Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Handy Kitchen Tools

I have a running group that meets on Thursdays to run.  I've brought treats a couple of times, and when I was at the half-marathon last weekend, one of the guys asked for baked goods this week.  I had bananas in the freezer that I accidentally let thaw partially, so they were no good for banana soft-serve (try it! seriously!), so I decided to bake banana-black raspberry muffins.

I would give you all the recipe, but I sorta made it up based on the Basic Muffin Recipe in Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.  (I really should measure things, but I am so lazy).  I'm not going to give you all a recipe, but I am going to talk about one of my favorite kitchen tools: the dough whisk.

But first, a picture of Neko, who jumped onto the stool in the kitchen to get attention (on top of my cookbook). We have trained her using peanut butter (yes, she loves peanut butter), so she associates the stool with petted, food, or treats

I first heard about the dough whisk from Chocolate & Zucchini.  Intrigued, I decided to buy one for Lance and his brother for Christmas one year.  They both bake lots of bread.  I figured if a French woman with a tiny kitchen recommended it, then maybe it wasn't too gimmicky.

Lance and his brother both praised it as very useful indeed.  Since I usually leave the bread baking to Lance, I ignored it, content that Lance used it and liked it.  Until I started using it to mix the wet and dry ingredients for muffins and quick breads.

It's marvelous.  It works 1000 times better than a regular whisk or a rubber spatula.  AND it doesn't have dough sticking to it--the batter slides off easily and quickly.  I use it to whisk together dry ingredients:
And then to mix the wet and dry together.

You know how muffin/quick bread/cake recipes always admonish you to not "overmix" or DOOM will befall your baked treat? Well, this dough whisk gently combines the ingredients.  No overmixing!
And you know how if you mix something by hand, inevitably (even while risking the dreaded overmixing!) you miss some flour or something on the bottom?  Well, the dough whisk really gets it all.  No more flour spots lurking in the middle of your perfectly whisked batter.

If you find yourself making lots of muffins, pancakes, bread, etc, I would heartily recommend adding this to your kitchen tools.  Get rid of something pointless like one of those crappy whisks, if you have a small kitchen.  You won't regret it.

I'll leave you with an image of another well-used tool in my kitchen: the 1/2 cup ice cream scoop:
PERFECT for measuring out muffin batter.  And absolutely dead-on for the amount of cupcake batter you should portion out into each cup, as I mentioned yesterday.  Another tool well-worth the cost and drawer space!

1 comment:

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Kitchen Equipment