Welcome to my 2023 Holiday Gift Guide for Cooks and Bakers! Are you looking for a gift for someone who cooks or bakes? (Don’t forget to get something nice for yourself too!) Here are some gift suggestions suggestions based on things I use all the time!
Last updated November 22, 2023 – Originally posted in 2017
Going through this list of items is like visiting with me in my kitchen. You can see what tools I use as I’m making bread.
Let’s get started!
Measuring Glass – The Man of the House said we needed a measuring glass. I wasn’t convinced, but it turns out he was right. We use it all the time. It’s perfect for measuring small amounts of honey or other liquids.
Dry Measuring Cup Set – People who make bread need two types of measuring cups. One set for dry ingredients and another set for wet ingredients. Dry measuring cups are for measuring things like flour and sugar. You scoop things into the cup and then level off with a straight-edged kitchen utensil.
Wet Measuring Cup – For measuring liquids like milk or water you need a see-through measuring cup. I have a collection of sizes to accommodate various recipes.
16.5 by 11.75 inch baking and cooling rack – In 2019, I needed a new cooling rack.
As I was reading the reviews for different cooling racks, I noticed that the big complaint was rust. People bought a cooling rack, only to discover that it quickly became rusty. This seemed to happen on every cooling rack I read about.
It made it difficult to choose a rack. I crossed my fingers and ordered this one.
It’s November of 2023 and I’m happy to report that my new cooling rack hasn’t rusted at all! It’s as bright and shiny as the day I got it.
Bench Scraper Set– I’ve started using a bench scraper when working with dough. It helps me move sticky dough around and I love it when I’m dividing dough for rolls or buns. I use a plastic one, but this set also comes with a stainless steel scraper for those of you with more durable working areas.
Gamma Lids – We bought this set of eight 2-gallon buckets with Gamma Seal lids to store flour and other food products. I love them!! (If you’d like to buy them one at a time, here’s another link for single two-gallon buckets with Gamma Lids.)
If you’re not familiar with Gamma Seal lids, you’ll want to check them out. It makes opening buckets of flour a breeze! Note the top of the buckets. I can easily grab the top of the bucket and twirl.
And moving from 5-gallon buckets to 2-gallon buckets makes my life much easier! I could lift the 5-gallon buckets . . . barely. Here’s more information about how we store flour in bulk.
Pizza Stone – The Man of the House, TMOTH, has always made great pizza. It’s even better now that we own a pizza stone!
We wondered if a pizza stone would really make that much of a difference. It totally did! We’re thrilled that we bought it.
Wondering what bread machine to buy? I’d buy a Zojirushi machine.
Zojirushi bread machines are well built and make great bread.
I make all the bread, hamburger buns, dinner rolls, pepperoni rolls and hot dog buns for our household. That means that I use my bread machine two to three times every week. In my experience, Zojirushi bread machines will last four to six years under those conditions.
Both are good machines. I’m giving you the highlights here, but if you want to know more I’ve got an article devoted to picking out a bread machine.
The BB-PDC20 Virtuoso Plus machine is really popular. However, I had questions about this machine, including the usefulness of the special cycles. I wrote about this in my article devoted to picking out a bread machine.
Pros of the Virtuoso Plus:
- Gluten-free setting
Cons of the Virtuoso Plus:
- More expensive
- No quick dough setting
I think the BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme is a good choice for most people.
Pros of the Home Bakery Supreme:
- Less expensive
- Has a quick dough setting
Cons of the Home Bakery Supreme:
- No gluten-free setting