Kitchen Basics
While bread has been baked for thousands of years with very little special equipment we are fortunate today to have some great gadgets and appliances to speed and assist in our baking. Many household kitchens will have most of these various items but on this page are the basics for the breads we are going to bake.
The single most important thing is the flour. Many bakers today swear by King Arthur Brand and I am one of them. It costs more than the national brands but it gives consistently better results. At your local supermarket or
Plastic buckets with lids & Instant (Quick Rise) Yeast. Several buckets in various sizes will prove indispensible. Start with 1 qt., 4 qts., and 6 qts. They are perfect for storage as well as holding rising dough and other ingredients.
Instant Yeast is added directly to the mix without proofing first in warm water or milk. It's easier and more reliable. Buy a 1 lb. bag and keep it in a tightly sealed Mason jar in the fridge. It is far cheaper as well in the 1 lb. bag and you will use it up.
A "Peel" is the classic wide wooden
spatula (also metal) used to shove your dough into the oven. While the same thing can be done with an upsidedown sheet pan you will feel like a baker from the first time you use your peel! It's also great for getting your bread out of a hot oven!
Note: All of the recipes use un-bleached flour, filtered water, sea salt, and  unsalted butter
Consistent bread making requires a digital scale. Gram weight is the only way to acheive the necessary accuracy
A baking stone is a must have for producing a great bottom crust and chewey interior. A "pizza" stone is fine for one loaf. The stone shown here is a kiln shelf from a potter's supply. They are readily available, come in many sizes, last forever, and cost 2/3 Less than a pizza stone. They are avaialbe in thicker sizes as well. I use a 1/2" stone and a 1" stone, both 16x16