Breadmaking Tools and Appliances

Terminology and definitions for bread types, bread ingredients, bread making and baking.

© 2011 by KV5R — Rev. April 15, 2011.

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8. Breadmaking Tools and Appliances

Baking Stone, Pizza Stone

A ceramic slab, usually ½–¾-inch thick. Free-form loaves can be baked directly on it. A baking stone can hold heat very well, unlike a baking sheet. It is preheated before the risen loaf is placed on it. Stoneware partially simulates the baking qualities of brick and clay-dome ovens.

Banneton, Brotform, Proofing Basket

A woven wicker or spiral-wound reed basket for holding and shaping rising dough for freeform breads, where no baking pan is used. It may be cloth lined or bare, and is dusted with flour or cornmeal prior to use. They shape the rising dough (usually round or oval), which is then turned out onto a hot stone.

Bench Scraper

A kitchen tool useful for scraping dough off a kneading surface, and lifting sticky dough. Usually made of stainless steel, with a plastic handle molded along one edge. They may be dull-edged (to not scratch countertops), or they may be sharpened to double as a dough, cheese, or soap cutter. Bigger is better, with 5-by-7-inch being a large one.

Bowl Scraper

A plastic kitchen tool useful for scraping the curved sides of mixing bowls. It has two straight edges and one curved edge, and can be bent to fit the curve of the bowl. A bowl scraper, with a little water, should be used to clean dough mixing bowls. Never clean up flour or dough with a dish rag or kitchen sponge: the dough gets in the cloth or sponge, and you can never get it out, thus ruining them.

Bread pan

The most common bread pan is the rectangular sandwitch loaf shape. They are available in metal and tempered glass in various styles and sizes, with the most common being about 4–4½ by 9–10 inches. Larger ones are available from commercial restaurant suppliers. The metal ones may be machine folded (square corners) or machine formed (rounded corners). All should be nonstick (PTFE) coated, else they must be well-greased to prevent sticking.

Bundt Pan

Generally, a ring-shaped cake pan with fluted sides, but may be any shape of fancy cake mold.

Convection Oven

An oven with a fan that circulates hot air and cooks more evenly than conventional ovens. It does not require preheating and uses conventional cookware. In some cases, convection ovens excessively dry out the food, leading to tough crusts.

Baker's Couche

A large piece of linen or flaxen canvas used to wrap dough for rising. It may be scrunched or folded in various ways to help rising dough hold its shape. It is seasoned by dusting it with flour. It need not be washed but can be hung out to dry and later the dough crumbs should be scraped off.

Food Processor

A kitchen appliance designed to chop, dice, puree and slice a wide variety of foods. Larger models can also be used to knead bread dough.

Grain Mill

Machine designed to grind wheat and other grains to make flour. Milling is a process of finely pulverizing something by passing it between metal or stone discs, where one is fixed and the other is rotating.

Grinder, coffee and spice

A small electric appliance, similar to a blender, made with a high speed rotary blade. Used to grind dry coffee beans, various dry spices, and nuts. Not suitable for hard grains like wheat, which must be milled.

La Cloche Baker

A fired clay bakeware set designed to imitate brick or clay dome ovens. Like an upsidedown stoneware Dutch oven, the La Cloche has a flat bottom with low sides and a dome that goes over the top. They are typically preheated to 450–500°F — and handled with great care!

Lame

A tool used to slash (dock) loaves. Some look like a long-handled knife, others like a double-edged razor blade on a stick. It is designed to cut the bread tops at an angle rather than straight into the loaf.

Mortar And Pestle

A kitchen tool that consists of a small bowl (mortar) and a bat-like tool (pestle) that is used to grind (crush) dry spices and herbs. Seldom used now, because a good one costs more, is less effective, and is slower than an electric coffee/spice grinder.

Peel

Like giant spatula. The business end is about 12 inches square, and the handle is several feet long. They are essential for getting foods into and out of brick and clay dome ovens. Shorter ones are available for use in conventional ovens equipped with a baking or pizza stone.

Perforated French Bread Pan

Bakeware for bread that is perforated with many small holes, which make a crispy crust all around the loaf. The perforated metal is formed into a double or triple U-shape, which makes round-bottomed breads. Also known as baguette molds and French molds, the baguette type makes 3 breads about 2 inches in diameter, and the French type makes 2 breads about 4 inches in diameter. Both are about 16 inches long, and are available online for about $20 in nonstick coated aluminum. In use, the dough must be fairly stiff and well dusted, else it will get into the small holes and burn there, becoming very difficult to remove.

Pullman Pan

A pullman pan is a loaf pan with a lid that slides across the top to seal the dough inside. The dimensions are usually 13x4x4 inches. The bread is generally compact since it is trapped within the pan. It makes good slicing bread for sandwiches.

Stand Mixer

An electric appliance with a rotating mixing bowl and a geared machine for turning various mixing attachments. One common model is the Kitchen-Aid brand of stand mixer, known for having enough power to mix and knead the heaviest doughs.

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