquid and dry measuring cups and measuring spoons to get accurate measurements.
Microplane: This one might not seem obvious, but Young says you'll get a lot of use from a quality Microplane. "It's very versatile; we use it every day in the bakery," says Young, adding that you'll find yourself using it to zest citrus and grate ingredients like ginger or Parmesan for sweet and savory dishes.
Paring Knife: Sometimes called a utility knife, you'll probably have this on your registry if you don't already own one. This small knife with a 3-4 inch blade is necessary for cutting or peeling fruit for pies and other desserts.
Pastry Brush: While you could get by without this one, you'll find a pastry brush useful if you frequently bake things that require egg washes, such as biscuits or pie crusts or dishes that require a glaze.
Ramekins: Add a set of ramekins to your registry. Often overlooked, you'll find these small dishes helpful in portioning out ingredients ahead of time before you start baking and for making crème caramel, or even serving pudding or mousse.
Rubber Spatula/Scraper: Add at least two silicone spatulas to your wedding registry. You'll reach for them repeatedly when transferring semi-liquid or sticky batter to baking pans. They're also useful for spreading frosting on cakes and cupcakes and for getting every bit of chocolate hazelnut spread or jam out of the jar.
Rolling Pin: A rolling pin is essential for making cookies, breads and other pastries. Choose between a French rolling pin (tapered edges and no handles) or the more traditional cylindrical one. Many bakers (including Martha) prefer the French-style one for how easy it makes it to roll out dough, but it's really a matter of personal taste.
Spatula/Metal Turner: Sometimes confused with silicone baking spatulas, these normally metal turners are what you'll flip or transfer foods with.
Scale: If you only put one baking tool on your wedding registry, make it a digital scale says Young. "It's so important to weigh your ingredients."
Slotted Spoon: You'll find these available in metal, wood, or silicone. Opt for wood or silicone to make them easier to handle. You'll use them in cooking too but when it comes to baking, you'll find them handy them for lifting ingredients out of hot liquids, such as donuts or pretzels.
Spice Rack: Another item you should splurge on. Consider your spice needs and what will be the most useful for you. You can even custom design one, which is what Young did using skinny cylindrical jars that "store easily while being low profile," he says.
Stand Mixer: This used to be a must-have item on everyone's list, but for a while they fell out of favor, being considered cumbersome. They've slowly made a come-back, and we think a stand mixer is so worth it. Young agrees: "They have such a wide variety of attachments from citrus zester to pasta rollers to meat grinders, they've become a much more versatile machine."
Wooden Spoons: Get a few wooden spoons in different sizes. They'll come in useful for recipes that require vigorous hand mixing.
Whisk: You'll need a simple wire whisk to beat eggs, and it's also fantastic for mixing together dry ingredients.