If I had a dime (ok, make it a dollar for inflation) for every time, someone told me they would love to bake sourdough, but they don’t have the proper tools and/or equipment. I’d be rich. Many people believe that to achieve the specific desired results of creating that “perfect” sourdough bread, they need to have a fancy glass jar, proofing basket, and Dutch oven. These are the items we regularly see on social media in relationship to sourdough bread baking; having anything less than these essentials you will be doomed to bread baking failure, right?
This is a common misconception (and I’m sorry to say all-too-common excuse) for people when it comes to starting sourdough baking. Sure, having a few non-essential yet helpful tools in your kitchen makes the process more pleasant. But if you are not ready to invest in these items, certainly understandable if you are not yet sure if this kind of bread baking will be up your alley, the only thing you need to start with is a kitchen scale and good quality flour. In fact, when I started to bake sourdough, the only tool I owned was a scale.
Want to know how I compromised in the early days? I stored my precious starter in a 32 oz. plastic container until I purchased my glass jar. Instead of a whicker proofing basket, I used a mixing bowl lined with a dish towel to hold the shaped dough during the final proof. No Dutch oven…no problem. By simply creating steam in your oven (a topic all its own) you can achieve similar results to what you get with a Dutch oven...all you need it is a sheet pan and some ice cubes.
Now you have one less excuse 😉 to start baking sourdough bread. What are you waiting for?
If you are indeed preparing to bake with sourdough (I hope you are!), below are the five top tools I use every time I bake a batch of sourdough.