The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

baking equipment

biuta's picture

Hobby to Business

September 22, 2009 - 8:34am -- biuta

I have baked more or less daily for the last year and started to have consistent results at this level.

I am now considering to push this to the next level and start an artisan bakery. 

I am fully aware that jumping from a few loaves a day to a few hundred loaves a day or more is not a walk in the park, but I am trying to figure out as much as I can from what is actually involved.

I am planning on volunteering to an artisan bakery in a town nearby to get first hand experience.

ejm's picture
ejm

Rose Levy Beranbaum has put together a step-by-step guide to making bread, plus essential equipment and ingredients and 8 classic recipes for Epicurious. The primer looks good. Except for one part. I would revise the list of "essential equipment" for bread baking by including only the following:

Absolutely Essential:

  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Large Wooden Spoon
  • Bench Scraper
  • Large Mixing Bowl with lid (doubles as a Dough-Rising Container)
  • Cooling Rack
  • Cookie Sheet
  • Parchment Paper

essential equipmentcooling racks

Optional but Nice:

  • Scales (Spring and/or Digital)
  • Proofing Boxes (oven with only the light turned on works well)
  • Banneton (any old basket or colander lined with a tea towel works)
  • Baking Stone
  • Loaf Pans (including a Cast-Iron Pan)
  • Long Bladed Serrated Knife
  • Baking Peel
  • Broiling Pan
  • Pump Spray Bottle (for water)
  • Thermometer
  • Timer

Completely Unnecessary:

  • Stand Mixer, Bread Machine, or Food Processor

Hand mixing is very easy to do, especially if you have a nice large wooden spoon or paddle. Hand kneading is equally easy, especially with the help of a bench scraper. And now, of course, there are many "no-knead" bread recipes that completely eliminate the need (no pun intended) for putting dough onto the board at all.

Other gadgets (scales, bread stones, thermometers, etc. etc.) are nice to have but are definitely not necessary. I gather that electric mixers are very nice as well. But I can't really say as I don't have one; nor do I have any desire for one. (No counter space.) All bread bakers, even novices, can produce wonderful bread in their kitchens with just these few items.

One More Absolutely Essential Item:
Oh yes, and one more thing that is absolutely required for baking bread:

  • a heat source....

An oven or barbecue will do the trick. :-)

-Elizabeth

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This is a partial mirror of a post on my blog that covers all aspects of food. Read the full post here:

And here is the link to Beranbaum's Bread Primer:

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