Here’s How to Bake the Best Bread at Home — and All the Tools You’ll Need
Upgrade your at-home baking with these tools.
If all this time at home has encouraged you to pick up baking as a hobby, you've probably already filled your kitchen with delicious cookies, cakes, and perhaps even a few other pastries. But why not try your hand at baking your very own bread?
Related: More cooking and baking tips
Baking is a delicate art, but luckily for us amateur pastry chefs at home, there are a ton of online resources for recipes and techniques. There's even a MasterClass from esteemed pastry chef Dominique Ansel on French pastry fundamentals. But as intimidating as baking can be, you don't have to let that stop you from getting in the kitchen and trying it out for yourself. King Arthur Flour, for example, has a full guide to baking sourdough bread, which breaks down recipes, techniques, and what exactly a sourdough starter is. In addition to a recipe, there are certain tools that will help you bake the perfect loaf, including a kitchen scale and a proofing basket.
Keep reading for our favorite tools for making bread.
Williams Sonoma Traditionaltouch Loaf Pan
Every baker needs a good pan for their bread. Depending on what type of bread you're baking, you can opt for a traditional loaf pan, or for a more rustic result, you can bake with a dutch oven or baking stone.
To buy: williams-sonoma.com, from $20
Taylor Compact Scale
This sleek kitchen scale is compact and lightweight, but it will assist you with all your measuring needs while baking. Since baking a good loaf comes down to a science, you'll want to measure out your flour, water, and other ingredients before mixing.
To buy: surlatable.com, $20
Williams Sonoma Olivewood Bench Scraper
A bench scraper is a helpful tool when you're working with sticky dough. This scraper, complete with a stylish and sturdy wooden handle, will help you lift, fold, and cut dough, as well as keep your countertop clean, since you can use it to easily collect crumbs and scraps.
To buy: williams-sonoma.com, $20
Banneton Proofing Basket
Proofing is a process that most often refers to bread's final rise before baking. This basket is designed for proofing, since it helps dough settle into the perfect shape for baking.
To buy: etsy.com, $30
Baker's Bread Lame Dough Scoring Knife
Here's where you can get fancy with your bread. A lame is a special type of knife that bakers use to slice the top of formed dough, allowing it to release steam during the baking process, which in turn affects the texture and shape of the bread.
To buy: etsy.com, $15
Calphalon Classic Forged 8-inch Bread Knife
Once you've patiently waited for your bread to bake, you'll want a sharp serrated knife to slice into it. This sturdy knife is particularly helpful in cutting hard, crusty bread.
To buy: bedbathandbeyond.com, $30
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