10 essential tools every baker needs
With people around the world spending more time at home than usual, it’s no surprise that many have turned to cooking and baking projects to occupy their time. The most popular of them? Homemade bread, which seems to have taken over kitchens everywhere.
“The ease of baking bread seems like a sudden eye-opener, but people have been baking bread for thousands of years,” says Miami baker Bryan Ford, author of an upcoming cookbook. New World sourdough. “When a crisis sets in, we resort to our primary instincts of making our own food. My Blog traffic goes through the roof.
Baking bread, for beginners and professionals alike, is indeed so important right now that it has caused a shortage of yeast and flour. (Market research firm Nielsen reported that yeast sales jumped 410% year-over-year for the four-week period ending April 11, and flour sales jumped 105%. year over year for the one-week period ending May 2.) bread machines are largely out of stock until the end of summer. But that shouldn’t stop you from trying.
“The goal is not to do something that looks professional on Instagram,” says Ford. “The goal should be to make something that tastes delicious. If you can’t find any items, improvise. For example, Ford prefers stainless steel mixing bowls but the glass will work fine. If you don’t have Dutch oven or pizza stone, a baking sheet will do. And if you can’t get your hands on one proofing basket, you can easily use a bowl covered with a towel or raise your bread on a cutting board with semolina flour.
And don’t limit yourself to just one type of bread. While beautiful sourdough breads are definitely having a moment right now, there are plenty of breads worthy of your time and ingredients. Adam Leonti, New York-based chef and author of a recently published cookbook, Flour Lab: A Home Guide to Cooking with Freshly Ground Grains, says one of the biggest mistakes newbies make is going straight to sourdough. “The leavened dough is like training wheels for the real thing.”
So roll up your sleeves and whip up the butter, here are the essential supplies you need to roll, knead, and toss your next perfect loaf of bread.
King Arthur Flour All Purpose Flour, 10 lbs
A key ingredient in baking, flour is in high demand today. If you can’t find it on store shelves, turn to the web. Ford prefers king arthur all-purpose flour, which you can still find in 10-pound bags on Amazon and in three pound bags on the brand’s website. Based in Arizona Hayden flour mills always ships two, ten and 25 pound bags of its artisan bread flour.
The Nitty Gritty Grain Company of Vermont has been regional markets monitoring who sell his cereal and JK Adams ships two-pound bags of the brand off white and whole wheat flour. Ford also suggests calling your regional miller or baker to ask if they sell groceries. If you still can’t find flour, Leonti says you can buy cereal and a Fake mill to grind your own flour and freeze what you have ground.
Hayden Flour Mills Instant Dry Yeast
Yeast is the workhorse in baking bread. A living organism, yeast feeds on sugar and essentially releases carbon dioxide, which makes the dough rise. The fermentation of yeast is also responsible for the flavor, aroma and texture of many breads. Like flour, it’s flying off the shelves, but you can still find it in stock at Hayden Flour Mills or Modernist pantry.
Escali Primo P115CH Precision Kitchen Scale
“The first thing every baker should buy is a scale,” says Ford. For more accuracy and best results, “it is very important to measure in grams rather than cups and ounces”. Whether you choose an analog scale or a digital scale, he suggests looking for one with a capacity of at least two to three kilograms. “And it doesn’t have to be expensive,” he says. “Cost of mine $ 9.99 at target. “
Banneton 9 “Round Proofing Basket
If your first buns seem sunken or warped, try using a fermentation basket. Also known as a brotform or banneton, a fermentation basket acts as a belt for your dough, giving it structure and height as it rises. Made from natural rattan, the spiral weave of the basket also leaves a lovely spiral pattern on your finished bread.
The baker’s sofa
Layer of professional bakers
Pronounced “koosh”, this 100% linen linen fabric (from $ 14.45) helps your bread hold its shape while your breads rest and rise one final time before baking (i.e. rising). The folds of this stiff baking layer maintain a solid peak between the buns so your baguettes don’t stick together as they rise.
Baker’s Bread Blade Scoring Knife Tool
To get bakery style breads, you’ll want to purchase a blade, a double-edged blade that gives the bread its slash marks. Even the sharpest knife won’t produce the same deep, clean cuts. While it is true that marking your bread will give it a nice appearance, it also prevents air pockets and prevents it from cracking when it is mounted in the oven.
BK Enamel Steel Saucepan, 3.5-qt
What’s the secret to making shiny French toast with a cracked crust and a soft, airy center at home? A Dutch oven. the BK enamelled steel casserole dish ($ 130) is lightweight, easy to clean, and stylish enough to be left on the counter. To make sure your bread has enough room to rise, look for a container that can hold at least 5 liters and remember that thicker walls mean better heat retention.
Platinum Pro On The Table Bread Pan, 8½ “x 4½”
Any sandwich bread or quick bread requires a good loaf pan. A loaf pan shapes your bread, while providing the right depth to ensure the dough bakes throughout. Pans are available in a variety of materials, such as cast iron (heavy), glass (heats slowly), and ceramic (brittle), but Ford prefers stainless or aluminized steel, which provides uniform heat transfer, durability, and easy cleaning. The Platinum Pro Bread Pan also features an eco-friendly non-stick silicone coating that allows your bread to slide effortlessly out of the pan after cooling.
Cast iron bread pan
The Challenger bread pan
Before you go too far in purchasing every piece of bread baking equipment, consider investing in the Challenger Cast Iron Bread Pan ($ 295). Versatile enough to cook everything from boules to bastards, this artisanal skillet counts Martha stewart and bread genius Chad Robertson, author of Bread toast, among his fans. A shallow base makes it easy to load the dough, and the top handles are large enough that you can easily remove the lid with oven mitts halfway through cooking. What really sets it apart, however, is the super tight seal that creates just the right amount of steam to create the perfect crispy buns.
Serrated bread knife
Mac bread knife
If you are going to put in the effort to create a beautiful loaf, then you should invest in a knife worthy of creating beautiful slices. A good knife is serrated and sharp enough to slide through crispy, soft breads without destroying it completely. The high carbon and chrome stainless steel blade of the Korin Mac Bread Knife is super strong and extremely sharp. Its slightly curved blade makes it very comfortable to use, and unlike many serrated knives, it can be straightened and resharpened on a whetstone.