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- Even though baking bread doesn’t require many ingredients, it does require a lot of tools to ensure you’re getting the best loaf possible.
- You don’t need to buy everything on this list and if you had to choose between the absolute essentials, go for a Dutch oven or a cast iron skillet to bake your bread perfectly.
- Luckily, a lot of these tools can be used for other things in your kitchen too, so you’ll find plenty of uses for them after your loaves are done.
- Once you’ve collected your tools, make sure to check out our recipe for how to make bread with yeast.
The beautiful thing about bread is that it’s really only composed of four ingredients — flour, water, yeast, and salt. And that simplicity makes it an approachable recipe for home cooks of any level to tackle.
Get to the “tools” section of the recipe, however, and things get a little more complicated. Each loaf of bread requires multiple mixing bowls, something called a “proofing basket,” and a razor blade for scoring. It’s enough to make your head spin — especially when you’re trying to shop for the best of these tools.
Here are the best bread-making tools, as recommended and reviewed by home chefs and professional chefs. Almost all of these tools are versatile and can be used for many other recipes, so you won’t be dropping cash on items that will collect dust when you’re not baking bread.
A Dutch oven, which pros say is the easiest way to bake bread
Chef Jeff Mahin says that a Dutch oven is the easiest vessel to bake bread in because the lid steams the bread during the first 10 minutes of the bake, leading to a more moist loaf. And even though a certain French brand tends to get all the shine when it comes to dutch ovens, I adore my Lodge for bread baking — and every other kind of cooking you can imagine. It’s sturdy, easy to clean, and much more budget-friendly than other enameled options.
A cast iron skillet that also works as a bread vessel
Thought you’d already come up with every possible use for your cast iron skillet? Well, add baking bread to its never-ending list. At $29.99, the Victoria SKL-212 skillet is the best option for folks on a budget — and it already comes pre-seasoned. It also boasts two drip spouts and a curved handle for easier leverage.
Insulated mixing bowls that keep dough at the correct temp
While you can just slap your dough in any ‘ol mixing bowl to let it rise, this OXO Good Grips set is insulated, which helps to regulate the temperature of your dough — a very important detail in bread baking. It has three different sizes, too, to help accommodate your dough throughout its multiple rises.
A bench scraper for shaping and cutting dough
A bench scraper is a necessary tool when it comes to shaping and cutting your dough because it helps tighten up your loaves, helping them to bake more evenly. This King Arthur Flour knife is extra-sharp and made especially for bread baking, but has so many other uses in your kitchen too. Use it to finely chop herbs or garlic, or to scrape scraps off of your counter when you’re done cooking.
A bread thermometer that’s incredibly easy to read
From your water to your finished loaf, the temperature is incredibly important to your bread baking process. That’s why an easy-to-read, accurate thermometer is a must-have. With its digital display and 2.5 mm tip, the Sur La Table digital thermometer is a perfect kitchen gadget for your baking recipes and beyond.
A food scale for accurate measurements every time
Most, if not all, bread recipes are measured out in grams because it leads to more precision. That’s where this Escali Primo kitchen scale comes in. It has an easy-to-read display and switches seamlessly between grams and ounces, so you can easily change between imperial and metric units, depending on which your recipe calls for.
A proofing basket with its own fitted liner
Proofing is the step right before baking that helps dry out the top layer of your loaf, which gives it that gorgeous, crispy crust. And while you can do it in a mixing bowl with a dish towel, this Banneton Proofing Basket with its own liner adds a certain look of professionalism to your endeavor. Plus, it ensures your loaf maintains its perfectly round shape and structure ahead of baking.
A scoring knife that easily cuts the top of the loaf
Scoring your bread isn’t just to make it look pretty. It allows your bread to expand in a controlled way so you get a proper bake. And while a sharp knife can do the trick, this Baker’s Bread scoring knife ensures you’re only cutting the top layer of your dough. It comes with 10 additional blades so you don’t have to hunt around for replacements.
A cooling rack that allows your bread to finish baking
One thing Mahin is stringent on is that you shouldn’t eat warm bread straight from the oven because you won’t get to enjoy its full flavor profile. It’s also important to let it cool out of the oven because it will finish cooking as it does. The Bellmain Cooling Rack is a good sturdy rack that’s easy to clean. It also fits a half cookie pan, so you can bake things like bacon on it in the oven, letting the grease drip into the cookie sheet and not onto the bottom of the oven.
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