I ferri del mestiere

Here you can find a list of tools that you can’t live without:

  • a cast iron casserole (Dutch oven)
  • a proofing basket (banneton)
  • bread scoring tool
  • a tilt-head stand mixer

Cast iron – why is so important?

A cast iron casserole is part of any baker’s basic toolset. It is also called Dutch oven: during the late 17th century, the Dutch system of producing the cast iron cooking vessels was more advanced than the English system. The Dutch used dry sand to make their molds, giving their pots a smoother surface. That’s why the metal cooking vessels produced in the Netherlands were imported into Britain and later used worldwide. The Dutch oven can be used on charcoal fire, gas oven, electric oven etc.

It allows to cook your bread at constant temperature and give it a wonderful crunchy crust.  You can get a good and not too expensive cast iron casserole from Ikea (http://www.ikea.com/us/en/search/?query=senior).

Ikea Senior Cast Iron Pot

Ikea Senior Cast Iron Pot

Of course you might want a Le Creuset (https://www.lecreuset.com) super expensive one: trust me, the Ikea one is perfect, for a fraction of the price.

Proofing basket

The proofing basket is where you put your loaf for the proofing phase (after the fermentation). I use cane baskets, but you can use also wood-fibre baskets. You can find them on Amazon.

Proofing basket

It is important to prepare your basket before use. This will help preventing the tough to stick to the basket. To do that you have to mist spray the basket with water, then add some flower and distribute it all over the interior of your basket. Remove the flour in excess and leave it dry.

When you need to use it for baking, give it a good coat of flour to prevent the dough to stick to the basket. After use, store your baskets in a dry place and check they are completely dry before storing.

Every three or four months place your basket in a preheated oven (120-130 ºC) for about 45 minutes.

Bread scoring tool

The bread scoring is the signature of the bakery. But, first of all, the bread scoring is important to allow the gases generated during the bread baking to exit the loaf and to generate that wonderful open crumb that we, amateur bakers, have always dreamt of.. It will take a while before you get to master this technique.

Bread scoring tool

 

 

 

 

 

I personally use this scoring tool  from the Weekend Bakery (www.weekendbakery.com).

 

Tilt-head stand mixer

I use a KitchenAid Artisan: it was my 2016 birthday’s gift, much appreciated! It is robust, simple to use, powerful, a valid companion for our baking adventures. Information about the KitchenAid product line can be found here.

KitchenAid Artisan

KitchenAid Artisan

 

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