Each type of bakery, shop or home is usually equipped with sufficient baking utensils. The right equipment can not be missed either if we produce bread for profession or if it's made at home for tradition. Later also new elements can be added as new molds or machinery.
In addition to a very good experience in kneading, it takes just some bowls to knead some dough and let it rise, wooden or plastic spoons, baking paper, scissors and sharp knives to cut bread shapes, wide and flat brushes, a wire rack to cool baked bread, a digital scale, and of course an oven.
In addition to the basic tools, there are some that make the preparation of bread certainly more professional, giving the opportunity to become real bakers at home.
First of all the "mattarello" (rolling pin), heavy, perfectly smooth and made of wood: there are no other distinguishing features for this tool handed down by grandmothers' kitchens, basic to roll out the dough.
So the "raschia", a kind of plastic or metal pallet, useful for bringing the flour to the middle of the dough, while ingredients are incorporated with the left hand, and useful to divide the dough in pieces once leavened.
To make the bread, it's not fundamental to have "molds" among baking utensils: in fact, they do not need for most of the shapes. But in the preparation of braids or loaves in box, salted plum cakes or small muffins, they are essential.
Obviously, if there is an electric oven, simply place the bread on the proper trays before baking. But if there's a wood-burning oven, "Peel" or scoop is essential, because it's well known that handling too much (or badly) a leavened dough can lead to its collapse. Remember, however, that the blade must be well floured, so the dough will easily slide on trays or on oven surface.
To make instead a bread similar to that baked by a wood-burning oven, just use the "baking stone", which will allow home oven to achieve and maintain higher temperatures than ordinary ones. It should be positioned in the lower part for large loaves, mid for sandwiches and rolls, in the higher part for pizza.
For those not familiar with the dough made by hand, a mixer is a valid alternative: with this tool all the magic of baking will be lost, but it's definitely useful when there's no much time and when the dough is very hard to work. In addition to making bread, it's also used to prepare dough pastry base and pasta, to mix eggs, butter and other ingredients.
Finally, if we need to have mixer and oven "all-in-one", the best chance among baking utensils is a "bread machine": it kneads, leavens and automatically cooks in optimal conditions a loaf of bread. We just have to weigh the ingredients, pour into the basket and select the program: an alert signal puts on when the bread is ready to be pulled out off the machine. Results are satisfactory, even if it's not possible to change loaves shapes.
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