What Equipment Do I Need To Start Baking Bread On A Budget?

Equipment for a bakery on a budget
Published on
22 September 2021
Gareth Busby
Gareth Busby

Starting to make bread at home 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 the bakery equipment you will need to get started. You may even have some of these things in a kitchen drawer already! If you are looking for inspiration to expand your home baking setup see my full bakery equipment guide.

Equipment needed to make bread

Scrapers

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. 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 much either!

Scales

Using cups and spoons is not accurate and not recommended if you want your bread to closely relate to the recipe! These Etekcity kitchen scales are accurate to 1 gram and perfect if you are on a budget.

Tin

A baking tin is used to support bread dough as it rises, without one, the dough would spread outwards during proofing. 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 a perfect beginner-friendly solution!

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Bowls

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, either oven gloves or a baker’s peel is going to be required. If you plan to bake bread in a baking tin you’ll want a set of oven gloves to remove your freshly baked bread before it turns soggy. Dutch oven bakers will also need oven gloves to move the baking chamber in and out of the oven. If you plan to bake with a banneton on a baking stone, oven gloves are not needed, you’ll use a peel to slide the dough in and out.

Deep tray or a water mister

For a crispy crust, you need to make steam in the oven by adding water. A good way to do this is by spraying the oven with a water mister as the bread goes in. Alternatively, many bakers preheat a deep baking tray in the bottom of the oven and pour a cup of water in as the bread goes in. If using the second option you’ll need to use a tray that doesn’t warp at high temperatures.

Lame

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. A decent lame like this one from Mure & Peyrot provides a clean cut and the ability to carve many beautiful designs.

Baking stone

For a better oven rise (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 after it is loaded with bread and the added steam cools it down. A simple, low-cost baking stone will do, whereas a thicker stone provides better heat retention but will take longer to preheat.

Oven

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 the option between a bottom heat only (for preheating) and a top-and-bottom heat program, but you can still make bread regardless!

Additional bits that make baking easier

Dutch oven

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!

Timer

I’d be lost without a timer! You can use one to measure kneading time, reminding yourself to check on your dough and time the baking duration. A decent timer won’t break the bank either!

Thermometer

To control dough temperature, a thermometer is a must. Many professional bakers say to “treat temperature like an ingredient in bread making” and I won’t disagree! Temperature readings are used to perfect the temperature of the dough during mixing, control proofing temperature and test when bread is done baking.

Cooling rack

Bread cools best when there is airflow around it, so placing it on a cooling rack after it exits the oven goes a long way to prevent soggy bottoms! 

Trays

To bake batches of rolls or explore more challenging pastries and sweet buns you will need a suitable baking tray. Here’s the baking tray I prefer, don’t forget the baking parchment!

Danish whisk

Make life a little easier with a Danish whisk! These handy tools are used to incorporate the dough during the early stages.

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