Searching for the perfect gift for the budding bread baker in your life?
Then read on for my Christmas gift guide!
From stocking fillers to star gifts, there’s something for everyone. You might even get a great tasting loaf of bread in return!
Gift voucher for a bread making class with The Epsom Bakehouse
The perfect gift for the budding bread baker in your life.
A gift voucher for an online breadmaking class is the gift that keeps on giving – you might even get some fresh bread in return!
Gift vouchers can be used towards all my online classes.
Meaning your budding baker could learn to bake everything from baguettes to cinnamon rolls, Chelsea Buns to a crusty sourdough loaf.
Bowls and measuring jugs
Ok, you might already have these.
But if not, you don’t need to get anything fancy.
I prefer lightweight plastic bowls for two reasons. One, dough is quite heavy! A lightweight bowl is easier to lift or turn when you’re making your dough.
Two, with a transparent plastic bowl, you can really see your dough rising and all the little air pockets form as the yeast get to work. Great for keeping an eye on progress. Mine are all from Wilkos.
Lame (or grignette)
I pronounce is ‘larm’ but I stand to be corrected!
However you say it, this tool is essentially a razorblade on a stick and is used to cut a pattern into the top of the loaf right before you bake.
You could use a knife, but these tend to drag on the dough. Cutting a pattern not only makes your loaf pretty but also improves your crust. Mine came from Bakery Bits.
These can become an extension of your hand when making dough.
Great for everything from mixing ingredients, dividing up dough right up to scraping clean your work surfaces.
A sturdy plastic scraper should do the trick for all your bread making needs.
Great for mixing up your bread ingredients before you start kneading. I’ve found it especially useful for thoroughly mixing in my refreshed sourdough starter to a final dough. However, the whisk can be used for many baking tasks – try it for mixing up cake batter too. Mine came from Bakery Bits.
I have been asked before if I score all the perfectly neat circles on the top of my bread. Definitely not! They are the imprint from my bannetons, or bread proving baskets.
There are various versions out there, including plastic ones, ones made from cane, or like mine – from compressed wood pulp.
Bannetons are most useful for sourdough breads, when doughs are often wetter and need more support during the final prove to ensure they hold their shape.
You can also tip your proved dough straight out onto a hot baking sheet or stone. A word of caution – bannetons are not for baking in! Mine have come from Bread Matters.
There are so many bread making books out there! But which ones have I found most helpful?
Here a few books that I think have both some great recipes but also help you learn a little more about the techniques of bread making.
They’re also ones that have been popular reading with students in my classes.
Brilliant Bread by James Morton (former Great British Bake Off contestant)
So you’ve mastered the techniques, found a favourite recipe and the delicious scent of baking bread is now filling your home.
The last step to enjoying your bread is to cut the perfect slice and for that, you’ll need a decent bread knife. This is something I’m asking for this Christmas – something that can cut with ease through a crusty loaf, giving an even slice every time.
A baking dome, or cloche, is perhaps the best way for the home baker to achieve an even better rise in their loaf, not to mention a great crust.
Baking your loaf inside the cloche traps steam around the loaf, delaying crust formation as the loaf rises as much as possible. The lid can then be removed towards the end of the bake to allow the crust to firm up. I’m going to be asking for one like this for Christmas!
The Epsom Bakehouse is not responsible for the content of external websites and in no way endorses any of the products mentioned above. I was not paid or given free merchandise by any of the retailers listed above.
If you’ve enjoyed this guide, do let me know in the comments! Or why not check out the other breadmaking recipes, hints and tips on my blog.
And if you’d like to learn to bake your own bread step-by-step, join me on a fun, relaxed live online bread making class. Find out more and book your place here.