Tuesday, September 29, 2009

bread baking tools

I use all of these tools when baking bread. I thought I'd explain what each one is for. (Click on the name of the tool and it will take you to a place where you can buy it. I just found these places by searching on Google.)

Lame (bread slashing tool): A razor blade on a stick. It can be substituted for a very sharp razor blade, but it has a nice handle that makes neat slashes. Making slashes will help the bread rise in a controlled place while in the oven.

I got this at Sur la Table for $7.

Baker's couche: A rising cloth made from unbleached natural flax fiber. This is a better surface for rising bread than a towel because its rough texture doesn't let the dough stick. I hear that the surface absorbs some of the moisture in the dough, which gives the bread a thick crispy crust. It's also helpful for making a wall between loaves. Don't wash the couche! Keep flouring it and not washing it to create a better surface.

I got this from Sur la Table for $6.

Cooling rack: When the bread comes out of the oven you should always let it cool before eating it! This is because cooling is part of the process of forming the crust and the structure inside. Just take the bread out of the oven, put it on the cooling rack for 15 minutes and it'll be ready to eat. It will still be warm and delicious.

We just had this cooling rack at our house.

Baking stone: This will conduct heat really well to get your bread hot enough to have a crispy crust and be baked evenly. You preheat it with the oven for an hour before baking the bread.

I don't have this yet, but I have a ceramic baking sheet that works. I've heard you can also just use an unglazed ceramic tile.

My friend Christian found this sheet at a garage sale, and it was like $10.

Plastic wrap: This is what you should cover your dough with so not much, but some, air gets in or out. It's good to spray it with oil before letting the dough rise because sometimes it will stick to the plastic and deform the dough.

You can get this at any grocery store.

Dough scraper: Indispensable for working with sticky dough. It's great for when you're first kneading the dough and it keeps sticking to the counter because you don't have to add extra flour. Adding extra flour makes the dough less wet and thus creates less bubbles. It's also great for helping you move the dough around.

I got this from a Goodwill store for $3.

Oil spray: So necessary! Otherwise you have to spread oil with a paper towel or your hands into plastic bags, saran wrap, pans, etc. and waste a lot.

I got this (actually an olive oil spray) at Trader Joe's for $3.

1 comment:

  1. Baking Oven

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