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 fair 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 also to scrape flour and other debris from the countertop, baking mat, making tray, etc. Since they are plastic, you don’t have to worry about them scratching your table or dishware. They are flexible, allowing you to maneuver them better than metal ones. 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 clear so when you flip the dish upside down to release the sourdough dough to your work surface, you will be able to see it do so. A lid provides an easy and quick way to cover and uncover your dish before and after folding. Plus glass containers are super versatile– they double up as a baking dish and storage for times when you are not using it for bulk fermentation.
Below is a link to 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 using the dutch oven. It is the most approachable method, not to mention a dutch oven is affordable and versatile. There are many dutch ovens to choose from on the market but I chose Lodge because of its quality and affordability. After many years of use, ad it still holds up and performs. As for size, my preferred is a 6qt dutch oven since it fits a loaf made with 300-500g flour perfectly.
Proofing basket (banneton) + Liner + Disposable Shower Cap: For proofing
Having a proofing basket and liner is an essential tool for sourdough bread baking. Although you can use a bowl and a kitchen cloth to proof your dough, I have run into quite a few complications doing so 😅. Having a proper banneton and liner is more foul proof and it just makes 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! A 10″ oval banneton holds roughly 600-800g of dough. A 10″ round banneton holds about 800-1000g of dough. Linked below are the 10″ oval and round bannetons from the best-selling brand, Saint Germain.
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 work as a perfect cover over the proofing baskets above. Why are they perfect? Because unlike regular plastic wrap, the shower caps create 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.
Bread Lame/Razor: For scoring
Before you bake a loaf, you need to score it using a bread lame or a razor to prevent unwanted cracking and to get that perfect rise. I discovered this bread lame by Saint Germain 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 essential for getting nice, even cuts from your sourdough loaf! Most bread knives out there, I find, are a bit too small and don’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 at cutting through large roasted meats as well as delicate veggies like tomatoes. I am a 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.