Bread tips

Essential Bread Baking Tools plus PDF printable

Bread Baking Tools

Bread Baking Tools

If you plan on baking at home, you should carefully select your bread baking tools. The baking tools and equipment you select will have an effect on how the finished product turns out. Don't believe me? Try baking biscuits on a baking sheet from the dollar store and let me know how that works out for you.

Thin, cheaply made materials don't last very long, and some of them can cause your baked goods to turn out lighter or darker than intended.

In order to last you years, or maybe even a lifetime, a pan must he sturdy enough to take the abuse you’re going to give it. It should also be convenient to use and clean and suitable for the kind of cooking or baking you plan on doing.

Buying bread baking tools and baking pans of good quality for regular use is usually a good buy in the long run. On the other hand, it may not make sense to pay for top quality pans and utensils that you never really use.

Quality of bakeware can be judged to some extent by appearance, but to be sure of what you are getting, look for utensils with descriptive labels. For example, don't just buy a spatula, buy a high heat, stain resistant spatula and you'll have something that will last through years of batters, biscuits and doughs.

Utensils that can serve several purposes are better buys than specialty pans from the standpoint of both money invested and storage space. I recommend that you refrain from purchasing single use kitchen equipment, although there are exceptions to this rule.

Here is my list of essential bread baking tools. Scroll to the bottom for the printable PDF version.

Essential Bread Baking Tools

  • A large bowl that holds at least two quarts. A glass or stainless steel bowl is good to have around. They can be warmed and it holds the dough at an even temperature. It also protects the dough from sudden temperature changes or chilling.***

  • A set of measuring cups for measuring dry ingredients. A set includes cups to measure 1 cup, 1/2 cup, 1/3 cup and 1/4 cup.***

  • A measuring cup to measure liquids. This may be a 1-cup, 2-cup (pint) or 4-cup (quart) size. This kind of cup has a lip for pouring, like a pitcher, and a little space above the top measuring line.***

  • A set of standard measuring spoons. Included are spoons to measure 1 tablespoon, 1 teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon and 1/4 teaspoon.***

  • A small saucepan, about 1-pint size. This is useful for scalding milk and melting shortening.

  • A large wooden spoon for mixing. ***

  • A bread board.

  • A bowl scraper. This may be rubber or plastic.

  • A large sharp knife or kitchen scissors, to cut dough or stiff batter.***

  • A medium-size spatula or plain knife.

  • Baking pans or cookie sheets.***

  • Wire cooling racks.

  • Pastry cloth.

  • Rolling pin, with or without stockinet cover.

  • Oven thermometer, to double check the temperature of your oven.

  • Egg beater.

  • Pastry brush.

  • Electric mixer or food processor.

  • Bread lame (a razor for making slashes in your bread dough). This is for hard-core home bread bakers.

  • Banneton basket for adding a decorative design to your bread dough while it is rising.

  • Flour sack towels aka French tea towels-used to line bowls and to cover your bread during the proofing stage

  • Baking stone- used to even the temperature in your oven. Also great for baking pizzas and bread directly on this stone

  • Instant read thermometer- to measure the temperature of your liquids, also to take internal temperature of the bread to ensure doneness.

  • Ove glove- to safely handle hot breads and pans.

  • Cut resistant safety glove- to use when cutting on a mandolin

  • Mandolin- used to cut various ingredients for breads and pizzas

  • A Dutch oven with a lid or a clay baker- for baking breads in micro climate of sorts. This produces an extra crispy crust.

  • A pizza peel- for moving pizzas and breads in and out of the oven

  • A baguette pan- for making baguettes. I actually found a new one at a thrift store for $3!!!

Download the printable Essential Bread Baking Tools Checklist!

7 Tips for Making Yeast Bread

Parker House Rolls
Parker House Rolls

So many people are afraid of baking bread from scratch, but making yeast bread is easy if you know the right steps.  The ingredients are simple and as long as you have some very basic tools, your bread wile a success.

Yeast Bread Tip #1-  Always read through the recipe thoroughly to make sure that you have all the tools and ingredients necessary to complete the recipe.  There is nothing more annoying than getting to the middle of a recipe and realizing that you have to run out to the store and get something thats missing.

Yeast Bread Tip #2-  Make sure you prepare your pans as called for in the recipe.  Some breads need to be baked in pans that have been brushed with oil or butter, others need to be baked on pans that have been lined with parchment paper.  If you skip this step it could be a disaster.  I have made bread that had to be sawed out of the pan!  Needless to say that particular loaf wasn't fit to be served to company.  Lesson learned.

Yeast Bread Tip #3-  Always test your yeast in lukewarm liquid 80 -85° F.  If the water is too hot, it will kill the yeast and your bread won't rise.  This is one big tip that many beginning bread bakers need, because other than having a dead yeast packet, nothing else was wrong.  Once you sprinkle your yeast in warm water, let it sit for a few minutes.  You should see tiny bubble starting to break on the surface of the water, that will let you know that your yeast is alive and well.

Yeast Bread Tip #4-  Test your bread before you pull it out of the oven.  A yeast bread that is baked properly should be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.  The most accurate way to check your bread is with an instant read thermometer.  It should register between 190-200°F.

Yeast Bread Tip #5- Remove your breads or rolls from the pans and cool them on wire racks unless your recipe states otherwise.  Bread that has cooled completely in the pan has a tendency to be soggy on the bottom from all the steam escaping as the bread cools.

Yeast Bread Tip #6-  If you like soft breads and rolls, brush the tops of the loaves with butter as soon as you take them out of the oven.  If you want to keep the tops of your loaves crisp, just brush with milk or a mixture of egg yolk and water.

Yeast Bread Tip #7-  Store your bread when it is completely cooled.  A bread box is best, but bread can be wrapped in plastic or foil for freezer storage.

Bonus Yeast Bread Tip -  Approach your bread baking with confidence, the more confident you are, the less hesitant you will be and will bread will turn out great!