Sourdough bread, with its rustic crust and fluffy crumb has been around for generations. It’s an art that requires having the right tools and techniques. I bake sourdough bread a few times a week, sometimes my family can eat a loaf a day. We can have it for breakfast with butter and cheese, a sandwich for lunch, and with any type of dinner! I wanted to share my top 11 favorite tools for sourdough bread baking that I use every time I bake.
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Sourdough Starter: The Heart of Your Bread
Before diving into any equipment, you’ll need a thriving sourdough starter. You can either create your starter from scratch using my 3 TBSP method or get some from a friend or online.
Selecting the right flour is a must. Most sourdough recipes call for high-quality, unbleached all-purpose or bread flour. I always recommend King Arthur Bread Flour, King Arthur All Purpose Flour, or any flour that has high protein content, anywhere from 11%-14%.
Baking sourdough is a science as much as an art. A digital kitchen scale is essential for accurately measuring your ingredients, especially flour and water. Consistency in your measurements will lead to consistent results.
You’ll need a large mixing bowl for your dough. I always prefer glass but I have used stainless steel or plastic.
Banneton or Proofing Basket
A banneton or proofing basket is used to shape and support your dough during the final proofing stage. These baskets create a beautiful pattern on your bread’s crust and help maintain its shape.
Always dust your proofing basket with Bob’s Red Mill Rice Flour. This will prevent your dough to stick to the proofing basket. Once you have tried rice flour, you will never go back.
Bread Baking Mat or Parchment paper
A bread lame is a small, yet indispensable tool for any serious bread baker. A razor blade attached to a handle, it allows bakers to score their bread dough just before baking. These precise cuts serve both functional and aesthetic purposes, controlling how the bread expands during baking and creating beautiful patterns on the crust. A good-quality bread lame ensures clean, controlled scoring, helping you achieve the perfect bloom and texture in your homemade bread.
To achieve that coveted crispy crust and soft interior, you’ll need a Dutch oven. Preheat it in the oven before placing your dough inside, and it will create the perfect steamy environment for baking. I recommend 5.5 qt Dutch oven.
Bread knife is essential to making sure to slice the bread with ease and precision. It features a long, serrated blade that allows you to effortlessly cut through the crusty exterior of bread without compressing or tearing the soft interior. The serrations grip the bread’s surface, providing clean, even slices, whether you’re working with a rustic artisan loaf or a delicate baguette.
Most of these items you should have at home.
I hope this 11 Favorite Tools for Sourdough Bread Baking will help you make your own successful beautiful sourdough bread.
Do you prefer boule or batard shape for your bread?
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