Katy maintains a 3-year-old sourdough starter and uses it for as much bread, muffin, and pancake baking as she can!
Gifts for Bread Bakers
Baking bread at home takes more than just flour and water! Bread bakers can be easy to shop for. Look for these gifts:
- Lame (Dough Knife)
- Proofing Baskets and Tea Towels
- Bread Slicer
- Bread Recipe Book
Read on to learn more about how to select the perfect gift and their prices.
Gifts for Preparing Dough
Find awesome tools to help your bread baker along in every part of the process. Preparing dough takes work, give them gear to aid in the process.
Proofing Basket (Banneton) ($10+)
Dough needs to be supported as it's proofing, or rising. Regular bowls work ok for support, but proofing baskets are better. They allow more air to the bread, which develops a better rise. Bannetons also have indents which give the bread the classic ridged look.
This Proofing Basket Set is perfect for beginners. I started out with it, and I've never needed an upgrade. It also comes with a bread scraper, which is saved me big time when I was a beginner. The markings on the bottom of the dough turn out beautiful with that basket.
Tea Towels ($5–$10)
Dough should be covered while it rises. Tea towels are perfect for this, and you can't really substitute with a heavier cloth.
Tea towels come in all sorts of sizes and patterns. Get something fun for your baker, they can't have too many. And they make great stocking stuffers!
Fermentation Box ($100–$200)
Since temperature is so important while rising many bakers pine after fermentation boxes. A fermentation box (or "fermentation station") is the best way to control the environment while dough is proofing.
Bread "lames" are special knives used to score the top of the dough. Those cuts allow the bread to rise in the oven. Otherwise, the tough crust will hold down the softer insides.
Depending on quality you can spend anywhere from $10 to $30+.
Unique Bread Baking Gifts
Not sure what your bread baker needs? Try any of these gifts when you're not sure what to get. These work for beginner to advanced bakers.
Bread Recipe Book: ($15–30)
Look for unique recipe books at the book store. Bread baking after certain heritages or cuisines is fun to learn. Books on how to bake high protein bread or gluten-free can be a nifty challenge.
Unique Ingredients: ($?)
Most bakers have a few bread recipes mastered. You can push their boundaries by gifting new ingredients for them to try. Think about the types of foods you'd like to try in a bread. Any of these would work:
- Dried Fruit
- Local Honey
- Unique flours or grains
Bread Cutting and Storage
Once the bread comes out of the oven, you need gear to care for it.
Bread Bags (about $5 each)
Without any preservatives, homemade bread doesn't last as long as store-bought bread. So the storage method is super important. You want to keep the bread fresh but not seal in up completely, which encourages mold.
Give reusable bread bags made of breathable (usually linen or cotton) material. The air flow will keep mold from growing on the bread. Quality ones will have a drawstring closure.
Bread Knife ($20–$50)
Make it a little easier to slice bread by giving a quality bread knife. A homemade baker needs a knife at least 10 inches long, since most homemade loaves tend to be wide.
Bread Slicer (varies widely)
Even a pro baker can't cut perfect slices by hand. Bread slicers can be automatic, or a wooden frame that guides knife cuts to a specific width.
Sourdough Bread Gifts
Sourdough bakers are a special class. They know a bread is only as good as the sourdough starter. Get them the gifts to help care for the very important starter.
Sourdough Starter Jar ($15–$20)
Some bakers get fancy with their starter storage, but a simple wide-mouth glass jar will do. Make sure there's a lid that covers the mouth but isn't airtight.
Fermentation Crock ($80)
There are some alternatives to a simple jar, and the fermentation crock is the top of the line. They can be expensive but are perfect for healthy sourdough starters.
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