What mother doesn’t love to bake?
(That’s a rhetorical question. We all know a few of them, but thankfully for our childhood memories they’re the exceptions, not the rule.)
With Mother’s Day fast approaching, the annual “what kind of gift would she like” question is once again front-and-center. There’s an obvious answer, though, at least for any mom (or wife, or partner) whose idea of a fun couple of hours is turning out yummy cakes, cookies, cupcakes and bread: baking equipment that will make her time in the kitchen more enjoyable and her food even more delicious.
Our suggestions will focus on two categories: regular baking, and the preparation of wonderful, fresh bread.
Gifts for the Bakers in Your Life
There’s a good chance that your mom has a favorite mixer that she wouldn’t give up, even with a gun to her head. Instead of trying to get her to put “old reliable” in the pantry in favor of a new, super-duper KitchenAid, Breville or Cuisinart, you’ll have better luck convincing her to replace her battered old baking cookware with new, top-of-the-line products. She’ll appreciate the gift, and may also appreciate not having to grab a the best kitchen utility knife to defend her hand mixer.
#1 – Pyrex Easy Grab 8-Piece Glass Bakeware and Food Storage Set
Everyone knows and loves Pyrex. Their glass bakeware has been around for more than 100 years and is still a classic. This eight-piece Pyrex bakeware set includes a 9×13 oblong baking dish and a square 8×8 baking dish, each with accompanying lids, plus two one-cup glass storage containers. The set is a terrific yet inexpensive Mother’s Day gift, and everything’s perfectly-made in the USA – as you’d expect. After all, it’s Pyrex.
- Warp and stain-resistant glass
#2 – Rachael Ray 10-Piece Cucina Nonstick Bakeware Set
And almost everyone knows and loves Rachel Ray, the long-time Food Network fixture. The ten-piece Rachael Ray Cucina nonstick bakeware set is perfect for the mom who bakes everything from cakes to cookies to muffins, featuring two baking trays, a set of round, oblong and square pans, loaf pans and a muffin tin. Everything is well-constructed, durable and beautiful, and the price is extremely reasonable for a complete collection of bakeware.
Gifts for the Bread Bakers in Your Life
Some moms bake bread, and the rest of them should – at least, when they have you over for dinner. Yours may never give up her kitchen mixer but if she still bakes bread by hand, trust us; after her first experience with a high-end bread machine she’ll realize that it’s time to move into the 21st century.
These bread machines each have something special going for them. And don’t worry, we realize this is Mother’s Day and not a golden wedding anniversary. Not all of these machines cost a fortune.
#3 – Zojirushi BB-CEC20
OK, this one is expensive. But it’s worth the price. The Zojirushi BB-CEC20 bread maker is of extraordinarily high quality and it turns out exceptional breads. This model has ten preprogrammed settings for baking everything from white and wheat bread to sourdough bread and jams, and it provides full control over everything from the color of the crust to when you want the machine to start (for example, if you want to wake up to freshly-baked bread). There’s also a quick-bake feature if mom’s in a hurry.
- Bakes a rectangular two-pound loaf
- Two-blade kneading
- Easy digital controls and auto-shutoff
#4 – Breville BBM800XL Custom Loaf Bread Maker
The Breville BBM800XL Custom Loaf is also on the expensive side, but it’s also very well-made (as you’d expect from Breville) and has more useful features than any of its competitors. There’s a collapsible paddle that reduces the size of the telltale “bread machine” hole at the bottom of the loaf, and an automatic fruit and nut dispenser that mixes ingredients into the bread at the right time. Best of all, you can choose the size of loaf you want to bake from one pound to 2½ pounds. The Breville is also the best gluten-free bread machine you can buy.
- 13 automatic settings for bread type
- Select from 4 loaf sizes and 3 crust colors
- Full-featured, easy-to-use LCD screen
#5 – Oster Two-Pound Expressbake Bread Machine
Here’s the value choice, and it’s a great one. The Oster Expressbake Bread Machine gives you 12 bread settings, three crust choices, an express mode that can bake bread in under an hour, a fruit and nut dispenser, a 13-hour delay timer – all for about one-third the price of the Zojirushi or Breville. The Oster lets you show how much you care for mom, and for your budget, at the same time.
- Bakes a rectangular two-pound loaf
- Makes dough, jam pizza, and cake dough as well as bread
- Extremely attractive price
#6 – Emile Henry Bread Cloche
Our final suggestion isn’t a bread machine at all, but it’s a must-have for moms who insist on baking their bread in the oven. A cloche is a covered, dome-shaped bread baking pan that traps heat and moisture inside, creating a crispy, flaky crust that’s unbeatable. The round, French-made Emile Henry Bread Cloche is the best you can find, with its glazed ceramic bell-shape design able to replicate the taste and appearance of bread that comes out of a baker’s steam-injected oven. Yum.
- Each cloche individually hand-made
- All natural materials and proprietary technology
- 10-year warranty
A Delicious Mother’s Day
There’s one drawback to giving bakeware or bread machines for Mother’s Day. Your mom, wife or partner may accuse you of choosing the gift more for your stomach than her happiness.
Just tell her the real reason: every time you eat something she’s baked, your love for her grows even more. That should make her happy – and keep the delicious baked goods coming for quite some time.
While you’re here, be sure to check out our kitchen product reviews!