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The greatest thing since sliced bread? Knowing how to make your own — these five kitchen buys will help

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The beauty of bread is that it doesn’t require complicated ingredients or complex skills. Make the process even easier with these handy kitchen helpers.

For automatic assistance

With this nifty bread maker from Zojirushi, you can set it and forget it: simply measure out the ingredients for your chosen recipe, place them in the included baking pan, and the bread maker will knead and bake the perfect loaf for you.

Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus bread maker, $469, amazon.ca

KitchenAid 5 qt. patterned ceramic bread bowl with baking lid, $230, thebay.com

For less of a mess

This KitchenAid bowl works with the brand’s 4.5- or 5-quart stand mixers for fuss-free kneading. Or you can use the all-in-one dish to mix, proof, bake and serve your bread; the ceramic material retains and distributes just the right amount of heat for a wonderfully crispy crust.

KitchenAid 5 qt. patterned ceramic bread bowl with baking lid, $230, thebay.com

Chef'n pastry bench scraper set, $15, amazon.ca

For handling dough

When working with a wetter dough, using a bench scraper to handle it will prevent the mixture from sticking to your fingers. This Chef’n three-piece set is flexible and versatile, and the stainless-steel option divides loaves into equal portions with ease.

Chef’n pastry bench scraper set, $15, amazon.ca

Crate & Barrel Rima acacia and marble bread box, $120, crateandbarrel.ca

For keeping loaves fresh

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Don’t let your baking efforts go to waste: store your loaf in a bread box — with its just-right balance of humidity and air circulation — to prevent staleness. This Crate & Barrel design will look chic on your counter, and the fitted lid doubles as a cutting board, too.

Crate & Barrel Rima acacia and marble bread box, $120, crateandbarrel.ca

"Bittman Bread: No-Knead Whole Grain Baking for Every Day" by Mark Bittman and Kerri Conan, $50, amazon.ca

For foundational recipes

Mark Bittman authored the “How to Cook Everything” series, so it’s no surprise that his new book on bread is full of accessible advice. He and co-author Kerri Conan detail whole-grain, no-knead loaves, baguettes, focaccia and other adaptable recipes.

“Bittman Bread: No-Knead Whole Grain Baking for Every Day” by Mark Bittman and Kerri Conan, $50, amazon.ca

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