Bread machines have been rendered obsolete by no-knead bread and no-touch dough handling. No-knead bread is a lot better looking, better tasting and the crust is wonderfully crisp. No-touch equipment is cheaper, easier to store, easier to clean, and can be used for other cooking and baking. Start with a few critical items and then add a few more when you start baking bread several times a week.
The items listed below are must haves. The other items in the full list of no-touch bread equipment make bread making easier but can wait until you've made a dozen loaves or so. For full details on the no-touch technique and equipment, see my first two pages at right.
Dutch Oven for Baking the Dough
Silicon Kneading Tool
A non-stick flexible surface for working the dough is critical to the no-touch technique. No flouring is necessary, and you can pick up the mat and dump the dough onto the parchment paper. Many supposedly non-stick pastry mats aren't.
Parchment Paper for Dutch Ovens
Any parchment paper will work but these round folded circles make handling the paper easier. I use pre-cut and folded parchment circles made for Dutch ovens. It's available at some camping stores and Walmarts. It's made by Wausau Paper. If you use another parchment paper, cut it into a circle and fold it in half again and again to make a small wedge. That will help when you drop it and the dough into the 500° pot.