The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Setting out into Bread! What can't I live without?

DeMaBrass's picture

Setting out into Bread! What can't I live without?

I discovered this website last week and fell in love with it! The mix of recipes, fixes, tips and discussions here is wonderful.

I've borrwed Lahey's "My Bread" from a friend who recommended I try the first 'no knead' bread recipe in the book to see how I like that style of bread baking. I also plan on trying the loaf preppared in this site's 'Lesson 1' tutorial.

I currently have access to:

-Mixing bowls (some ceramic, some glass) of various sizes

-Measuring cups/spoons

-Large counter area for kneading

-Wooden spoon for mixing

-Stand mixer (just in case!)

-Convection oven

-Aluminum baking sheets

-Dutch Oven

-Board Scraper

-Infer-red laser thermometer and probe-inserted instant read thermometer

From the looks of the recipes, this will suit me for my first couple of simple loaves, but I know I'm going to fall in love with making bread. What tools are essential for a bread baker, and what are brands that I should look for or avoid?


Thanks! --De

Yumarama's picture

You'll find a lot of suggestions in a thread that showed up a couple of days back:

what are your bread making essentials?

You can live without a lot of things, the question is do you want to?

What I see missing from your list (though you could "live without") is a digital kitchen scale that measures in grams and ounces. It will come in very very handy when you're trying to keep track of your dough making and if you want consistency and accuracy. Of course, humanity has done without for thousands of years (as well as thermometers and electricity) so this is one of those "should haves" but you can certainly make bread without. If I had to trim back, it would be one of the last things I'd put away.

And I'd add a probe thermometer before an infared to that list. This lets you check the internal temp of the bread.

Convection oven is, IMHO, a live without item as many people find it is counterintuitive to adding steam. The blown air will tend to dry the loaf when you want it to stay moist. It is useful, however (mine is anyway) for fast pre-heating.

I'd also add Baking Stone to your list of "good to have" items. Optional but a very good thing to have.

JustJoeAKABeans's picture

     You'll get all manner of ideas but I have actually dumping stuff as I try different breads, you have the basics the things I would add would be either a stone or tiles for the oven and being a big fan of slow fermentaion I have some proofing buckets marked so you can glance at a doubleing. (and speaking of proofing, I have made do for quite a while with a cheap cooler with a hole punched in it and a christmas candle light for some warmth)

gingk's picture

I would add the following:

A digital scale - essential, a flexible plastic bowl scraper, parchment paper, stretch rite plastic wrap (you can get it at Costco), spray vegetable oil (like Pam), a good baking stone and peel, some set up for steaming (I use an old roasting pan full of lava rocks) to set on the bottom rack of your oven.   Fine mesh sink strainers are a great idea to keep the washed up dough from going down your drain (King Arthur sells them).    Also a couple of great books -- Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day and Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread....that should keep you busy!


curvesarein's picture

Buy a Bosch Universal Mixer and Nutrimill grinder. You can decide what attachments you (KNEAD) LOL. But I used this equipment 30 years ago and just bought a new machine. I know I won't be dissappointed when I start baking tomorrow. Flourgirl on here is a distributor and I bought from her and got 3 free gifts. Need I say this machine kneads 8 loaves of bread in 10 minutes!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and something to steam the oven.  Either a pan of lava rocks or an old towel you can wet, roll up and stick into the oven for steam or a cover for the baking loaf with some room for the expanding loaf or a dutch oven lid is just as good!

msgenie516's picture

A dough docker and a peel are nice to have.  Not essential, as you can use a fork to make little holes and an upside down cookie sheet lined with parchment paper to transfer your pizza/bread to a stone, but these are so much easier, faster, and efficient!  Genie