There is no denying that freshly baked bread is one of the most delicious foods in the world. Bread seems like a basic staple, so it should also be easy to make on your own, right?
As it turns out, baking your own bread can take quite a bit of time, and, depending on the recipe and tools you use, it could take up to 2 1/2 hours to bake just one large loaf of bread.
You may be wondering if devoting the time to make your own loaves is really worth your while.
Well, for starters, baking your own bread is actually much cheaper than simply buying a loaf from the store, and it tastes better, too!
However, there are several bread making supplies you need to get started.
- Bread Making Supplies for Baking Bread from Scratch
- Other Small Bread Making Tools
- Bread Making Supplies: The Pantry Staples
- The Bottom Line
Bread Making Supplies for Baking Bread from Scratch
A baking stone is a large piece of stoneware used to bake bread or pizza. These stones retain heat much better than normal baking sheets or tins, allowing the heat to be more evenly disturbed around the bottom of your loaf. This will give your bread a nice, crispy crust.
Baking stones come in many different sizes, shapes, and materials.
Typically, you will want a baking stone that does not have a long handle at the end of it so that the stone can easily fit into your oven.
Round stones are the most common types, but rectangular or square shape models tend to best fit beginners. This is because these longer shapes are more forgiving of mistakes you might make when shaping your dough, and you can also bake longer loaves on them.
Cook’s Illustrated tested five different baking stones on their durability, their ability to withstand 500 degrees or more without cracking, how well each stone performed in producing an evenly baked, crispy crust, and how easy each stone was to use.
After going through all these tests, they found that the Old Stone Oven brand rectangular pizza stone was the best of the five.
The Pizzacraft All-Purpose Baking Stone is another great pizza stone option for those on a budget.
Dough Scraper/Bench Knife
A dough scraper or bench knife is a tool that removes dough stuck to any surface, including the inside of bowls and any stuck to the space you use to roll out or knead your dough. You can also use it to scoop up your dough and cut it into smaller portions.
These are typically made of plastic or are just large blades with handles attached to the top. In fact, the terms “dough bowl scraper” and “bench knife” are often used interchangeably when talking about this tool.
For the sake of differentiating between the two, however, we will be referring to the plastic scrapers as “dough scrapers” and the blades as “bench knives.”
If you tend to use a bowl to mix and knead your dough, you should purchase a smaller plastic dough scraper instead of a bench knife. A bench knife may end up scratching the bowl, and you may accidentally cut yourself in the process.
Skillet asserts that the OXO Good Grips bench knife is of great quality at an affordable price. It even has measurements engraved on the bottom of the blade with half-inch increments to allow for more precise cuts.
Loaf tins are, of course, tins that you bake bread in. Baking stones are nice for creating an evenly crispy crust, but if you want your bread to retain that classic loaf shape, loaf tins are the way to go.
They come in a variety of sizes and materials. The most common size these tins come in is 9 inches by 5 inches with 2 1/2 inches of depth for large loaves.
Loaf tins can be made out of glass, ceramic, and metal, and each material can determine how your bread will turn out.
Keep in mind that if you use a glass or ceramic pan for your bread, you should lower the oven temperature by about 25 degrees Fahrenheit less than your bread recipe calls for since these types of pans absorb heat faster than metal pans.
Glass pans and ceramic pans alike will give you bread that is almost like sandwich bread in both texture and color.
However, if you like your bread a little darker than that, aluminum pans are a good choice. This is because aluminum is a good conductor of heat and evenly cooks your bread without any problem.
Business Insider states that the best loaf pan overall is the Wilton Recipe Right Medium Bread Loaf Baking Pan. In contrast, the best aluminum pan is the USA Pan Bakeware Aluminized Steel 1 Pound Loaf Pan.
See our full guide: 9 of the best bread loaf pans
Flour sifters are a kind of strainer with a wire sieve at the bottom that can help break up large clumps of flour into smaller, more powdery pieces that are much easier to blend with liquids or mixes.
Sifters also aerate the flour, meaning they mix air particles into the flour to make it lighter while also providing more volume.
You can use a flour sifter to mix several dry ingredients together, including sugar, select spices, or fine grains. Be sure that you first measure out your flour or other dry ingredients before you sift them, however, or you may find yourself sifting more than you need.
Some flour sifters will have a crank for you to manually sift, while others will just require you to shake it.
The Bellemain Stainless Steel 3 Cup Flour Sifter is an affordable flour sifter option. This sifter has a manual crank, but it is lightweight, has measurements engraved onto the side, and is designed with bakers with arthritis in mind, so it is very easy to use.
It is also quite sturdy and rust-resistant.
Stand mixers are large, electric mixers that have motors powerful enough to mix all kinds of dough.
The mixers are fitted into a stand that hangs over the bowl to place ingredients in, and they typically come with wire whisks, flat beaters, and a dough hook, which is especially important for kneading bread dough.
Some bakers will say that it is easier to mix and knead your dough by hand. And with the rise of “no-knead” recipes cropping up on the Internet, it may certainly seem like stand mixers are now obsolete hunks of machinery.
However, the hosts of The Great British Baking Show beg to differ. They argue that it makes baking (and especially bread-making) that much easier.
They also explain that some dough types out there are much too sticky or loose for mixing or kneading by hand. Typically, brioche, ciabatta, or focaccia bread are made from these types of dough.
This KitchenAid Artisan Mini Stand Mixer has 10+ attachments, a 3.5 quart brushed stainless steel bowl, and 10 optimized speeds that are powerful enough for any recipe. In addition, its tilted head design allows you to have clear access to the bowl.
A dough whisk, also sometimes known as a Danish whisk or brodpisker, is a specially shaped tool that resembles your traditional balloon-style whisk. However, a dough whisk has a stiff looped wire and is designed to blend ingredients flawlessly, which is important when making your favorite bread recipes. This Premium Original Danish Dough Whisk has a solid beechwood handle and stainless steel wire whisk.
While you can certainly use any bowl in the kitchen to mix your ingredients, you still want to find one large enough to accommodate your bread dough as it rises. The Cuisinart stainless steel mixing bowls come in three different sizes, so you can find one that best suits all your baking needs. They are also refrigerator, dishwasher, and freezer safe.
These knives are for more experienced bakers or for those who perhaps want to give their loaves that professional “ear” design on the top that makes them easier to hold (and makes the bread look prettier too).
Lames (or grignettes in French) are used to score your dough, meaning you slash at it to control the direction the dough expands as it is baking. It is much easier to score with these blades than with regular kitchen knives because they are thin and curved.
The Great British Baking Show hosts attest to how especially easy it is to use the Adour Lame-brand Bread Scoring Blade, which can be found at souschef.co.uk
These baskets are used to help shape circular loaves, giving them that professional swirl pattern on the top of your bread.
You would typically put your dough in here in its proofing (or final rising) stage before baking.
It even comes with a plastic dough scraper and a cloth liner for the basket, so you can also make smooth loaves instead of the indented look the basket alone will provide.
Sourdough Starter Storage Jar
As the name might suggest, this is a jar that will store your sourdough starter kit, which is a combination of flour and water left to ferment and create the yeast that will then be used to make sourdough bread.
You can use any old container for this starter, but make sure you do not shut the lid too tightly – or else it might burst from the pressure!
This video will show you an example of how to make sourdough starter.
Bread machines are appliances used solely to bake bread. Most have different settings for cooking different types of bread, and they will give your bread a dense texture due to how packed the dough will be.
The Hamilton Beach Bread Maker Machine is a best-selling option on Amazon. You can easily make homemade bread in just three steps. Add your ingredients to the bread maker, select the cycle you want, and press start. You can maintain control over the ingredients you use and the nutritional content of your bread.
Did you know that a dutch oven makes a wonderful tool to use to bake bread? If you have your heart set on a no-knead or other artisan-style homemade bread, it can actually turn out better when baked in your dutch oven rather than a baking tray or loaf pan.
The dutch oven creates a steamy environment for the bread. This Le Tauci dutch oven pot, for example, is great for no-knead bread and sourdough bread recipes.
Other Small Bread Making Tools
You will need a few other bread-baking supplies as well. Luckily, most of these tools can already be found in your kitchen!
Here is a shortlist of other items that you will need:
Baking is a science. You want to make sure you have all the right measurements, or your baked goods won’t come out exactly as you expected. This is where a scale can help. A scale helps you consistently portion your dough or measure your ingredients for exact and identical batches.
This Ozeri Pronto Digital Multifunction kitchen and food scale is affordable and easy to use. It can weigh up to 11.24 pounds and features an automatic unit button that instantly converts between units of measurement.
Measuring cups and spoons are essential not only for baking bread but in baking and cooking in general. They help you precisely measure out all the ingredients that a recipe calls for and ensure that you are not adding too much or too little of anything.
Wooden spoons are non-reactive to certain acids in foods (like lemon or tomato sauce, for instance), and they do not leave scratches when you use them to mix in non-stick surfaces.
Even if your oven shows you the temperature, having a backup oven thermometer on board doesn’t hurt. Because ovens can vary, you want something proven to be reliable and accurate each time you use it.
An oven thermometer can tell you the exact temperature despite what your oven display may read. This Taylor Precision oven thermometer is affordable and has a large, easy-to-read dial. It can be hung from a rack or a stand all on its own.
Parchment paper is extremely valuable in baking due to its non-stick properties and its ability to withstand the heat of your oven without catching fire.
As the name suggests, a cooling rack is used to cool down your bread evenly and quickly once it is done baking. You can also use these racks to help bake your bread faster, as the holes in the rack allow heat and air to circulate over every part of your loaf.
Here’s a video showing different bread making tools in the bread baking process.
Serrated Bread Knife
Once you pull your crusty bread out of the oven, you don’t want to ruin perfection by using the wrong knife. The wrong knife can squish your bread. A serrated bread knife like the Cuisinart Triple Rivet bread knife allows for precision and accuracy that allows you to retain stability and control when slicing your bread.
See our top picks: 8 of the best bread knives.
Finally, don’t forget to invest in a suitable bread bin or bread box to keep your baked goods fresh!
Bread Making Supplies: The Pantry Staples
In addition to the above-named bread making supplies, there are also some staples you want to make sure you have in your pantry and refrigerator at all times. That way, when you feel like making bread, you are more than prepared. No matter what kind of baker you are, you want to have these essential ingredients on hand.
A good baker will have a variety of their favorite flours on hand, including basic all purpose flour and then some next level flour options like the following:
- Whole wheat flour: this can replace all purpose flour in most recipes and can add additional nutrition
- Whole grain flour: this is the entire kernel of wheat, oats, rye, millet, etc., or a combination of these.
- Bread flour: seems obvious, right? Bread flour contains more protein than regular flour as well as more gluten. This makes for chewier yeast breads
- Self-rising flour: This flour already has the baking powder and the salt mixed into it. You can even make your own self-rising flour if you want
Your basic leaveners include baking soda, baking powder, and yeast. If you are more advanced in your baking skills, you can also consider stocking up on compressed yeast and sourdough starters.
Granulated sugar, confectioner’s sugar, and brown sugar are all pantry staples. However, for natural sugar and sweetener alternatives, you can also buy date sugar, coconut sugar, maple syrup, honey, and agave syrup. These are perfect for dessert bread recipes that require some sweetness.
Granulated table salt is also a must-have. Some also might prefer to use salt that has not been iodized, as this salt can sometimes cause an unpleasant taste in some baked goods.
Now let’s move from the pantry to the refrigerator and see how stocked up you are on these bread making supplies. Unsalted butter, eggs, milk, buttermilk, and cream cheese are all staples and can be used in various bread recipes.
Oils and Shortenings
Vegetable oil, butter, and shortening are basic and next-level fats you want to have. Shortener has a higher melting point compared to butter, so it is better for cookies. Vegetable oil is good for oiling your bread pans.
The Bottom Line
Bread-baking requires a lot of time, work, and materials to get started. However, the delicious end product is very much worth the effort, and you will end up saving a great deal of money in the long run by acquiring some of this equipment and baking your very own bread loaves!
What are your favorite bread making tools?