- Bread pans - I prefer pyrex pans (glass) as they give the bread a crispy outer crust and cook the bread evenly.
- Bread mixer - this is not optional in my opinion. I prefer Bosch mixers - the compact Bosch is perfect for a small family - it makes 3 loaves.
- Grain Mill - I love the Wonder Mill (used to be called Whisper Mill). Hand mills are excellent for emergency situations, but impractical in my mind for everyday bread making. Freshly ground grains add more nutrition to your diet than store bought flours. The fresher the flour, the more vitamins and minerals it will contain, and the better it is for your family.
Now for some tips:
- Yeast - I use SAF-instant yeast. It is wonderful!
- Dough should still be very sticky when dough mixing. In fact, so sticky that when you go to put it in the pans, you can't form the loaves without putting a little oil on your hands first.
- Gluten Flour - the purpose of the gluten flour in my whole-wheat bread recipe is to stick the bread together better. Gluten is like glue. Freshly ground whole-wheat tends to have less gluten than the white flour you can buy in the store. When using whole-wheat flour it takes more flour to make the bread stick together, which makes the bread less moist, more dense and less tasty. Adding the gluten flour makes the bread stick together better without having to add more flour and hence keeps it moist, light and very tasty.