Remember back when flour was impossible to find because you, your neighbor and your neighbor’s neighbor were all making their own bread? Well, good news: The days of scarcity are behind us, and there’s flour (and pre-baked loaves!) aplenty. Maybe you realized at some point, elbow-deep in dough, that you actually really enjoyed making and eating your own warm loaves. But you don’t want to go back to full-on bread drama. You’re not opening a bakery, here, after all.
We feel you. Here are the easy, low-drama, boxed-mix or special-pan shortcuts and hacks you need and deserve after the floury last year.
Calling all French bread and baguette snobs! We can agree that (unless you have a killer boulangerie just down the street) they’re just tastier when you make your own. Warm, with that crackling crust and plush interior, baguettes are just the vehicle for pâté, cornichons or charcuterie. The Emile Henry mini baguette maker is what you want if you dream Parisian daydreams of individual jambon-beurre sandwiches. Need one to break apart for your whole crew? Get the large one. We also carry a mix for a fluffier style of French bread, which you can pour into one of our loaf pans.
Let’s call a spade a spade, here: Making bread can be messy work! There’s almost invariably a sheen of flour over everything despite your best efforts. Why not minimize that, and keep your measuring cups stashed away? You are absolutely worthy of add-egg-olive-oil-and-water bread mix. Especially when it produces a marvelous Parmesan garlic loaf.
Need something in which to bake it? You’ve held off long enough: Get a loaf pan! Lodge to the rescue, or this classy Emile Henry loaf pan, or their bread baker, if you’d like the option of covering it as it bakes (or storing it later). If you’re partial to baking sticky loaves, like those with dates, consider a nonstick pan. The Nordic Ware Anniversary loaf pan creates a swirl pattern on the finished product that is just gorgeous. (Emile Henry has its own “ruffled” version!) We have our own super-simple five-star-reviewed loaf pan. Silpat carries a five-star “mini” loaf pan plaque that is *the cutest.*
OK, now that you own a proper loaf pan (no judgment that it took you so long), the sky is the yeasty limit. Consider Meyer lemon bread, another simple add milk-eggs-and-butter mix for which you don’t need to breathlessly await Meyer lemon season. Drizzle over an easy glaze or eat it as-is for breakfast or teatime.
Another fuss-free mix that deserves its place in your new loaf pan rotation, our easy-peasy coffee cake features a luxe cinnamon streusel and is a snap to pull together. (We know we don’t have to tell you what to serve coffee cake alongside, right?)
While sourdough showboated in the early days of 2020, with folks trading starter like it was black-market bitcoin, the rest of us were happily making no-knead bread in our Dutch ovens. All you need is a little advance notice before making one of these beauties, which are a marvel of science: An overnight rise and a wet dough hit a hot Dutch oven and poof! Bread happens. This rosemary-lemon loaf doubles as a scented candle for your home, in the very best way.
That sounded like too much work to you? OK! Back at it, minus the rosemary and lemon, adding in that beer you have kicking around the fridge from who knows which guest. (Pro tip: It doesn’t need to be fancy beer to make great bread!) Half Baked Harvest‘s Tieghan Gerard is the brain behind this beauty of a recipe.
You, too, can be the Southern grandma of your dreams, and make cornbread shaped like corn cobs. What’s been stopping you? Consider this five-star chipotle-and-cheddar recipe as your entrée into the Southern grandma field. Lodge has the seasoned cast-iron pan you need. If it’s all just too adorable for you to handle, we also carry Lodge’s new wedge pan.
We talk a big focaccia game around here, it’s true. We say we’ve got the only recipe you need. We’re yammering about how simple it is, and how there’s no going back once you’ve made your own. We stand by it. And now, because we’re feeling extra-didactic today, we’re gonna tell you we have the pan for you, too. Lodge’s new seasoned cast iron baking pan with grips is just the thing for beautiful, blooming focaccia.