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Tools You Need to Bake Homemade Bread
Last year, I decided to learn how to make bread. I binged British Star Baker and my desire to bake began to grow. Jenna Fischer (Pam from the office) was posting stories on bread baking. The cookbook she was using was Bread Baking for Beginners from Amazon. I ordered it and now bread baking is my favorite hobby.
What essential equipment do you need to make bread?
If you are thinking about making bread there are a few things you need in order to start. The best part about bread baking is that all the equipment you need is a one time buy.
- Dutch Oven – This is needed to bake the majority loaves of bread. Dutch ovens create high heat and steam to help bake the loaves. I personally recommend THIS dutch oven, but if you are on a tighter budget you can find one like THIS on Amazon. You will need at least a 6-quart.
- Mixing Bowls – You will need a variety of mixing bowls so you can measure out your ingredients. I recommend buying a set of three bowls, large, medium, and small.
- Kitchen Scale – Measuring ingredients by weight is more accurate than by cups. Bread Baking for Beginners gives ingredient measurements by grams so make sure your kitchen scale measures grams. **Please note that google conversions do NOT work. I tried my first loaf and it was terrible! Spend the $10-15 on a kitchen scale.
- Proofing Basket or Banneton – When you proof your dough (proof is the correct word for “second rise”) you need to place it in a basket that allows air circulation. You can find a wide variety on Amazon. THIS is the one I ordered because it comes with other tools you will need. Make sure to buy two baskets.
- Dough Scraper – You can buy a metal or plastic dough scraper. I have a plastic one because I bought a variety pack, but THIS metal scraper has measures on it which will help you with certain bakes.
- Lame – A lame or razor blade is used to slash the bread dough.
- Thermometer – the temperature of the water is very important when it comes to the quality and consistency of the bake. A probe thermometer is perfect for this.
There are variety packs on Amazon that include proofing baskets, lame, and dough scrapers. This is the pack I purchased but there are many more to choose from.
What equipment you will need to occasionally use?
- Pizza Stone and Peel – You will learn how to make homemade pizzas. If you don’t want to purchase a peel you can flour a wooden cutting board to slide the dough onto the stone in the oven.
- Rimmed Baking Sheet – You will use a rimmed baking sheet for some of your bakes. It suggests a 16×24 sheet but I use a standard 12×18 and just half the toppings.
- Loaf Pans – 9x5x3 inch rectangular loaf pans, which is the most common size. I use nonstick pans.
What ingredients do you need to bake bread?
Luckily, bread uses four main ingredients, which you may already have in your pantry. The best part about the ingredients is that you can buy them in bulk. What are the four ingredients? Flour, salt, water, and yeast.
It is important to note that you don’t necessarily need to use bread flour. A lot of the loaves I’ve made use all-purpose flour. However, the higher the quality of flour you use the better. I buy the largest bag of unbleached all-purpose flour from Costco or Sams.
Commonly asked questions about bread making
- Is it cheaper to make homemade bread? Depending on the brand you buy at the store, homemade bread is cheaper. The upfront cost is expensive but the long term has saved us money and we don’t waste as much.
- Is homemade bread healthy? You control the ingredients of your homemade bread. You choose the quality and type of flour and whatever else you want in the loaf. Store-bought bread is filled with chemicals to create a long shelf life.
- How do you know when your bread is done? Tap the side and bottom, if it sounds hollow it is finished. The color you are looking for is a golden brown.
- How long does homemade bread last? Homemade bread usually lasts 3-5 days at room temperature.
- Is making homemade bread difficult? Homemade bread is time-consuming, but not difficult. There is a lot of downtime between the steps of making bread. I use rise times to clean or workout.
I hope you found this post helpful! If you start making bread let me know and comment with your pictures below!