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The Bread Baking Essentials Every Home Cook Should Have

Looking to challenge yourself by baking a loaf from scratch? You'll want to know about these tools that make bread-baking simple.

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The Essential Supplies You Need for Baking BreadSydney Watson/Taste of Home

Baking bread is a uniquely challenging and satisfying task. Sure, there’s a bit of fuss when it comes to proofing yeast and getting picture-perfect plaits, but the smell of freshly baked bread is worth it. The only thing you need—besides a great recipe—are a few bread baking essentials to get you started. And don’t miss the rest of the general baking supplies our Test Kitchen team can’t live without.

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Sur La Table Stainless Steel Dough Scrapervia

Bench Scraper

If you invest in one bread baking tool, let it be a bench scraper. This tool is great at manipulating bread dough on your bench, dividing it into sections for braids and rolls and for cleanup after all the kneading is done.

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9 x 5 inch Non-Stick Metal Loaf Panvia

Loaf Pans

Whether you prefer quick breads or yeasted breads, you’ll definitely want to invest in a few loaf pans to fix up your favorite recipes. There are plenty of options out there, but you can never go wrong with a great nonstick pan, like this one from our brand new line of bakewareYour bread will pop right of the pan with ease.

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ORBLUE 13.5" Danish Dough Whisk - LARGE - Dutch Dough Whisk Hand Mixer for Bread, Cookie, Dumpling or Pizza Dough - Best Substitute to a Mixer and Blender - Baking Tool Artisian Blender - 2-PACKvia

Dough Whisk

While we adore our stand mixers, sometimes you need to mix up bread the old-fashioned way. Instead of slogging through sticky bread dough with a wooden spoon, opt for a dough whisk. This tool helps incorporate ingredients quickly and easily.

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Dough Hook Mixer Attachmentvia

Dough Hook Mixer Attachment

Your stand mixer is invaluable when it comes to making bread. Be sure to keep its dough hook attachment at the ready when you start a new recipe or invest in one. It’s so handy, especially for stickier doughs like the one for this twisted babka.

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Quick-Read Thermometervia

Quick-Read Thermometer

When you make bread with yeast, it’s absolutely crucial that the water you add to the dough or use to proof the yeast is precisely the right temperature. Too chilly and that yeast won’t grow. Too hot and it’s no good. Skip the guesswork and invest in a quick-read thermometer. This will tell you in a few seconds if your water is the right temperature—ideally around 110ºF.

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Flexible Bowl Scrapervia

Flexible Bowl Scraper

Let’s face it: Bread dough can be pretty sticky. To make sure you get every bit of bread dough out of your mixing bowl, skip the spatula and go for a flexible, silicone bowl scraper. You’ll find yourself using this handy tool for all your breads and plenty of other bakes.

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La Crosse Technology 302-604B Black Indoor Digital Thermometer & Hygrometer Station with MIN/MAX records & Comfort level iconvia

Indoor Thermometer

Getting dough to rise can be tricky business. Yeasted bread dough likes a warm, humid environment—around 75ºF with 60-80% humidity—to get the right lift. Make sure your house is warm and humid enough with an indoor thermometer.

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Reusable Bowl Coversvia

Reusable Bowl Covers

Ditch the single-use plastic wrap! Instead, cover your rising dough with reusable bowl coversThese cotton covers fit snugly around bowls, keeping moisture in for the perfect proof.

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Countertop Dough Proofervia

Countertop Dough Proofer

As much as we love making homemade bread, getting the right environment for proofing can be pretty tricky, especially when you live in cooler climes. Ensure you get consistent rising results every time with a countertop proofer. It’s a bit of investment but worth every penny if you’re an avid bread maker. If you pass on this gadget, be sure to check out other ways to get a good rise when it’s a bit too chilly.

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Wüsthof Gourmet Bread Knivesvia

Bread Knife

To get a good slice of perfectly crusty homemade bread, you’ll need a good bread knife. Serrated is a must to cut through any bread without crushing the perfect texture inside and preserving the crust outside. Our Test Kitchen loves this one from Wüsthof.

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Cuisinart® 2 lb. Stainless Steel Breadmakervia

Bread Machine

You can cut out some of the labor of bread making with a good bread machineBread makers can help you mix up dough, knead it and even bake the bread for you. Here are some recipes to get you started.

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Mini Loaf Pan

Quick bread recipes are easy to convert into mini loaves. Instead of having heaps of small loaf pans, try a pan like this one from Sur la Table. You can bake up to eight mini loaves all at once.

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Now Designs Large Bread Bin, Ivoryvia

Bread Box

Bread boxes do work! Keep your homemade bread fresher for longer by storing them in a countertop bread box. This one has some vintage flair and is big enough to store a whole loaf plus some extra buns.

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Baking Stone

Baking stones aren’t just for pizza! Ceramic stones like this one from Sur la Table are great at soaking up extra moisture from the exterior of the bread to help develop a crunchy, cripsy crust. Use a stone to bake recipes like these that typically call for a baking sheet—and don’t forget to use baking stones for homemade pizza.

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Proofing Basket

Avid bread bakers swear by these woven proofing baskets called bannetons. They give your breads an attractive shape while rising, plus they really make you feel like an expert baker. Try this one in various sizes ($30 and up).

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Premium Professional Bakers Couche - 35"x26", 100% Flax Linen Heavy Duty Proofing Cloth from Tissage Deren of France, with One Bonus Mure & Peyrot Fixed Blade Lame, by BrotformDotComvia


If baguettes are top of your baking list, you’ll want a couche—a sturdy piece of linen just for proofing—like they use in France. Nestle your loaves into the folds of this fabric and you’ll have crusty, tasty baguettes in no time.

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SAINT GERMAIN Premium Hand Crafted Bread Lame with 6 Blades Included - Best Dough Scoring Tool with Authentic Leather Protective Covervia

Bread Lame

Wonder how bakeries get those gorgeous designs on the top of their breads? That’s all thanks to a deft hand and a lame (pronounced lahm). These tools are essentially razors designed for baking. Slice into your bread before baking and you can create neat cuts and designs.

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Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an associate editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.

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