Are you excited for the return of The Great British Bake Off? The fifth series starts on Wednesday August 6th at 8pm, so it’s not long before Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry hit our screens to critique cakes, lambast loafs and pan puddings.
Bready or not, here they come, you can’t hide. Gonna find choux and bake it slowly. Bake Off. On One. Weds 6th Aug. pic.twitter.com/XpBNpJddFQ
— BBC One (@BBCOne) July 23, 2014
If you love breads and desserts as much as Mel and Sue, there’s no doubt you’ll be one of the many Brits eager to get their aprons on after watching the show. You can even find GBBO recipes on the BBC site, and try your hand at recreating some of the bakers’ treats.
However, to avoid the dreaded soggy bottom and be crowned Star Baker, you’ll need to work on your baking skills and ensure you have the right tools for the job. Check out our guide to the must-have kitchen gadgets now, and all you’ll be missing is the Bake Off tent.
The GBBO’s amateur bakers would be lost without their trusty stand mixer, which helps them beat, whisk and knead to perfection quickly — and without the arm ache!
If you have a big or particularly hungry family, choose a mixer with a large bowl capacity. That way, you’ll be able to knock up bigger batches of dough and batter without hassle.
Looking to prepare pizza bases and breads? A high-wattage machine tends to be best, as more power means they’re better equipped to deal with thick dough. Make sure you have a dough hook attachment, too!
Versatile speed settings will be useful for baking delicate cakes and pastries, as they’ll give you more control over the consistency. Both a beater and whisk attachment will be necessary for this type of baking.
Finally, look out for something stylish. Stand mixers are quite large, so are typically displayed on your worktop. We love the sleek Kenwood MX274 Patissier Food Mixer in black, which also boasts impressive specifications.
You’re sure to stumble on technical challenges without accurate measurements, so digital scales are a must. We love the Morphy Richards Digital Jug Scales, which have a lock-and-release bowl featuring volume measurements.
Food processors slice and dice to make preparing ingredients quick and easy. They’re ideal for whizzing up biscuits for a cheesecake base, chopping up onions for pies or grating cheese for flavoured loaves.
Again, the bowl capacity is something you should take into consideration, as is the power and style. The Kitchenaid 5KFPM771SOB is a professional-quality processor that delivers exceptional performance. If this isn’t within your price range, the Russell Hobbs Desire is a fantastic alternative.
When you’re working with smaller amounts of ingredient, a stick blender is more suitable. This gadget allows you to finely chop herbs and grind down nuts. Plus, with a whisk attachment, you can make small portions of whipped cream or prepare a miniature meringue.
The Swan SP20120N hand blender is ideal, boasting a powerful motor, stainless-steel blades and handy attachments, including a whisk and chopper bowl.
Whether you’re baking key lime pie, lemon drizzle cake or chocolate orange mousse, a citrus press will come in handy. These gadgets quickly remove every last drop of flavour — without ‘bits’ — and make it easy to use fresh juice in your recipe.
What showstoppers are you planning to bake in the coming weeks? Are you going to try your hand at a tricky croquembouche or eight-strand plaited loaf? Let us know in the comments below!