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My favorite Sourdough tools:
Every serious cook needs one of these in their kitchen:
I picked a couple really good ones to choose from. The stainless steel scale would be nice because you won’t accidentally hit buttons when you go to wipe flour off your display, but the more sleek, glass design will fit smoothly standing up in your cupboard.
I own the glass version, and I love it, but I am seriously tempted to buy myself the stainless steel one too because of the accidental button pushing problem. Hmm… where to store it?….
A home for your Starter
Some people call it the “world’s most boring pet”… but it doesn’t poop, puke, stink, or destroy things. AND it’s delicious. I’d say that makes for a pretty awesome pet… and as such, he/she deserves a decent home.
Since I typically store Josephine (white starter), Andy (mixed flours 50%AP, 25% Rye, 25% Spelt), and Booch (AP with Kombucha) in my refrigerator, I needed a home that would easily go in and out of the fridge without having to deal with cling wrap, shower caps or waste. These jars are my favorite!
The first one is 1/2 gallon: for the Avid Baker who wants to keep a 3-6 cups of starter on hand for everyday use – daily bread bakes, waffles, pancakes, donuts, bagels, english muffins, you name it!
The second is 1 quart sized: for the Faithful Baker who consistently bakes 2-4 loaves per week.
The last is 1/2 pint sized: for the Hobby Baker who doesn’t want to feed much (or deal with too much discard) to keep the starter healthy and active. This size jar will not support enough starter for regular baking, just enough to create a “Levain” each time you want to use it.
Making the Dough
I personally don’t really care for using a Danish Dough Wisk. My tool of choice is a good old spatula. But it can’t be just any spatula. It has to be extremely stiff (to get all the dough off the edge of the bowl) but also sturdy enough to get good leverage on the dough and not break. These ones from Thyme and Table are the best because, not only are they functionally perfect, but they have super fun + classy styles and colors to choose from. Plus, they are awesome for everything else in your kitchen too! Win-win!
The salts are the only 2 salts I use in my kitchen. Based on mineral content and lack of refinement and or added chemicals, they are the best salts for use in fermentation (and human consumption). They are also the salts recommended for Sauerkraut and other vegetable ferments.
Flour seems to be inordinately expensive online ($50 range). I go to Costco for mine and get 25lbs for less than $7. Mixing in some Spelt flour is a must in my kitchen, but, same thing, you are probably better off to buy in store. If I find any good deals online at any point I will link them then!
Forming the Loaves
I LOVE Bread Bosses Products! By far the top of the line (and I’m not paid to say that). They come with warranties, basket liners, a bread club, cool packaging AND a dough scraper if you want fancy bannetons. I, for one, prefer my simple flour sack towel in a colander method for the rustic appeal and easy storage, but whatever floats your boat. I use and love both methods.
Bread scrapers are AMAZING for cleaning bowls and countertops, separating loaves, starting your stretch and folds, and so much more. The day I got my first bread scraper changed my world! If you get nothing else for your sourdough experience, get yourself some bread scrapers! You will be glad you did!
Ready to Bake
This lame is the one that I use. I love it. At first I wasn’t sure if I liked the weight or the handle style, but then I realized how much better it was than pretty much all of the other ones out there. You could just use a regular razor blades but be careful not to cut yourself. I love that this knife comes with replacement blades and a super nice case.
I use my round Dutch Oven for baking round loaves and my oblong one for oval loaves (or 2 bread bowls). They make flawless bread every time! I also got rid of my InstantPot, my Pressure Cooker, AND my CrockPot because I just love these so much. Can’t say enough good things!
My pizza stone was my favorite wedding gift and can easily be used to make sourdough if you add steam to your oven while baking. Plus, I use it for pizza (duh), homemade granola, roasting veggies and countless other baking ventures. (Also helpful for crisping crusts on the bottom of pies and quiches that seem to always have a soggy middle. It lives in my oven. #fave