the perfect loaf my baking toolsBelow is a list of my baking tools organized in sections broken down by their use, and some that are “nice to have” but not essential. I’ve spent many years buying & trying tools one at a time to make things more efficient and baking easier. The list below is the accumulation of all those tools which I still use regularly and nothing else. I keep this page updated frequently.

If you’re new to baking, start with the tools listed below in Sourdough Starter Creation & Management and The Beginning Baker. These two sections will get you all the essentials you’ll need to create your wild yeast starter and the tools to get your first loaves in and out of the oven.

Once you become more serious about baking, head down to the Nice to Haves section and explore more these tools. They will elevate your baking to the next level and help you make your loaves more consistent and precise, or in some cases, make things easier (thank you Thermapen instant-read thermometer, probably my favorite baking tool I've purchased to date).

Sourdough Starter Creation & Management

These tools are essential when starting your first sourdough starter and keeping it alive and healthy. You want to use weights instead of volumes, a good stirrer and glass container, and of course, rye flour to get things going.

Store your natural sourdough starter in this Weck jar

3/4 liter weck jars

My starter lives in these wonderful glass jars.

baker's scale

A good scale is essential in baking. This is the best one I've found.

oxo spatula

oxo silicone spatula

The best spatula for mixing your starter each day -- super easy to clean and very durable.

Create a starter with reliable consistency using whole grain rye flour

dark rye flour

Whole grain rye flour is key to making an active sourdough starter.


The Beginning Baker

A list of tools that are almost all necessary to bake at home. You could get away with not having a few of them (bench knife, ambient thermometer, white rice flour, bulk container, and fine sea salt) but I highly recommend them all.

Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven Combo Cooker

lodge combo cooker

Cast iron and built to last. This pot traps steam to encourage maximum dough rise.

Dough Bench Knife

bench knife

A must-have. Used to cut, lift & move your dough.

Plastic Dough Scraper

plastic scraper

Easily remove sticky dough from containers, the bench, and off your fingers.

Ambient thermometer

ambient thermometer

Monitoring temperature when baking is incredibly important.

White Rice Flour for dusting proofing baskets

rice flour

Rice flour has a high scorch point. Dusting your proofing baskets with this helps your dough remove cleanly.

Oxo Oven Mit protects hands and forearm from high heat when baking

oxo oven mitt

Protects your hands when working with a hot pan and oven.

Wide mixing bowl to mix flour, water, etc.

wide mixing bowl

A wide bowl makes hand mixing dough much more manageable.

Cambro plastic bulk container

bulk container

Clear sides let you see fermentation first-hand.

Digital Thermometer

digital thermometer

Monitoring dough temperature is critical throughout the baking process.

Fine Himalayan sea salt

sea salt

Any fine salt will work, but this is my current favorite.

Lame for scoring dough pre-bake

lame

A pack of razors and a coffee stirrer constructed as you see. Used to score your bread before baking.


Nice to Haves

These are tools that are by no means essential but will help increase the consistency in your baking. Sometimes just having the right tool for the job is half the battle.

Thermapen thermometer

thermapen

An incredible device that reads temperatures extremely fast and accurately.

Banneton for boules

10" banneton (boule)

A bowl used to hold proofing dough.

Banneton for batard

banneton (batard)

On the small side, these will still let you load dough in the Lodge combo cooker listed above.

Dough Proofer via @theperfectloaf

dough proofer

I keep my starter, levain, and dough at the perfect temperature at all times using this proofer.

Stainless spray bottle

stainless spray bottle

I use this to spritz the dough a bit just after placing it into the oven.

Flour sifter

flour sifter

Some recipes here call for "high extraction flour," this helps sift out some bran/germ to get this flour type.

baking steel

This steel replaces any need for baking stones and gets incredibly hot with no risk of cracking. It also cooks pizza incredibly well.

Plastic flour scoop

flour scoop

I keep these in my flour canisters, they make transferring and measuring super easy.

Razor sharp bread knife

bread knife

The best, and most cost-effective, bread knife I have yet to use.

tools_baking_stones

proofing liners

Cut these to fit your proofing baskets for easy dough removal.

Plastic bowl covers CoverMate Stretch-to-fit

plastic bowl covers

Several reusable bowl-sized plastic covers used to keep dough covered at all times.

Bread box

breadbox

Keep your bread fresh for up to a week in this box.

Bread box

large bulk tub

The perfect rectangular tub for 4kg+ batches of dough.


Seeds & Grains

Various seeds and grains I use when baking. Some grains are mixed into a dough, used as a topper only, or even cooked into a porridge and then mixed into the dough.

Sesame Seeds

sesame seeds

Sesame adds a fantastic umami flavor to the bread. Can be used as a topper or mixed into a dough.

Regular rolled oats for porridge

regular rolled oats

When making oat porridge bread, you want regular non-thick oats. These are my favorite.

Flax seeds for baking

flax

Flaxseeds are incredibly healthy and delicious.


Flour

Ideally, you'd want locally milled flour for freshness and to support local farmers & millers, but sometimes that is not an option. Central Milling and Guisto's both provide flour that I've found to be excellent.

Central Milling Artisan Bakers Craft Plus Organic Flour

central milling artisan baker's craft plus

CM has some incredible flour; this is a workhorse flour for any bread.

Giusto's Artisan Bread Flour

giusto's artisan malted bread

I love this flour; it's my current top choice.


Pans

These are the best pans for baking a variety of bread including rye, whole grains, and high hydration loaves. For more information check out my guide to baking pan bread.

USA Pan Pullman Pan

USA Pan Pullman 9x4 inch

This pan is perfect for rye bread and smaller sandwich loaves. Incredibly durable, silicone lined and produces a beautiful loaf.


Storage

The containers listed below are the best I've found to store flour, grains, and just about anything else in the kitchen.

Large Cambro Storage Container

cambro storage 18 quart

These, with lid, are quite large and perfect for storing 25 lbs. of dry grain or flour.

XO Good Grips POP Container Big Square (4.0 Qt)

OXO good grips 4 quart

I use these to store all my flour (they hold 5 pounds). They are airtight, light, and solid -- just the best.


Grain Mills

Below is a list of my favorite grain mills used to mill fresh flour in my home kitchen regularly. They are all built extremely well and are capable of producing excellent flour.

Mockmill Grain Mill

Mockmill 100 Grain Mill

A beautiful mill capable of producing very fine flour at a fantastic price.

KoMo Classic Grain Mill

KoMo Classic Grain Mill

A workhorse mill that produces very fine flour. Built by hand in Austria.

GrainMaker 116

GrainMaker 116 Grain Mill

A hand-operated, well-built mill that's capable of producing extremely fine flour at low temperatures.