The “shaping” step, for some kinds of pastry, can be extremely involved. However you can do a heck of a lot with just the implements you see here (starting with the background of this and every Joe Pastry photo: a nice, solid maple board). The bench scraper on the bottom left is something most home bakers don’t own, but is invaluable for scraping up sticky bread doughs, portioning dough for rolls, cutting the ends off jelly rolls, the list goes on.
You’ll notice the three pins I own. The tapered one is French, useful for light-duty jobs that need finesse. The cylindrical one is an Asian-style, which is my go-to all-around pin. The big honking’ German pin is what I use to roll large quantities of laminated dough. It’s fabulous for any job that requires extra muscle.
Of course once that dough is portioned and rolled, you usually need to trim or cut it. The pizza cutter and round cutter set will take you far in that department. I couldn’t find my little biscuit cutter for this shot, but it belongs there. Of course you can buy cookie cutters in a million custom shapes. I have quite a few holiday shapes, but then I only use them once a year!
The pastry brush isn’t about “shaping” strictly speaking, but then shaping is the step that you generally apply the melted butter or egg wash. I’ve had that little one for years and it’s all I really need.