My Baking Tools

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 with anything I’ve found to be better than the tool used before it.

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 get more serious head to the Nice to Haves section and explore 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, just plain 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 an 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

I keep my starter in these all the time and use them for pickling & many other things

baker’s scale

the best scale at this price point. a scale is 100% necessary

oxo spatula

oxo silicone spatula

this one-piece Oxo spatula is the best thing to maintain your starter, no nooks and crannies and easy to clean

Create a starter with reliable consistency using whole grain rye flour

dark rye flour

I love Bob’s quality and rye flour is the key to creating a lively 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’d highly recommend picking up all of these items if you’re really going to start baking.

Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven Combo Cooker

lodge combo cooker

cast iron, you cannot go wrong. this helps trap steam to get that high 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 ambient temperatures is incredibly important in baking

White Rice Flour for dusting proofing baskets

rice flour

rice flour has a higher burning point and thus is perfect for lining your proofing baskets

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

oxo oven mit

able to protect your hands from a 500ºF heated cast iron pan: worth it

Wide mixing bowl to mix flour, water, etc.

wide mixing bowl

a wide bowl makes mixing without spilling that much easier

Cambro plastic bulk container

bulk container

Clear sides let you see fermentation first-hand and measurement strip helps determine dough rise height

Digital Thermometer

digital thermometer

monitoring dough temperature is very important and should not be overlooked!

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 to raise your baking game to the next level and/or will make things much, much easier. Only pick these up if you’re very serious about baking or have been baking a while.

Thermapen thermometer

thermapen

an absolutely amazing device, reads temperatures accurately in 1 second

Banneton for boules

10″ banneton (boule)

naturally porous, 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

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 into the oven, helps create those wonderful crust blisters

Flour sifter

flour sifter

some recipes here call for “high extraction flour”, this helps sift out some bran/germ to get this

baking steel

this steel replaces any need for baking stones and gets incredibly hot with no risk of cracking. also bakes 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 most cost effective and best 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 bowl-sized plastic covers, used at all times when dough is resting. eliminate waste as these are reusable

Bread box

bread box

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 (like oats) are only used as “toppers” or cooked into a porridge for incorporation during bulk fermentation.

Sesame Seeds

sesame seeds

used to coat and bake-in some of my seeded bread recipes

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

extremely healthy, and tasty. used to coat and bake-in some of my seeded breads


Flour

Ideally you’d want locally milled flour for freshness and to support local farmers & millers, but sometimes that is not an option or perhaps you just want to try something new. Central Milling and Guisto’s both provide flour that I’ve found to be excellent, with perhaps a slight lead to Giusto’s at the moment.

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 sandwich loaves, rye bread and a variety of other breads.

USA Pan Pullman Pan

USA Pan Pullman 9×4 inch

This pan is perfect for rye bread and smaller sandwich loaves. Incredibly strong, silicone lined and makes 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 store all my 5 lb. sacks of flour in these. They are airtight, light and very strong — simply the best


Grain Mills

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

Mockmill Grain Mill

Mockmill 100 Grain Mill

A wonderful mill capable of producing very fine flour, and at a fantastic price

KoMo Classic Grain Mill

KoMo Classic Grain Mill

A workhorse 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