The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Wish list

NancyB's picture
NancyB

Wish list

Greetings all: I am putting together my 'wish list' for supplies I think would be helpful in my initiation into the world of artisan bread making. I am thinking about a bread stone, scales, peel, proofing pail, and a book or two. Any suggestions/additions/subtractions would be appreciated!

I have been baking most of my life but only recently found this wonderful site and all the information contained within. My quest at the moment is to learn how to make french bread and sour dough.

I am really excited about this new adventure of learning and eating of course.

Cheers. NancyB

swtgran's picture
swtgran

How about a bench knife?  I think that is what they are called.  It is great for scraping your dough off your kneading surface, especially if you are working with a wet dough, among other things.  A bowl scraper is handy and very cheap. 

I also use a large stainless bowl for covering my dough at the beginning of the bake so I don't have to add water to the oven.  Other times, I use a cast iron lidded chicken fryer, but may people have dutch ovens for the same purpose.  The same thing is accomplished with diffent set ups.

You seem to be well on your way with your list and should be producing beautiful, tasty bread very soon. 

A camera so you can share all of your success stories with the rest of us would be fun.  Terry

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Hi,

I agree with Terry, a bench knive has become one of my most useful tools in breadmaking.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=bench+knife&x=0&y=0

A  higher precision scale for small amounts (salt, yeast) is also very useful.

http://www.amazon.com/Precision-Grain-Scale-Electronic-Sporting/dp/B0035XHOL2/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1314168691&sr=8-8

Baker's linen couche. Very useful for making French Bread. (Doesn't stick to the dough)

Bannetons.

And books?

My reference is Hamelman's Bread. I like Dan DiMuzios Bread Making, for its precision and its approach to baker's math. The breads turn out great, too. A bit up to personal taste.

Happy Baking,

Juergen

 

lumos's picture
lumos

I agree with above. A bench knife is very useful tool to have. I've actually read a pro-baker saying that would be the tool he'd keep if he'd ever forced to give up all the baking equipments/tools except for just one. (save for some sort of oven, I hope....) He said it's like an extension of his own arm, and I totally agree with him.  Can't live without it.

And if you're going for a bench knife, I recommend the type on this page.  It's make of flexible but stiff enough plastic which doesn't stick.  You can use it as a bench knife (the edges are sharp enough)  and a scraper (flexible enough to fit curved bowl).  With the  sides with different lenghth, it's very useful when you make cuts into the dough when you're making fougasse. 

That site is UK based, where I bought mine (x 3. Don't ask....), but I'm sure you can get a similar thing where you are, too.....I hope.

And as Juergen said, a digital scale is very useful, too.

For other things, you can more or less improvise with something you already have.  You can start buying 'the real stuff' gradually as your breadmaking life become more and more serious. ;)

 

dough-re-mi's picture
dough-re-mi

Be sure to get a scale that has digital ounces instead of 'fractional ounces'. In other words, a scale that can tell you '6.4 ounces', instead of one that only tells you '6.25 ounces, 6.5 ounces, 6.75 ounces'. My wife bought me one of the latter, and I finally got the former, and am much happier making the recipes from Hammelman's book.

 Once you have Hamelman's book, you will be spoiled. I have some other baking books, but am still looking for my second favorite after Hamelman. Bread Baker's Apprentice by Reinhardt is good I think, but Hamelman is still the most straight-ahead, precise, and least superstitious and woo-woo (i.e. no grape fuzz or pendulums for the sourdough).

I agree that a scale and bench knife are absolutely essential, as well as a bowl scraper. I use bench scrapers (one in each hand) for folding very wet dough and this extra large bench knife is good for that: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001V9LWQ0


A "Danish dough whisk" is a lot handier than you might think at first; I am very glad I got it:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002PABWJQ

I also agree that a high precision scale for measuring yeast and salt is helpful, especially in scaling recipes up or down.

I finally got a banneton, and like it a lot:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002O1FLK2

I will get one for batards when the money rolls in :-).

 

Finally, here is a great deal on nice flour sack towels: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003BS4856

You can't go wrong having some of these.

Good luck.

thomaschacon75's picture
thomaschacon75

It certainly is infuriating, as it's the only bread book I have that uses decimal ounces instead of fractional or whole.

I printed out a spreadsheet of decimal to fractional numbers and stuffed it in my copy of Bread.

plevee's picture
plevee

Is how my scale weighs, so not really a defect.

The only defect I'm aware of is in the book binding. My copy is falling apart.  Patsy

thomaschacon75's picture
thomaschacon75

Face shield (550 F oven; very hot; forget to stand back and you'll peel your eyebrows off or worse)

http://www.amazon.com/MSA-Safety-Works-817893-Adjustable/dp/B00009363F/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1314199862&sr=8-1

Peel (buy the widest one that'll fit in your oven; restaurant supply store) http://www.webstaurantstore.com/20-x-21-wooden-pizza-peel-with-21-handle/1244220.html

 

Parchment Paper (big box of flat sheets from restaurant supply store, not rolls from supermarket) ~$35 http://www.webstaurantstore.com/16-x-24-quilon-parchment-paper-pan-liner-1000-case/433JR24Q.html

Plastic Wrap (industrial-size roll w/ cutter blade; for bulk fermentation; Costco, etc.) $12 https://www.stretchtite.com/shop.asp

Razor Blades (for scoring) $40 http://www.sfbi.com/blades/blades_pack_of_250.html

 

Heavy-duty oven mits with forearm protection (for safety): http://www.sfbi.com/oven_gloves/heavy_duty_oven_glovepair_w/forearm_protection_1_size.html

Sprayer (for steam) $20 http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100188485/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053

jcking's picture
jcking

Nancy,

A small pocket scale is a god sent for measuring anything under 20g such as salt and yeast. They usually cost between 10-15$ US and weigh oz and gr in tenths.

Jim

NancyB's picture
NancyB

Holy smokes: I thought I amassed  a lot of gear when I took up stained glass. *LOL* How have I been baking all these years without the proper supplies?? Thanks so much for all the good advice. I'll start with the scales, scraper, bench knife, and oven stone oh and my camera. I'm anticipating good results and great fun.

NancyB