1. King Arthur Flour Fresh Sourdough Starter ($9)

"Sourdough baking can be challenging, to say the least," writes Sarah Jampel at Bon Appetit. This starter-in-a-jar takes the stress out of creating a fermented dough, and because it descends from a strain that's over 100 years old, "you know it's going to be bubbly, active, and reliable." Buy it at King Arthur Flour.

2. Silpat Half-Size Baking Mat ($21)

Don't want to fuss with parchment paper? Place this French-made mat on a baking sheet to create a nonstick surface. Made of ­dishwasher-safe silicone embedded with heat-conducting fiberglass, the Silpat "performs beautifully." Buy it at Amazon.

3. Whetstone Woodenware French Rolling Pin ($27)

Tapered, French-style rolling pins offer far better control than pins with handles, and they're also easier to clean. This 23-inch maple pin is "ideal for rolling rounds of crust for pie," writes Hannah Kirshner at The Wirecutter, and it's "sturdy enough to last a lifetime." Buy it at Whetstone Woodenware.

4. Jenaluca Cookie Scoop ($18)

A sturdy portion scoop is the secret to making trays of uniform-size cookies quickly. And once you have one, you might also reach for it when making cupcakes, muffins, or meatballs. Available in three sizes or as a three-piece set. Buy it at Amazon.


5. CDN TM8 Multi-Task Timer ($16)

This trusty little kitchen timer "will become your handy sidekick," writes Zoë Sessums at Bon Appetit. The TM8 can clip to an apron, stick to a fridge, and track multiple tasks at once. After ringing, it begins counting up, so you know how much time has elapsed. Buy it at Amazon.

Editor's note: Every week The Week's editors survey product reviews and articles in websites, newspapers, and magazines, to find cool and useful new items we think you'll like. We're now making it easier to purchase these selections through affiliate partnerships with certain retailers. The Week may get a share of the revenue from these purchases.