Getting started in baking bread doesn’t have to cost the earth! With just a handful of tools, you’ll be able to make fresh homemade bread with ease. Here is my basic equipment list for bakery equipment if you are on a low budget, you may even have some of these things in a kitchen drawer already!
If you have a higher budget or are looking for inspiration to expand your home baking setup see my full bakery equipment guide.
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Equipment needed to make bread
Wait, what, do I really need these? Well, they are not essential, but they make working with dough and cleaning up so much easier, I wouldn’t bake without them! They don’t cost too much either! A metal scraper is used for dividing dough and scraping dried up dough and flour from surfaces. To remove dough from mixing bowls, mixing and cleaning a plastic scraper is ideal.
Using cups and spoons is not accurate and not recommended if you want your bread to be closely related to the recipe! These Etekcity kitchen scales are accurate to 1 gram and perfect on a budget.
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A baking tin is used to support the bread as it rises. Without one, the dough will spread out as it rises. You don’t need to use a bread tin, a banneton or a heavy-duty baking sheet can be preferred. However, if you are a baking beginner a bread tin like this one from Amazon is the perfect beginner-friendly solution!
It’s not possible to get away with making bread without at least two bowls. You’ll need them for weighing wet and dry ingredients, mixing and resting the dough. I’ve linked to some from Amazon, but if you live near a hardware store you might find some for less.
Oven gloves and a bakers peel
Depending on what vessel you use to proof and bake your bread, oven gloves or a bakers peel will be necessary. If you plan to bake bread on trays or a baking tin you’ll need a decent set of oven gloves to remove the freshly baked bread before it turns soggy. If you plan to bake with a banneton on a baking stone, oven gloves are not needed if you have a peel to slide the dough in and out.
Deep tray or a water mister
For a crispy crust you will want to add water to your oven to make steam. The best way to do this is to spray the oven with water from a water mister as the bread goes in. Alternatively, many bakers prefer to preheat a deep baking tray in the bottom of the oven and pour a cup of water in to create steam. If using this method, use a tray that doesn’t warp in high temperatures.
Used to score the loaf before it is baked, a lame is essentially a razor blade on a stick. Alternatively, a serrated knife can be used for simple cuts but does get frustrating. A decent lame like this one from Mure & Peyrot provides a much cleaner cut and the ability to carve integrate designs.
For a better oven rise called “oven spring”, a baking stone is a must-have piece of equipment. It’s preheated in the oven to serve many purposes. It conducts heat into the bread to improve the oven spring, whilst it also retains the temperature of the oven when loading it with bread and steam cool it down. A simple, low-cost baking stone will do, whereas a thicker stone will provide more heat retention but take longer to preheat.
Any convection oven will do! I bake a lot of my bread in a $150 oven that I found on eBay. Ideally, your oven will have bottom heat only setting (for preheating), alongside a top and bottom heat program, but you can still make bread regardless!
Additional bits that make baking easier
Many home bakers prefer to use a Dutch oven to bake their bread. Using one of these retains moisture so the requirement to add extra steam is reduced. It also supports the bread to rise upwards which eradicates a problem that many new bakers suffer from. This one from Uno Casa is fantastic value!
I’d be lost without a timer! Use one to measure kneading time, reminding yourself to check on your dough and time the baking duration. A decent timer doesn’t need to break the bank either!
To control dough temperature, a thermometer is a must. Many professional bakers say to “treat temperature like an ingredient in bread making”! Temperature readings are used to perfect the temperature of the dough during mixing, control proofing temperature and test if it’s done when baking.
Bread cools best with airflow around it so placing it on a cooling rack after it exits the oven goes a long way to prevent soggy bottoms!
Make life a little easier with a Danish whisk! These handy tools are used to incorporate the dough during the early stages.