It’s National Baking Week (15-21 October) and series nine of The Great British Bake Off is nearing its showstopping finale, so what better time to don your apron?

We’re firm believers that everyone can bake, given a good recipe, give-it-a-go confidence and the right equipment.

Accurate measuring, particularly, is key ­– the "bung it in, it’ll be fine" approach is a recipe for disaster with baking.

The perfect kit should perform so well you’ll barely think about it, while a flawed, niggly piece makes simple tasks clumsy and annoying. Here are ten pieces that get the Paul Hollywood handshake approval from us.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent

Salter 5kg Glass Electronic Digital Kitchen Scales: £16.99, Amazon

We understand the retro appeal of the mechanical scales your grandma used to have, but they just aren’t accurate enough: the reading changes depending on your viewing angle, and you can forget trying to weigh out 7g of yeast. Electric scales are much smaller and easier to store, and give far more accurate results. Our pick are these slick black ones from Salter, as seen on Bake Off. Save on washing up by weighing into a mixing bowl and resetting the scale between each ingredient.

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Joseph Joseph 2in1 Measuring Jug: £15, John Lewis & Partners

Your stand measuring jug makes accurately measuring anything under 50ml – or even 100ml – guess work. Kings of clever cookware Joseph Joseph have solved that with its 2-in-1 jug, which has four rounded corners, rather than one pouring spout, one of which is located in a small chamber with marks for measuring amounts from a teaspoon (5ml) up to 50ml in 10ml increments. The large chamber has your usual setup of 50ml-1l in 50ml increments. If you want to be really accurate while measuring, say, 370ml, you can combine both functions (350ml from the large chamber, 20ml from the small).

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KitchenArt Adjustable Teaspoon: £7.75, Amazon

This is the best alternative we’ve found to our beloved but sadly no-longer-available Salter x Heston Blumenthal adjustable measuring spoons. There is too much variation in size in the spoons you eat with to use them for accurate measurement, but we find the usual set of five measuring spoons clipped together both clunky to use and easy to lose. With the KitchenArt adjustable spoons ­­– also available for a tablespoon – you simply have one spoon that you slide up and down to change the size in fraction increments between 1 and 1/8.

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Pyrex Mixing Bowl Set: £12.99, Ocado

There’s nothing worse than those metal mixing bowls that make abrasive sounds when mixing, aren’t microwave safe and are too shallow and so send clouds of flour everywhere. Go for a simple classic for a trio (0.5l, 1l, 2l) of shock-resistant, microwave, oven, freezer and dishwasher-safe Pyrex bowls instead. And because they’re clear, you can see if you’ve missed a patch at the bottom while mixing, too.

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Lakeland 2lb Loaf Tin: £8.99, lakeland.co.uk

Along with round 20cm tins, a loaf tin is our most-used shape. Use it for simple, minimum-fuss cakes – such as lemon drizzle or banana bread – that don’t need a lot of attention once they’re out of the oven, or to shape farmhouse loaves. This durable carbon steel one will last you years and it doesn’t have the rolled edges, which leave space for water (ie, rust) and crumbs to collect, that you see on many tins.

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Fletchers’ Mill French Rolling Pin: £19.75, boroughkitchen.com

We’re firm believers in buying fewer, higher quality pieces of bakeware that will last a lifetime without losing their nonstick finish. A flat baking sheet is a versatile choice, which can be used for macarons, bread loaves, biscuits, meringues, and this one is made from aluminium (a better heat-conductor then the usual steel) and has a lip on just one side for you to grip – rather than a rim the whole way round – to monopolise on space.

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Silverwood Heavy Duty Baking Sheet: £14.95, souschef.co.uk

We’re firm believers in buying fewer, higher quality pieces of bakeware that will last a lifetime without losing their nonstick finish. A flat baking sheet is a versatile choice, which can be used for macarons, bread loaves, biscuits, meringues, and this one is made from aluminium (a better heat-conductor then the usual steel) and has a lip on just one side for you to grip – rather than a rim the whole way round – to monopolise on space.

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Mary Berry With Lakeland 20cm Sandwich Tin: £9.99, lakeland.co.uk

If you only buy one type of cake tin, it has to be the standard 20cm round, which is the size of just about every traditional cake recipe. It’s deep enough to be used alone for a single deep cake, but we suggest buying two so you have the option of sandwiching layers, too. These are loose-bottomed for versatility: turn your sponges out upside-down the classic way if they can handle it, or make use of the loose bottom for more delicate sponges and desserts. Developed in partnership with the reigning Queen of Cake (sorry, Prue), Mary Berry.

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KitchenAid 175 Artisan 4.8L Stand Mixer: £599.99, John Lewis & Partners

This perhaps doesn’t quite qualify as an ‘essential’, as you can manage perfectly well with a far cheaper handheld electric mixer, but our KitchenAid is by far the most-used and most-appreciated piece of kit in our kitchen. With 10 different speeds, three different attachments (beater, whisk and dough hook), and – most importantly – hands-free operation, it opens the world of more complicated baking: doughs that are too wet to knead by hand; macarons, which require so much beating you’d struggle to do it manually; Swiss meringue buttercream, which requires you to pour in a steady stream of boiling sugar syrup while whisking… The KitchenAid is a classic that can’t be beaten.

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Colourworks Silicone Spatula: £5.99, robertdyas.co.uk

A spatula seems like too simple a piece of kit to require much thought, but a perfect one is both hard to find and much missed if you don’t have it. Colourworks’ one is smooth silicone all over, making it comfortable to grip with just the right flex to scrape, and doesn’t have those hard-to-clean awkward joins between handle and head. It’s also virtually indestructible, being heat resistant to 260 degrees C.

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The Verdict: Best baking essentials

We’d call everything here a necessity, but the foundation of all baking is a good set of scales, so for that, Salter takes it.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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