My collection of the best baking tools.

Bread Baker’s Gift Guide 2023

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As the holiday season approaches, I’m delighted to present my bread baker’s gift guide, which is back for its third year in 2023. This year, I have carefully curated new tools discovered during my copious (and, at times, obsessive) baking endeavors. These tools will surely be a fantastic gift for any baker (or yourself!). Now, I’m not a baker who buys tools to buy tools, but often, the right tool makes any job that much easier, or if not easier, far more pleasant.

Any of the items in this roundup will help you—ehm—I mean your favorite baker, take their bread to the next level. Whether you’re looking for a small or large tool, this list of the best gifts for bread bakers has it all. Read on!

The Best Potato Ricer

Potato ricer

It seems strange to start with a potato ricer, but if you’ve ever done this at home, you know how challenging and time-consuming it can be. Well, not anymore.

This ricer absolutely obliterates potatoes in a way my old metal clamp-style ricer couldn’t. Whether you are ricing potatoes for gnocchi, bread, or something else, it’ll turn our starchy friend into neat little tubes of deliciousness. The ricing motion is similar to how you’d trim a bush outside with shears, but the shape and heft of the handles make it so easy to turn.

Trust me, you’ll want this in your kitchen—especially if you often make bread with potato added to the dough—and if you don’t, you really need to try this focaccia recipe with potato.

A Home For Your Sourdough Starter

My ripe sourdough starter inside the Sourdough Home
My ripe sourdough starter inside the Sourdough Home.

I helped Brød and Taylor design this cozy (hot or cold) sanctuary for your sourdough starter, and now I can’t imagine baking bread without it. I put my starter inside, dial in the temperature to exactly what I want, and am confident it is strong and ready to go when I want it to be.

Is it a specialized device dedicated to bread? Yes! But you know what, if you’re like me and baking sourdough bread is a passion, you owe it to yourself (and your hardworking starter!) to make things easy and consistent.

The Best Spice Grinder

Dreamfarm spice grinder

I like to equate freshly ground spices to fresh coffee or even fresh flour, and it’s hard to return to anything else once you’ve tasted the difference.

I love this compact spice grinder because it neatly keeps everything in the bowl, you can operate it with one or two hands, and it allows for grinding to various levels of fineness. Plus, it cleans up super easy!

Amazing Baking Pans

The best baking pans

If you want crispy-bottomed focaccia, deep-dish pizza, or soft sourdough rolls, these LloydPans are for you. These non-stick pans are incredibly light and effective at conducting heat, resulting in crunch and crispness exactly where you want it.

What’s more, they’re made in the USA and virtually indestructible. It’s so rare to find a gem that checks all these boxes—they’re baking pans I plan to keep and use forever.

(Another) Amazing Baking Pan

Sourdough pizza al taglio
Sourdough pizza al taglio (pan pizza) in a Lloyd Pan.

Like the round focaccia pans above, this rectangular Lloyd Pan is perfect for eliciting the crispiest of pan pizzas. It has a nonstick coating and conducts heat just as effectively as their other marvelous pans. When neighbors ask to borrow a pan, choose another because, well, at least for me, it’s never leaving my kitchen.

Between this pan and the round pans, you have all your pan-baking covered.

Cozy (Not Hot) Oven Gloves

The Ove Gloves are great for bread baking

I get asked often what oven gloves I use, and believe me, I’ve tried them all. My favorite right now (and for the past year) are the ‘Ove’ Gloves.

These gloves are thick but not too thick, giving you plenty of dexterity when handling Dutch ovens or other pans. And yet, they provide incredible insulation, allowing me to hold all the hot things for far longer than I would think safely possible.

My Cookbook (A Year Later)

The Perfect Loaf cookbook now available

My cookbook would be an incredible gift to any baker, whether you’re a beginner or have years of experience baking. I wrote this book to grow with you as a baker in the kitchen, starting from your sourdough starter to advanced bakes like naturally leavened brioche—and every step in between.

Yes, this was on the list last year, the year it was published. But even after this time, there’s just so much bread stuff packed inside it’ll likely carry you forward a few more. It’s a gift that’s an investment. An investment in yourself as a baker or your favorite friend/family member/neighbor whom you wish would bake more often for you.

Another Wonderful Cookbook

Gateau Cookbook

Gosh, there have been so many this year it’s hard to recommend just one. And technically, this book came out at the end of last year, but since I’m a baker of complicated (not always) and long-fermented doughs with formulas and fermentation schedules, it’s a joy to pick up a book focused on simple baking. In fact, the word simplicity is even in the subtitle!

Gâteau: The Surprising Simplicity of French Cakes has been on my kitchen island every week since its acquisition. The writing is evocative and inspiring, and the recipes are equally delicious.

If you like baked goods with a high reward-to-effort ratio, this is the cookbook for you.

RackMaster 2020 Bread Oven

(Press play, above, and watch me operate the oven.)

This is a new addition to my home “micro bakery,” the RackMaster 2020 bread oven. The oven is incredibly well-built, with purposeful details and high-quality materials, and it has completely changed how I bake bread here at home. But it’s more than that.

Here’s why I love the RackMaster oven (and why you will, too):

  • It’s simple to operate with no unnecessary electronics (which are prone to break and are costly to replace).
  • It’s sealed very well, which leads to excellent steam retention (and because of this, in some cases, you may not even need to spray water into the oven, the dough will steam the oven itself).
  • The oversized handle makes opening and closing the oven door incredibly easy.
  • You can operate each of the three decks independently. This means you can bake just a few loaves on the top deck, use only two decks, or fully load the oven and use all three.
  • The baking surfaces are very thick and efficient at retaining and conducting heat. This means you can bake back-to-back batches with minimal downtime.
  • There’s a large window where you can see the dough baking on all decks.

If you’re looking for a larger oven, especially if you run a micro bakery, this RackMaster 2020 bread oven is for you.

The Best Bench Knife (Scraper)

Bakers Gift Guide 2023

I’ve used this bench knife for years, and it has yet to show a scuff, bend, or mark. Made from steel, the ergonomics are perfect, and its non-stick surface means, well, nothing sticks. But beyond these things, I just love the heft and size of the thing. It’s a bit longer than most other bench knives (there is a smaller one, too), but like the barista who always reaches for the same cups despite a broad set of options or the woodworker always picking up the same chisel, this knife is always in my hand when there’s dough to handle.

Maurizio dusting dough.

Join Me in the Membership

I’ve been growing the baker’s membership here at The Perfect Loaf for over five years, and I’ve continued to add more tools, discounts, and baking perks. Plus, it’s a fantastic place to show your bakes and get help.

Or, invest in your baking and join the membership yourself!

All My Favorite Tools

If you’re all the way to the end and haven’t spotted what you’re looking for, check out my roundup of the best baking tools for bakers. Anything there would be an incredible gift to any baker!

What’s Next?

I hope you have a happy holiday season and a fresh bundle of soft sourdough rolls headed to the table!

Picture of Maurizio Leo
Maurizio Leo
Maurizio Leo is a home baker, James Beard Award winning and New York Times Bestselling author, and the creator of the award-winning sourdough website, The Perfect Loaf. He has spent the past decade baking sourdough bread in Albuquerque, New Mexico.