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On Your Marks, Get Set, Bake...
Posted by Hayley Gilbert Monday, 5th October 2015
Once again, Wednesday evenings have been devoted to sitting down, feet up with a cup of tea, a slice of something naughty and The Great British Bake Off on the box. Now in its sixth series, the 12 homebakers have been tested on every aspect of their baking skills, from pastry and pies to bread and baklava. But it’s not just the cookery that I’m interested in. I always love checking out their workstations too – what colour the islands are painted this year, which gadgets and tools they bring into the tent and how they display their tasty treats.
(Cool Britannia magnetic notice board, £85, www.beyondthefridge.co.uk)
Kitchen design has certainly been influenced by our renewed passion for baking and a back to basics approach and designs have gone back to being more homely – moving away from the stark white minimalist style and turning to the traditional. Freestanding workbenches and islands are big news, especially in a pastel hand painted finish. Bespoke pieces can be made to measure to suit your space and style of cooking. Add some drawers and slatted shelving below and you double up on storage, too.
Shaker styles are an enduring trend and suit both classic and modern homes with their fresh painted cabinetry, soft colours, tongue-and-groove panelling and utility chic. The Carradale kitchen in blue grey from John Lewis is a bevelled Shaker style door available in 11 matt painted finishes. A pantry larder completes the look and is ideal for keeping all your baking essentials close to hand. It even has bespoke shelving options, integral wine rack and fitted LED lighting. Other options include an open display with spice drawers, double bookcase unit and feature wooden shelves.
When it comes to the appliances, Rangemaster has everything you need to get baking. Whether you prefer gas, electric, induction or dual fuel, there’s a size and style of range cooker to suit. Each model comes with a unique choice of features for perfect results every time. For keen bakers, the Rapid Response function is a real time-saver, as it heats the oven 30% faster than a fan oven, so you won’t waste time waiting for the oven to heat up before you pop those macaroons in.
Rangemaster Professional FX 100
This series the contestants are using the nine-speed KitchenAid Hand Mixer, which is inspired by the iconic Artisan stand mixer design. Powerful and lightweight with precision control, it’s ideal for smaller tasks such as whisking, mixing, kneading, whipping and blending.
(KitchenAid hand mixer, £109, www.kitchenaid.co.uk)
Taking inspiration from the Bake Off tent, wooden worktops are also coming back into our kitchens. Bear in mind that they are a high maintenance material and will require regular treatment with Danish oil to keep the water out. If you’re unsure about all-over timber, why not choose a feature area such as a wooden butcher’s block on the end of an island and team with a more hardwearing granite or solid surface for a mix and match approach.
(Cooke & Lewis Birch solid wood worktop from B&Q, www.diy.com)
Accessories can also give your kitchen an instant update and there are so many beautiful bakeware goodies to choose from. My favourites are rustic wooden chopping boards and platters and old-fashioned mixing bowls.
(Set of two acacia wood boards, £39.95, www.rigbyandmac.com)
(Katie Alice Cottage Flower bakeware, from £4.99, www.english-table.com)