The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Janna3921's picture


I know I asked a loaded question that will give me lots and lots of suggestions, but really what I want to get a idea of is the most important ones.

New stand mixer, check have one that has the bread hook, strong motor and should stand up to my occasional baking of bread, rolls and such.

Baking sheets, have some very nice sheets I bought recently, and found back in the cabinets two stoneware baking sheets, one that is around 10 x 15 and another that is round with sides that has it being approx. two inches deep, about 14 inches, size of a med pizza.

Bought from Amazon some parchment paper already cut, a scrapper, the Bread Baker's Apprentice, the 15th anniversary edition, and King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion baking cookbook.  Picked up some bread machine yeast and two strips of rapid rise, instant, yeast.  

Is there anything else of importance that I need?  Limited income so am really careful of what I pick up, a must have is what I am focusing on for gradual buying.  




barryvabeach's picture

First purchase should be a digital scale, unless you already have one, it makes your results much more consistent.    

AndyPanda's picture

I bought these bowl scrapers. You don't need six of them :) but having two of them is nice as you can use the second one to scrape the dough off the first one and get every last bit of dough.

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

The next time you're going through Walmart, pick up a 1 lb package of instant yeast. It should be around $5 or so. You'll find that you can keep about a month's supply in a small tupperware type container in the fridge and keep the rest in an airtight container in the freezer. It will keep over a year in the freezer as long as you keep it dry.

jimbtv's picture

It sure is nice getting the chance to spend someone else's money! :-)

The two items I cannot live without when baking bread are my digital scale set to grams and my Thermapen instant read thermometer.

A baking stone is probably in your future.

Janna3921's picture

LOL  I have all of those, so I guess I am more prepared than I though.  Bought a scale years ago to use in mailing packages but weights lbs, oz, and grams.  Hubby has a thermometer, don't know the brand but it is for grilling, candy making and it seems to work fine with the bread that I am making another attempt on.   A couple of days ago the parchment paper, already cut to size and a scrapper arrived from Amazon. 

Not to sure how this new batch will do, had too much oil in the bowl that we put the dough into to rise, it was a plastic one and the bathroom was really cold, so it took almost three hours to rise, after two hours and no rising and the bowl was still cool to the touch we poured it into a metal bowl.  A hour later it had doubled its size.   We just put it back in for the second rise in the bread pan.  It will either be good or a trash loaf and a new attempt tomorrow, pretzels for our son is one item to be made.

Want a good laugh at my expense, LOL?  Decided to make pretzels from a box in a pantry that was close to expiration date.  Opened it up, said to put the mix in, so opened the yeast, the mix and not thinking, opened up the baking soda and put that in with the water and oil.  Realized as I was mixing it up what I did.  Tossed it, pretzels to be made tomorrow.  :)  

I have three Pampered Chef stoneware, one is a round dish that has two inch sides.  It is the size of a med pizza from Pizza Hut, a 8 x 15 baking sheet I guess is the best way to describe it, perfect for a loaf like French Bread and a small one that I don't think would be good for any type of bread making, unless I am going to make a small batch of something.  

What is the best type of bowl for the dough to rise in?  I can't see the expense of one of those bannaton(sp???)  bowls, but I don't think the plastic is a good choice, we switched the dough to a metal bowl and it finally started to rise.  It probably helped that the bathroom went from being 65 to 75.

Told hubby we will need to turn the heater on in the bathroom before we even start mixing the bread so it can be warm by the time we are finished mixing the dough.  We keep our heat on 67 degrees and that bathroom doesn't have any heat in it (we turned a small storage room into a bathroom),

alfanso's picture

is an essential "tool" for home baking.  No, really!   How to create it is pretty easy, but the "tools" that will benefit you the most, assuming that you are not using a Dutch Oven, will be 1 or 2 pans that can take the heat of the oven at full blast and either a terry kitchen towel or 2 and/or a lava rocks (those things that go into BBQ grills).  

Look up on this site (upper right hand corner search box) Sylvia's Steaming Towels and Lava Rocks, and you will be richly rewarded with more links to research than you can shake a stick at!

If you have an electric oven, these are both exceptional solutions to generating steam in your oven.  Not so much with gas ovens which are designed to vent really well - hence the rapid loss of that essential steam.

Janna3921's picture

Thank you for the reminder.  We have a convection oven.  I did put a foil pan with water in the oven, but didn't leave it in long enough (just 10 minutes), and that was just one of my many mistakes.  LOL  Should have had the bathroom warmer, forgot when it finished the first rise to put it on a flour surface and fold it like a letter, then gently put it into the loaf pan.  Then forgot to score it.  Should have set the heat higher instead of 375 degrees but put it at 400 then dropped it down to 375 for 10 minutes and drop to 350 for the rest of the time.  I started at 385, then dropped it to 350 degrees for10 minutes, then dropped to 330 for the remainder. 

So, it came out tasting okay, but was quite dense.  Reading here some info on dense bread I was going, Oopps, forgot to do that, and that and that and . . . .   LOL