The Best Bread-Making Tools for Home Bakers in 2024

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From dough whisks to bench scrapers—here are the essentials for a more old-school, hands-on approach when making bread. Injection Moulding Die

The Best Bread-Making Tools for Home Bakers in 2024

Many cooks like to split themselves into savory and sweet camps, but baking bread is a world of its own. Even for the most seasoned cook, baking a loaf of bread is a level-up and a major achievement for us in the kitchen. It also takes patience and the best bread-baking tools to get the right results. 

Whether you are a seasoned baker or a pandemic cliché that got started baking like yours truly, certain fundamental essentials make bread baking more accessible and, frankly, more successful. We scoured the market for the best bread-baking supplies, whether you are finally trying that no-knead bread recipe, challenging yourself with long-term projects like sourdough, or looking for our expert pick for the perfect bread cloche or proofing basket. We've also got tons of how-tos on how to make great bread worth exploring if you need more help understanding things like the proofing process or shaping loaves.

Sure, you can buy one of our favorite bread machines that will do most of the work for you, but this is for the home cooks and bakers looking for a more old-school and hands-on approach. Every path to bread is a good one; just remember the butter.

Starter jars are personal, but our favorite is the Weck Glass Mold Jars. This set of two comes with a wooden or screw-on lid. The wooden covers are our preference in case we overestimate the amount of flour and water when feeding our starter without a scale – not that we have ever done that. We like the tapered edges, which makes mixing with a spatula easier during feedings since you can get more leverage. The durable glass will outlast multiple uses and many cycles in the dishwasher; however, they are also affordable enough to replace if accidents happen.

The Oxo Stainless Steel Food Scale is the key to baking precision. One of the cardinal baking rules is that measuring by weight is superior to measuring by volume. You can also use fewer dishes since you can measure everything into your mixing bowl by zeroing out between ingredients using the tare function. We tested and reviewed digital scales in our labs; this Oxo scale is one of our favorites. We love how accurate it is and the easy-to-read digital display.

The Kenwood 5-Quart Chef Titanium Kitchen Machine is great for bakers who want a hands-off approach to mixing dough. The Kenwood mixer is an excellent tool for incorporating ingredients and kneading. We use it for stickier bread recipes or items like pizza dough if we want help with the elbow grease. Many mixers, such as the Kenwood model we chose as one of our favorite stand mixers, come with attachments like a dough hook to make all sorts of bread. This one is not only gorgeous but also robust and sturdy.

Dough whisks come in many shapes and styles, but we prefer the Original Danish Dough Whisk. The wooden grip makes it easier to hold while mixing slippery ingredients, as dough whisks tend to get messy quickly. It is excellent for baked goods, dough, or batters, like pie crusts, pasta dough, and buttermilk biscuits. To clean the whisk, rinse it off, remove any stuck-on dough, dry well, and store again. Note: It is not dishwasher safe.

A mixing bowl works well for any bread recipe, but a Cambro Camsquare Food Container helps with precision. Its square sides and pre-measured lines make measuring a dough's progress much more manageable. You know that part of many bread recipes when they tell you to let the dough double? You can see it happen and measure it with a Cambro. It is excellent for large batches of bread when a bowl won't do. Even better, it's more than just a one-and-done kitchen item. You can use it for everything from punch to brining whole chickens. Its uses are endless.

The OXO Bench Scraper helps cut up dough portions, clean a sticky work surface covered with flour and moisture, or you can use it to shape and create tension on your loaves before proofing. We like a padded handle like this model for comfort since breadwork can be fatiguing to the hand. You can even put it in the dishwasher for cleanup since bread-making is messy.

This set of three Earth Bunny Fabric Bowl Covers is made of 100% eco-friendly cotton cloth with elastic edging so you can use them on small, medium, or large bowls. The set comes in either blue or red stripes and breathes well since they are made from natural fibers, so you won't get too much condensation on your loaves as they proof. They are reusable and washable, and we also love how you can use them for various purposes beyond bread, like covering a picnic dish before serving to keep the flies away outdoors.

Our editors often use this Bread Banneton Proofing Basket and Lame Set when making sourdough at home. The set comes with everything you need to shape and proof your loaves. The two 9 x 3.5-inch banneton baskets have removable and washable linen liners, a professional wooden handled bread lame with spare blades, and a dough scraper. The lame has a nice curve allowing you to get the right angle with you to score loaves. It's great for anyone starting with bread baking or a gift to a baking enthusiast.

If you don't need a whole proofing set like the one above, a bread lame is a valuable tool to have on its own. This one comes with six spare blades and has a 2-in-1 design that allows the blade to adjust from straight to curved in seconds — that way you don't need two separate lames to achieve the perfect score. Its functional design allows you to make precise cuts so that your dough can expand properly, or you could even try intricate designs for an Insta-worthy loaf. We love that the handle is made of solid stainless steel, so it's extra durable, and it all comes in a convenient case for safe and easy storage.

While a bench scraper is useful for dividing dough on flat surfaces, a flexible bowl scraper can be invaluable when handling dough in your mixing bowl. This will help you when you need to transfer between bowls or onto a different surface as it will make sure you get every last sticky bit of dough from the bowl. This three-pack comes with one flexible scraper and two hard ones, so it's extremely versatile. And you may find yourself using them for more than bread baking.

The USA Pan Nonstick Standard Bread Loaf Pan is the best for baking sandwich bread. The heavy-duty, commercial-gauge aluminized steel ridges enable airflow on the bread's underside, so you don't get soggy bottoms. The pan has superior heat retention and promotes even browning along the surface of everything it touches. You can put this in the dishwasher, but we recommend washing it by hand if you want to maintain its finish, and you should also avoid using metal instruments inside the loaf pan so it doesn't get scratched.

Keeping everything at the optimal temperature is pretty important if you want to bake the perfect loaf. And whether you're making sure your starter stays at a perfectly warm 81 degrees or trying to maintain the dough at a consistent temperature throughout its preparation, a good digital thermometer can help you get an instant read and make sure everything stays on track. While this may seem like overkill, it will make a bigger difference in the final outcome of your loaf than you think. If you really want to go the extra mile, you may want to invest in a thermometer to measure the ambient temperature of the room and one for the oven as well.

While you can use a Dutch oven from our tested winners to make your bread, there are numerous vessels if you want something dedicated. French brand Emile Henry has innumerable bread-baking items, from baguettes to domed cloches for making boules. The lid creates an ideal baking environment, mimicking a steam oven, and the ceramic maintains its shine even during repeated high heat cooks. You can also put this in the dishwasher, which you can't say for cast iron bread cloches.

After you cool your bread down on a rack, you'll need a low-fuss serrated knife because we all know slicing hot bread is a no-no. You don't want to smoosh all that hard work on your crumb and crust. We love Japanese-style knives, and this Tojiro performed so well that we’d argue you simply need one. The wood handle makes for a sturdy grip, and its lightweight serrated blade is easy to manage. We also love the knife's flexibility when slicing through more stubborn loaves.

Putting freshly baked bread in a plastic bag can feel wrong if you bake yourself, and that's where the Emile Henry Breadbox comes in. The white Burgundian clay bread box has a nice amount of shine on the exterior and a wooden lid with a cutting board built in. The cutting board is super helpful if you go through artisan loaves quickly because you can slice off a piece, throw the crumbs in the trash, and close it back up until the next meal. It has the word "Bread" embossed on the side, a friendly wink to other bread boxes that aren't as subtle. You can also throw this in the dishwasher if you want to sanitize it, but we usually give it a quick wash with hot soapy water.

The Best Bread-Making Tools for Home Bakers in 2024

Insert Injection Molding Jennifer Zyman is a Senior Commerce Writer for Food & Wine and a recovering restaurant critic with a culinary school degree and over 15 years of food writing experience. Her work has appeared in Atlanta Magazine, Bon Appetit, Eater Atlanta, The Kitchn, Local Palate, National Geographic, Simply Recipes, Southern Living, and Thrillist. To write this story, she used market research and personal baking expertise.