Essential Tools for Sourdough Bread Baking

Sourdough bread is an outstanding health-promoting food, but it can be hard to find the time and know-how to make it. But if you already know how, next question in mind is what are the needed tools for me to create this mouthwatering healthy bread?

This list is for bakers and wanna be bakers who are looking to pick out all the right tools to give them a good start to their sourdough journey. I’ve included items that are going to help make the sourdough baking process easier, or give you an improved result.

Sourdough Starter

As you know, a sourdough starter is what distinguishes a loaf of sourdough bread from a loaf of yeast-leavened bread.

Sourdough Proofing Basket

This tool is not a must (you could use a towel-lined bowl), but if making sourdough is sure to be more than just a one-time thing for you, you’ll appreciate owning a sourdough proofing basket, which helps create the perfect moist environment for sourdough to proof. This tool is also called a brotform or banneton. Proofing baskets help to hold the shape of the loaf and provides a happy balance of forming a skin without drying out the dough too much during it’s 2nd rise.

Serrated Knife

The little teeth of a serrated knife are ideal for cutting through a crusty and chewy sourdough bread. Using a serrated knife in a sawing motion to cut through your loaf will prevent you from squishing your masterpiece.

Dough Scrapers

Once your dough has had a chance to ferment, you will be shaping it in preparation for the second rise. A dough scraper or two, are really handy to have around when making sourdough. You can use them for scraping out the last bits of dough in the bowl, assisting with kneading and shaping the dough, particularly if you are working with a dough that is sticky, scraping excess dough off of your hands, scraping the countertop surface just after shaping, dividing dough neatly and quickly.

You will find that using different types of scrapers are useful for different tasks, and will sometimes just come down to preference.

Bench scraper for shaping.

I no longer flour a work surface for shaping. I rely on my bench scraper and minimal handling of the dough.

Digital Scale

You must measure your ingredients with a digital scale all the ti,e. It’s the only way to accurately measure ingredients and to, in turn, make smart/informed changes based on your results.

An accurate scale for measuring out ingredients is essential when working with sourdough. As you become more experienced, baker’s percentages and ingredient ratios will become important to you, and help you improve your bread result. Without having accurate measurements, every bread bake will be random, without the knowledge of how to improve, or how to replicate that awesome loaf you just made!

Storage Jars for Sourdough Starter

The secret to great sourdough bread, is great sourdough starter. And maintaining it properly is just as important as making the bread itself. Having a specially designed sourdough starter jar will help you to understand and get to know your starter better.

Non-Stick Flour-Sack Towels

These flour-sack towels are amazing. Dough, even very high-hydration dough, releases without any sticking.

Rice flour

I sprinkle a little bit of rice flour on the flour sack towel before placing the shaped dough on it. It’s purely for looks — I like the contrast of the dusting of white flour against the auburn hue of the bread, and rice flour doesn’t burn the way wheat flour does. Before I discovered the flour sack towels, I used the rice flour to help prevent sticking with my tea towels, so you may find it helpful for that purpose as well.

Parchment Paper

For ease in transferring dough from counter to Dutch oven, I rely on parchment paper.

Razor Blade

For slashing dough before it bakes, you’ll need a razor blade. I don’t do any fancy scoring, but it doesn’t matter. A simple X looks dramatic in the end.

Double Dutch Oven

If you are after that crusty boule, you’ll need a Dutch oven. This one essentially lives in my oven these days. If you have a Dutch oven, you can definitely use it, but keep in mind: you might not like what the hot temperature of the oven for an extended period of time does to it.

Oven Mitts

And if you’re going to be handling a screaming hot cast iron vessel, you’re going to need a good pair of oven mitts. These have been great.

Dozens of sourdough bread recipes and tips will help you get started. It’s fun and easy, with our step-by-step guide!
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