Favorite Bread Baking Tools

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Want to bake more? A few great baking tools can help you by making the process easier and a lot more fun.

Favorite Bread Baking Tools - Want to bake more? A few great baking tools can help you by making the process easier and a lot more fun.

As I type, the raisin bread that FishChick7 and I made earlier is baking in the bread machine. I haven’t BAKED in the bread machine in quite some time. I typically use it to prep dough. It does it quickly and with very little mess.

Since a bread machine can be a little temperamental when it comes to the baking part — my machines have always overcooked, so I set them on light ALWAYS — I often remove the dough and place it in a regular bread pan.

However, FishChick7 is obsessed with kitchen work these days. Her favorite television show is Chopped. And she asks me no fewer than ten times a day when she can go make something. She’ll say something like, “I’m really tempted to go into the kitchen and chop up a bunch of vegetables to make a salad.”

True story.

I’ll confess this is a little hard to bear because there’s work and supervision involved and all that. But, seriously? Is this not a dream come true?! The kid not only wants to cook, but she also wants to prepare healthy foods! Oy!

Something must be done. Don’t you think? So, I decided that it would be good to teach her how to use the bread machine. It can’t be more complicated than an Easy Bake Oven and it’s a real live kitchen appliance. So, here we are: waiting for home-baked bread to finish. It will take a few rounds before she’s got the hang of it, but I figure if my daughter can master bread baking, she’ll have a fabulous life skill.

It’s my hope that this will become a daily habit for her, a way to allow her to participate in the workings of our home and kitchen as well as to feed her passion for food and cooking something up.

(I was just about her age when my mom let me make messes in the kitchen. I have to remind myself it’s okay to let go. Don’t let me forget that, okay?)

Favorite Bread Baking Tools - Want to bake more? A few great baking tools can help you by making the process easier and a lot more fun.

Baking your own bread is pretty easy and straight-forward. It doesn’t take a mess of fancy ingredients or expensive equipment. Just a little know-how and a few tools of the trade.

Favorite Bread Baking Tools

Last week I shared some of our favorite savory bread recipes. This week, I thought I’d give you the run-down on my favorite baking tools.

Bread machine

Clearly, I’m a fan. I have this Oster 2-pound bread machine. I have had several of these over the last dozen years. They are like PC computers, they don’t last forever.

But, honestly? I cook for eight people. I also wash clothes for eight people. My washing machines only last about five years because we use them so much. I think that might also contribute to the demise of my bread machines. I use them at least weekly, if not more often.

Large cutting board

I have a large white plastic cutting board, similar to this one that I use for shaping dough as well as for cutting baked bread. I know folks who roll out their doughs on their countertops, but we have tile. And even if we didn’t, that would kind of creep me out. I like a big large work surface that I can move around as needed.

Favorite Bread Baking Tools - Want to bake more? A few great baking tools can help you by making the process easier and a lot more fun.

Flour canisters

Since I bake a lot, I go through a lot of flour. I often buy it in bulk and need an airtight container to store it in. Years ago I bought these flour canisters and they have served us well.

Dough knife

This steel scraper, introduced to me as a dough knife, is invaluable to me for cutting dough into smaller pieces and for scraping or lifting bits of dough of the cutting board. I had wanted one for years and then finally looked on Amazon. For six bucks, it made me very, very happy.

Serrated bread knife

You have to have a good bread knife if you’re going to enjoy anything besides sliced bread. We got this one from Henckels in a set of knives when we were newlyweds. It’s going on 20 years this May and has served use well.

I also like this one from Ergo Chef. It’s probably my favorite. It goes through baguette like it’s slicing butter.

Sheet pans

I muddled through for years with junky metal pans that warped at high heat and rusted. Then I splurged on these uncoated steel pans from Chicago Metallic. They are restaurant grade and my favorite pans for baking rolls and cookies.

Silpat mats or parchment paper

I can’t tell you how much more pleasurable it is NOT to scrape baked on dough from the baking sheets. Lining the pans with silicone baking mats or parchment paper has made baking so much more fun. The silpat mats are reusable and fit the baking sheets perfectly. Love them!

Favorite Bread Baking Tools - Want to bake more? A few great baking tools can help you by making the process easier and a lot more fun.

Glass loaf pans

I own about seven different loaf pans in three different sizes. During a big freezer cooking session, I might actually use them all. I have these and these.

Baguette pan

Since we moved just a few miles from a real French bakery, I tend not to use my baguette pan as often as I used to. We’ve gotten spoiled. But, this baguette pan is wonderful for helping you craft more authentic French bread.

Baking stone

I have a love-hate relationship with baking stones. I’ve had a few break in the oven. I’ve sold at least one at a garage sale. A few years ago I had my husband stop at Target on his way home from work to buy me this one so that I could make Artisan Bread Dough in Five. I decided that while I don’t use it often, it’s something to keep on hand for different baking uses. There may be better models out there. I wasn’t picky.

Good tools are worth the investment.

These are the tools that I use regularly to craft home-baked bread. Surely the tools are an investment. That can be a hard thing to swallow, especially when you’re operating on a tight budget or aren’t sure what kind of amazing cool you’ll become.

Trust me, Little Grasshopper, awesome you will become.

My husband is a carpenter by trade. He knows first hand that having the right tools can make your job easier, better, safer, and a lot more fun. Early in our marriage, he convinced me of this and has supported me in finding the right tools for the kitchen to make my cooking easier and more enjoyable.

If cooking is easier, you’ll do it more often. The more you cook at home, the more money you save. A few good baking tools can easily pay for themselves and continue to help you save money in the kitchen. While I would never advocate buying things you don’t need or can’t afford, I do think a few good baking tools can help you and are worth their investment.

What’s YOUR favorite bread baking tool?

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Melissa says

    I couldn’t agree with you more about having the right tools in the kitchen. I figure if I’m doing as much cooking as I am (3 meals per day for 10 people) I am justified in using good tools (especially good knives).

  2. I love my bread machine and all my bread baking tools, but for me the best tool I have is the cookbook you are showing: The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook by Beth Hensperger. It’s a fabulous book. Hope your little one continues to enjoy the work in the kitchen…that’s so important.

  3. Sara K. says

    This post could not have been more timely! My mom used to use a bread machine frequently when I was still living at home (this would have been in the 90’s), but I’ve never gotten around to buying one. I just borrowed my mom’s current machine to test out whether I can fit this into my schedule. Then I will purchase one myself (and that Oster machine is the exact one I have my eye on!). My daughter and I made our first loaf in the machine yesterday which was delicious!

    Your post has given me tips on other tools I may want to add to my kitchen in the near future!

  4. Jen says

    I love my USA Pan loaf pan. It’s the best loaf pan I’ve used. I asked for their muffins pans for Christmas and they are also great.

    Check out thrift stores and garage sales for bread machines. It’s easy to find a hardly used machine for cheap.

  5. Adelle F. says

    This is adorable! My kids are 7 and 9 and you are really inspiring me that I need to help them become more self sufficient in the kitchen even now. I did teach my 9 y.o. to make his own scrambled eggs this past year (after prompting from some of your posts!), and now I’m thinking he could definitely run a bread machine and probably so could his sister! Some of the Amazon reviews on this particular bread machine talked about loaves being much too dense or collapsing, though it did receive 4 stars overall. Can you speak to this at all?

    • I think that collapsing loaves are just part of the bread machine. I have that happen if I use a recipe that doesn’t use buttermilk. I have no idea why that is. Also, that bread machine cookbook really is fabulous.

    • Jessie says

      I have the Oster machine too, and the falling has to do with the bread rising too much (I found this out from a trouble shooting guide in a cookbook). To combat the problem, I don’t use warm water, the machine warms the ingredients up enough without it!

      • Interesting! I always use cold water from the fridge, but I still have bread that falls. Lol. In fact, we’ve made the same recipe two days in a row. Yesterday’s fell and today’s is perfect.

  6. Stacy says

    My favorite baking tools are my Kitchen Aid Mixer, my NutriMill grain grinder and my OXO rolling pin. I have several bread loaf pans that I use for different loaves, but those three items are the things I use every time I bake. I bake all of our sandwich bread and most of our other snacking/meal breads, so I bake sometimes three days per week. I did have a bread maker that I used to use, but since my husband bought me the Kitchen Aid I stopped using it and gave it to a friend.

    • Katie says

      I agree with Stacy. My favorite baking tool is my KitchenAid mixer. I use it for almost all my baking–cakes, cookies, some bars, and for mixing bread dough. I usually make three loaves at a time, so I need a big-capacity mixer, which I have. I second the NutriMill as well. It makes excellent flour and I expect it to last a long, long time.

  7. Jessica, it was so fun to come here to visit your blog today! I just published a post on my blog this afternoon (pursuingheart.blogspot.com) about my recent return to using a bread machine. I have a link within my post to Good Cheap Eats, as you are the one who convinced me that I should use my machine again, and the one through whom I learned about the great cookbook, The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook! Thanks for all your great tips and ideas about using a bread machine, as well as for all things related to food and the kitchen!

  8. Melissa says

    For Christmas a couple of hears ago my husband bought me knife sharpening for all my knives. Such a good investment!

  9. LizA says

    I’m a fan of Pampered Chef”s multi-sized tablespoon, teaspoon and measuring cup. I’d tell you they dramatically cut down on the cupboard clutter — and they probably do — if you don’t buy multiples! I find them at thrift shops and have the best intentions.

  10. Ally says

    Maybe you can help me with this – I havent been able to find a solution. I have been to 3 different stores and every time I come home and open the flour, it has bugs in it. Someone said to just buy gluten free because it comes in a sealed bag… but I am baking home made bread to save money and I wont save anything by buying super expensive flour…might as well just buy bread lol. Any ideas?

    Btw – I had commented about my chef mate bread maker and how I couldnt get the bread to come out. You said it was probably the machine. I found an Oster bread machine at a thrift shop for $10 and it makes beautiful bread for me 🙂

    • Are you buying the same brand every time? If so, I’m going to guess it’s a manufacturer problem. I buy bags that are completely sealed, not the paper packages. Montana Wheat and Bob’s Red Mill both have completely sealed bags.

      Yay on the new bread machine!

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