In this post, I am going to share with you some of my favorite sourdough baking tools. I am no sourdough expert, but I have been making and experimenting with sourdough since 2017 so I would say I have quite a bit of practice and have figured out what my favorite essentials are! Here are my 7 must haves!
If you are interested in starting your own sourdough starter, or are curious about how I maintain my starter, you can refer to this post: My sourdough process: starter maintenance & baking schedule
Plastic Bench Scraper
I have gone through my fare share of bench scrapers and I have to say that by far, my preferred ones are these cheap plastic ones. They are great to use not only to flip and cut dough, but to scrape flour and other debris from the counter top, baking mat, making tray etc. They are plastic so you don’t have to worry about it scratching your table or dishware. They are flexible so you can maneuver it better than metal ones. And lastly, they are super easy to clean and you do not have to worry about rusting.
OXO Glass Dish with Lid: For bulk fermenting
I used just about anything with weight for bulk fermenting my sourdough dough. I want to emphasize with weight because if you use a light metal mixing bowl and are coil folding (which is my preferred folding style), the dough sticks and “pick up” the container. Therefore, if you are using a light weight bowl or dish, you have to secure it down when folding, which requires a bit of dexterity.
Out of all the weighted bowls and dishes I have used for the bulk fermentation process, glass dishes with a lid is the best. Glass is nice because you are able to the contents and when you flip the dish upside down to release the sourdough dough to your work surface, you are able to see it release. A lid is nice because it provides an easy and quick way to cover and uncover your dish before and after folding. Plus glass containers are super versatile– they doubles up as a baking dish AND storage.
Below is an awesome square glass container with lid by OXO. I really like how this dish has a lip which makes it easy to hold and move.
Dutch Oven: For baking
My preferred method for sourdough bread baking is the dutch oven method. It is the most approachable method, affordable, and the most versatile. You can use a dutch oven for a lot more than just bread baking. There are many dutch ovens to choose from but I chose the Lodge brand because of it’s quality and affordability. My dutch oven is now three years old and I am still loving it!
Proofing basket (banneton) + Liner + Disposable Show Cap: For proofing
Having a proofing basket and liner is an essential sourdough bread baking tool. I have tried using a bowl and a kitchen cloth as a substitute before and ran into quite a few complications 😅. Having a proper banneton and liner just make the whole sourdough making process a lot more seamless.
There are two banneton shapes: oval and round. I love the look of oval shaped loaves so I have a couple of those! I make small loaves since I bake mostly for myself and maybe one other person, so my preferred oval banneton size is 8″, which holds roughly 300g of dough. 10″ holds a little over 500g. Linked below are the 8″ and the 10″ oval bannetons that I used and also and 10″ round banneton. I have not used a round banneton but it is the from same brand as the 10″ oval banneton I have, so the quality should be similar!
Disposable Shower Caps: For proofing
Okay, so you probably think this is a mistake, but no, this is a must have essential paired with the banneton and liner for proofing your sourdough! These disposable shower caps are super cheap and works as a perfect cover over the proofing baskets above. Why are they perfect? Because unlike regular plastic wrap, the shower caps creates air space between the dough and the plastic cap, preventing the plastic and dough from touching and sticking to each other. Trust me, banneton + liner + shower cap is the holy trinity of tools in the sourdough proofing process.
Saint Germain Bread Lame: For scoring
A bread lame is a quintessential tool for sourdough bread making. Before you bake a loaf, you need to score it to prevent cracking and to get that perfect rise. I discovered this bread lame on Amazon and it was a no-brainer buy with its close to 5 star ratings and thousands of positive reviews. If mine ever fails me or if I run out of blades, I will 10/10 re-purchase this product!
Mercer Culinary Bread Knife: For slicing
Having a good, long, and sharp bread knife is so important in getting nice even cuts from your sourdough loaf! Most bread knives out there I find are a bit too small and doesn’t have the range to cut a large loaf of bread evenly. That is why I absolutely love this Mercer Culinary bread knife (linked below). It is high quality, ergonomic, and has a long thick and sharp blade. Other than for bread, it is also fantastic in cutting through large roasted meats and well as delicate veggie like tomatoes. I am a big big fan of multifunctional tools!
Have you used any of these or do you have a favorite essential bread making tool? Let me know what you think or if you have any recommendations! I would love to hear them.