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This is an extensive list of my favorite sourdough tools and resources, from equipment to cookbooks, classes and websites. Everything you need to start (or grow!) your sourdough journey.
One of my New Year’s resolutions this year was to start baking sourdough bread. It was part of a larger picture to start baking “healthier”, with organic ingredients and more whole grains.
I had years ago had made a sourdough starter and it went unnoticed in the back of my fridge for months. But this year, it became my baking goal of 2020 to finally start my sourdough journey.
And I’m proud to say I am on my sourdough way. My starter, proudly named Hagrid, has already produced so many gorgeous delicious loafs there is just no way I’m going back now. And with all my sourdough baking I did a lot of research. Bought a few necessary tools. Cookbooks. And so I wanted to help you get started.
This is my extensive sourdough tools and resources list (websites, cookbooks, and classes) that I have bought, used and loved to hopefully help you be on your way to making gorgeous, nutritious, and delicious sourdough bread.
If you want to learn how to make sourdough, I think video is always best. So here are two online classes to get you learning in our own kitchen in the fastest way possible.
- Sourdough A to Z Course and E-book – This course from Traditional Cooking School is extensive and you will seriously be a sourdough expert after this course.
- Online Baking Classes with Bluprint – Bluprint (formerly known as Craftsy) has lots of baking classes, and a Sourdough baking class in particular. I learned a lot with this class and highly recommend!
- Artisan Sourdough Bread Made Simple – This is MY favorite book on sourdough. It’s the book I have used extensively and got me on my way to making sourdough this year. I’ve already made quite a few recipes from the book
- Tartine Bread – I’ve just purchased this book, so I haven’t had a chance to dive into this yet. But their sourdough bread recipe reviews was enough to have me finally cave and get the book.
- Flour Water Salt Yeast – This book is chock full on information and has a wonderful chapter on making breads from sourdough and levain.
Sourdough Bread Tools
Like anything, a few good essential tools make things easier. Same thing goes for bread baking. Here is the list of tools I recommend to make the best homemade bread.
- Bread Lame– A bread lame (pronounced la-may) is use to slash through the top of a proofing bread. Right before baking your bread, you will need slash the top of it. This slashing creates a beautiful design in the top of your loaf but it is also necessary for those high hydration lean dough breads to allow steam to escape. I’ve tried NOT using a bread lame and tried to use a kitchen knife. I ended up simply tearing the top of the bread. This is the bread lame I own. It’s been a game changer.
- Dutch Oven– A Dutch oven helps to recreate those bakery style loaves you know and love with those crusty exteriors. A Dutch Oven holds a high temperature longer than an oven and contains the steam released by the bread. What’s this mean for your bread? A nice lift and crust. Of course, dutch ovens can be a bit of an investment. Le Creuset is probably the #1 seller, but also going to cost you a pretty penny. I found my Cuisinart dutch oven at a local Home Goods store, so keep an eye out!
- Rolling Pin– For some of your rich sweet breads, you will need to roll out your dough to form it into the desired shape. I prefer the type of rolling pin that has a tapered end and no handles.
- Kitchen scale– With any baking, measuring by volume can lead to inconsistencies. Investing in a kitchen scale will help with getting consistent results. Also, a scale will aid you in portioning out dough when making rolls, or multiple loaves.
- Digital Thermometer– I use my digital thermometer ALL the time when making bread. It comes in super handy when taking the temperature of your liquids.
- Dough Container – Now you can definitely get away with using a large mixing bowl to hold your dough while it rises but a dough container with measurements on the side makes it much easier to tell when your dough has doubled in size. If you’re making large batches of dough, it also makes for easy storage in your fridge.
- Banneton– If you want to achieve those beautiful round boules of bread, the secret is in the basket. The banneton basket. The banneton basket is essentially a cozy place for the bread to proof. While it proofs, it will also give it a beautiful design on the outside. Some are lined with linen, some aren’t- it’s up to you which you prefer!
- Pastry Mat – This mat is essential whenever I’m making any type of bread where I need to roll out the dough to a certain size. No more guessing if the dough rectangle actually is “16×24” anymore. It also works double duty when making pies. So basically it’s out on my counter almost all year round.
- Loaf Pan – For my shaped sourdough bread loafs a loaf pan is essential.
- Bowl Scraper– When making your dough, this is a handy tool for getting your dough out of the bowl. It’s a flexible little piece of equipment that will ensure no dough is left behind.
- Bench Knife– When you need to divide your dough or simply get that sticky ball off the counter, a bench knife is your new best friend.
- Bread Knife– Ok I guess I could have just said “bare hands” as essential bread making tools. Because trust me, I’ve been there. But assuming you may want to serve the bread to others, there is nothing like a serrated bread knife for getting the job done.
- Stand Mixer – When it comes to making bread, I’d be nowhere without my stand mixer and the dough hook attachment. This makes quick work of some heavy duty lifting of kneading dough.
- Dough Whisk – If you want to go old fashioned and make your dough by hand. Then a dough whisk is essential. I have to admit I wasn’t convinced I really needed this, when I had a perfectly good whisk already. Then I finally caved and got this dough whisk. And it makes exceptionally quick work of making the dough by hand. I was an instant believer. I’ve seen the dough whisk light and it’s beautiful.
- Glass Bowls – I have tried to stop using my stainless steel bowls (although safe to use King Arthur Flour says – can sometimes supposedly give an off taste or react with your starter). So I’m switching over to using glass bowls.
- Sourdough Containers – I use a glass 3/4-L jar, but King Arthur Flour has a great stoneware crock that people love using.
Making great sourdough bread and having a thriving sourdough starter is all about focusing on using great ingredients. I like using organic flours, and love using King Arthur Flour.
I buy my flour from Thrive Market, an online grocery delivery site. They have a wide range of organic flours, and great whole grain options a as well
Sourdough Websites To Check Out
- The Clever Carrot – Emilie is the author behind this blog and my favorite cookbook, Artisan Sourdough Made Simple. Shas great recipes and a whole section devoted to Sourdough baking you have to check out.
- The Perfect Loaf – This is THE website on sourdough if you ask me. From tutorials, to recipes, to just all the information you could ever want. Seriously. It’s a must to check out!
- King Arthur Flour – Of course you can’t go wrong with KAF and all the resources and recipes they have on sourdough.
- Traditional Cooking School – This website has great recipes on sourdough, videos, and classes to check out.
Sourdough Recipes And Tutorials
Here are the recipes and tutorials I have created to get you on your way TODAY with sourdough.
- Sourdough 101: What Is Sourdough?
- How To Make Sourdough Starter From Scratch
- How To Feed And Maintain A Sourdough Starter