The 12 Best Bread Making Tools in 2021

Bake the perfect loaf at home

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Bread is an inherently simple product, requiring little more than flour, yeast, salt, and water. But anyone who’s attempted making fresh bread at home knows that it’s so much more than the sum of its parts. For those who have grown to love the art of breadmaking, investing in some additional tools will almost certainly elevate the quality of your final products, and make working with your dough a little easier. 

This is a collection of tools that will help you from mixing your dough, through proofing, shaping, and finally baking your favorite loaves.

Our Top Picks
Make fresh homemade bread with this compact machine that churns out a 2-pound loaf in under an hour.
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This iconic mixer makes quick work of kneading bread dough (among other things) while looking beautiful on the counter.
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Excellent variety of sizes made from stainless steel that nest for easy storage.
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Expertly score homemade loaves and baguettes using this easy-to-maneuver tool that comes with additional blades.
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Durable, inexpensive, and has an easy to grip handle that lets you scrape and split dough without slipping.
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Make professional-looking loaves thanks to this rattan proofing basket that is resistant to splintering and molding.
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This heat-proof, shed-free silicone brush is perfect for painting loaves with egg wash or butter before baking.
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Make your own fresh lemon, orange, or lime zest to use in your favorite breads—it works great for cheese too!
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This inexpensive spoon is made from a solid piece of beechwood and is more durable than plastic options.
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This tapered rolling pin is lighter than many traditional straight pins, making it easier to maneuver.
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01
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Best Bread Maker: Oster ExpressBake 2-Pound Bread Maker

Oster 2-Pound Expressbake Bread Machine with 13-Hour Delay Timer, CKSTBRTW20
What We Like
  • Nearly effortless breadmaking

  • Programmed for a wide variety of breads

  • Makes generous-sized loaves

What We Don't Like
  • Produces a basic loaf without frills

Take the intimidation out of bread-making with this affordable machine by Oster. This model features 12 settings, three crust settings, and can turn out loaves as big as 2 pounds (in under an hour if using the Expressbake feature). It also comes with recipes for a virtually fail-proof bake, so beginners don't need to worry at all. Best of all, it has a pretty compact footprint so it doesn't take up too much valuable counter space—especially important if your kitchen is small.

Ideal for: Homestyle loaves | White and whole wheat bread loaves | Fruit and nut loaves

02
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Best Stand Mixer: KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer

KitchenAid® Artisan® 5 qt. Stand Mixer
What We Like
  • Easily handles tough doughs

  • Impressive variety of attachments

  • Heavy-duty bowl with handle

What We Don't Like
  • Heavy

  • Enamel-coated attachments could chip

The iconic KitchenAid stand mixer can do many things, including kneading up to four entire loaves worth of bread in one go. This model has a 5-quart mixing bowl and comes with a standard paddle, whip attachment, and most importantly, a dough hook that will make it easy to work your dough, aiding gluten production for a better rise. We purchased this machine to test out just how well it could handle mixing dough and were very impressed with the results. Our tester made both bread dough and pasta dough, without any difficulty from the mixer. The stainless steel bowl, whisk, and dough hook are all dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup. It is available in over 30 colors, so you can color-coordinate your mixer to your kitchen decor.

Ideal for: Mixing almost any kind of dough | A wide variety of pastry and savory mixing

What Our Testers Say

"[T]he mixer did an excellent job kneading bread dough, and it didn’t complain one bit. Lighter-weight tasks, like mixing cookie dough and cake batter were a breeze..." Donna Currie, Product Tester

03
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Best Mixing Bowl Set: FineDine Premium Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls

What We Like
  • Non-reactive stainless steel for any ingredients

  • Flat bottoms for stable measuring and mixing

  • Safe for oven and stovetop use

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't come with lids

A good set of mixing bowls is essential to bread baking. When making fancier bread or the simpler quickbreads, you will often need more than one bowl for mixing the ingredients. This set by FineDine includes six sizes (ranging from .75-quart to 8-quart bowls) made from lightweight stainless steel. The flat bottoms offer great stability when mixing and are easy to clean by hand or in the dishwasher. The bowls also nest for easy and convenient storage.

Ideal for: Yeasted doughs and doughs that need to rest | Doughs and batters light enough to be mixed by hand | Scaling ingredients.

04
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Best Bread Lame: Breadtopia Bread Lame

What We Like
  • Professional results

  • Includes replacement blades

  • Packaged for safe storage

What We Don't Like
  • Small learning curve

Ever wonder how bakeries get those beautiful, raised-edge designs baked into their loaves? It's all in the scoring. While you can certainly use a sharp knife to slash your dough's surface—crucial for allowing proper expansion while baking—using a bread lame gives you greater control over the angle, depth, and design of your cuts. This lame by Breadtopia is simple to assemble and has an easy-grip resin handle (shaped like a baguette) for steady control and accurate scoring. It comes with five replacement blades and a storage box for when it's not in use.

Ideal for: Baguettes | Sourdough | Artisan breads

05
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Best Bench Scraper: Norpro Grip EZ Chopper Scraper

What We Like
  • Heavy-duty stainless steel scraper

  • Soft non-slip grip

  • Inexpensive

What We Don't Like
  • Measurements may wear off with use

A bench scraper is a must for shaping and moving slightly sticky pieces of dough around on your work surface. This inexpensive model from Norpro is designed to easily scrape or portion out dough, but it can also be used for crushing ingredients or measuring and cutting pasta or cinnamon rolls, thanks to the blade's measuring guide. Made from durable stainless steel, this scraper features a Santoprene handle that helps you grip the blade comfortably for better control. Cleanup is easy—just hand wash with a gentle scrubber and mild dishwashing detergent.

Ideal for: Portioning dough | Handing dough | Chopping herbs | Frosting Cakes | Cleaning countertops

06
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Best Proofing Basket: Bread Bosses Banneton Proofing Basket

(9 Inch) Banneton Proofing Basket + Bowl Scraper & Cloth Liner -Perfect Bread Loaf Shape Flour Round Rising Rattan Wicker Wood Handmade Large Oval Prooving Brotform Set Dough Box
What We Like
  • Great size for many breads

  • Includes linen basket liner

  • Additional bowl scraper is handy

What We Don't Like
  • May need to purchase an additional basket for larger projects

If you're trying to create the shiny, chewy crusts that are a favored characteristic of artisanal bread loves, this 9-inch rattan basket is a game-changer for home bakers. Traditional bakeries use this type of proofing basket, known as a banneton, that allows air to pass through and creates a skin on the surface of the dough as it rises and makes it easier to score. The ridges also leave a beautiful spiral pattern on the dough that shows up during the final bake. Also included are a bench scraper—a must-have for shaping—and a cloth liner to use for high-moisture doughs.

Ideal for: Yeasted doughs | Sourdough | Artisinal loaves

07
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Best Pastry Brush: OXO Good Grips Silicone Basting & Pastry Brush-Small

What We Like
  • Doesn't shed bristles like classic pastry brushes

  • Dishwasher safe

  • Designed to keep countertops clean

What We Don't Like
  • Silicone brush doesn't absorb as much liquid

Some breads, like soft dinner rolls or brioche, require a final coating before baking. For this, you'll need a pastry brush to paint loaves with butter, milk, or an egg wash before the loaf goes into the oven (useful for getting poppy or sesame seeds to stick and to encourage a golden finish). This silicone brush by OXO has heat-resistant, easy-to-clean bristles that won't shed and a comfortable grip handle. The tapered outer bristles allow for brushing more delicate doughs and pastries, and the angled brush head keeps the bristles off the countertop. When you're done, you can just place the entire brush into the dishwasher for easy cleaning.

Ideal for: Egg washes | Butter basting | Finishing glazes | Dusting off dry flour or crumbs

08
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Best Zester: Microplane Black Classic Stainless Steel Zester and Cheese Grater

What We Like
  • Strong stainless steel zests almost anything

  • Countless pastry and savory uses

  • Available in 21 colors

What We Don't Like
  • Nothing, it's perfect

Lemon poppyseed cake and cranberry orange bread are just two examples of quickbreads that require citrus zest to add a boost of flavor that holds up through the baking process. This classic handheld grater from Microplane makes it easy to finely zest oranges, limes, lemons (and any other citrus), and also works well on hard cheeses like Parmesan to use in homemade breadsticks and gougeres. The ultra-sharp blade is made from surgical-grade stainless steel which resists rust and maintains its sharpness well. You'll also be able to use this for grating nutmeg and cinnamon into your favorite recipes for ultimate freshness.

Ideal for: Zesting anything, from citrus to spices, cheese, chocolate, and even garlic

09
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Best Wooden Spoon: OXO Good Grips Large Wooden Spoon

What We Like
  • Solid wooden spoon feels substantial

  • Non-reactive

  • Several styles and sizes available

What We Don't Like
  • Hand wash only

  • May stain or absorb odors

Wooden spoons are essential for hand mixing bread dough—they're more durable than plastic spatulas and aren't reactive like metal spools. This basic yet sturdy wooden spoon from OXO is made from a solid piece of beechwood with an oil finish and features a large handle that fits comfortably in the hand. Use it to gently mix dough, from this basic bread recipe to this vegan challah. To clean, hand wash the spoon and dry completely before storing.

Ideal for: Stirring medium to thick batters

10
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Best Rolling Pin: J.K. Adams FRP-1 Maple French Rolling Pin

What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • More rolling control

  • Solid wood lasts years

What We Don't Like
  • Slight learning curve

  • Hand rinse only

Whether you're making sticky buns or cinnamon swirls, you’ll need a good quality rolling pin to roll out the dough. This French dowel-style rolling pin from J.K. Adams is made with slightly tapered ends, making it lighter than traditional pins for easier maneuvering. It is made from a slightly textured, sustainably harvested North American hardwood that holds a dusting of flour to prevent dough from sticking. This solid wood rolling pin is incredibly sturdy and will likely last for decades, but it is also backed by a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer.

Ideal for: Rolling almost any kind of dough or pastry

What Our Experts Say

"It takes a little getting used to, but once you get accustomed to the curve of a French rolling pin, you have so much more control when rolling out doughs. I use this rolling pin for most doughs, including sugar cookies, pies, cinnamon rolls, and pretzels."Jenny Kellerhals, Baking Expert for The Spruce Eats

11
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Best Loaf Pan: Chicago Metallic Commercial II Traditional Uncoated 1-Pound Loaf Pan

Chicago Metallic Commerical II Traditional Uncoated
What We Like
  • Helps form perfectly-shaped loaves

  • Sturdy stainless steel lasts for decades

  • Great size for gifting

What We Don't Like
  • Coating may cloud if washed in dishwasher

Loaf pans are wonderful for making homemade sandwich loaves or baking decadent chocolate babka. This heavy-duty loaf pan is made from aluminized steel and features a reinforced rim that helps to prevent warping. This pan measures 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.75 inches and can comfortably fit a 1-pound loaf. For easier lift-off, line this pan with parchment paper before use. While the manufacturer says this is dishwasher safe, hand washing will help to extend the life of the pan and you'll be able to use it for years to come.

Ideal for: Loaves or pastries that need to bake in a form

12
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Best Bread Knife: Mercer Culinary Millennia Wide Wavy Edge Bread Knife

Mercer Culinary Millennia Wide Wavy Edge Bread Knife
What We Like
  • Great price

  • Ergonomically-shaped handle

  • Long-lasting serrated blade

What We Don't Like
  • Not especially attractive

Once that fresh loaf of bread cools, you’re probably going to want to immediately slice into it and enjoy the fruits of your labor. You don’t need to spend big bucks for a reliable bread knife. This 10-inch bread knife from Mercer is both cost-effective and high quality. Used in professional kitchens and culinary schools, Mercer makes this serrated bread knife with a high-carbon stainless steel blade that’s evenly sharpened on both sides so it can easily be used with the left or right hand. The blade extends into the handle for the most stability and longevity, and the handle itself is ergonomically shaped for comfortable handling, even through the thickest sourdough crusts. A combination of texture, Santoprene, and polypropylene makes for a non-slip handle to keep a good grip when cutting through extra oily breads like focaccia. Hand wash this knife to keep it in the best shape.

Ideal for: Slicing through any bread

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

This piece was written by Bernadette Machard de Gramont, an LA-based writer who specializes in global food and wine content. After a two-year stint at Williams-Sonoma Headquarters in San Francisco, she now researches and tests a variety of cookware, bakeware, and wine tools and interviews field experts for their insight. As an avid baker, she personally owns several of the above products, including the KitchenAid mixer, Bread Bosses banneton proofing basket, and the Breadtopia bread lame.

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