Friday, October 20, 2006

Some Needed Equiptment

For the purposes of this project, I'll list equiptment that I personally feel that the serious home baker should have. Some people have other ways of baking bread, that's fine with me, but since this is my blog you get to hear what I use and how I use it. This will be an ongoing list to which I'll occasionally add items.


Kitchenaid Mixer with dough hook-sure, you can knead by hand, but why bother when you can just flip a switch? I use this sort of mixer for my dough, so all instructions will involve this machine. Knead by hand if you want, you'll just have to do it a bit longer.

Proof bowl-a stainless steel bowl for proofing your dough. Glass would also work, but you can get a good steel bowl pretty cheap, and they are nearly impossible to destroy.

Cutting board-I prefer to do my hand kneading and shaping on a cutting board, because it makes cleanup much easier, and I know the work surface is clean.

Serrated knife-this is a recent addition. After chatting with a guy at a party who works at a local bakery, he told me that they use simple serrated knives for slashing their loaves. So pick one up and keep it with your bread baking implements, so people don't dull it cutting other food items.

Pizza stone-don't argue with me, you can pick a smaller one up for under $20 at Bed Bath and Beyond. Some people bake only on pizza stones, I typically use it just for pizza. But it makes a big difference.

Loaf pan-my current loaf pan is Pyrex, but I'll be playing with a silicon pan later.

Cookie sheet-making a loaf on a pizza stone may be kinda cool, but a cookie sheet is a helluva lot easier to get in and out of the oven.

Parchment paper-your best nonstick option for use with cookie sheets. Also handy because you can label multiple loaves with pen on the parchment before baking.

Kitchen timer-a good reliable timer so you can bake your loaves the right amount of time.

Pastry brush-used for applying glazes to your loaves.

Dry measuring cups-for measuring dry goods by volume.

Liquid measuring cups-for measuring liquids

Measuring spoons-for measuring smaller amounts of dry goods.

Digital kitchen scale-if you are serious about baking bread, then you need one. Most real bread recipes will have you add dry goods like flour by weight, not by volume.

Bread knife/electric carving knife-if you are going to bake the bread, have a good cutting knife to divide up the loaf. An electric carving knife works best, but a good serrated bread knife is fine.

Cooling rack-the best way to cool your loaf after baking.

Mister bottle-the best way to add minimal amounts of water to the dough while blending, much neater than trying to pour in a teaspoon of liquid.

More to come.

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