When beginning a new hobby we all need the essentials.
If we starting watercolour painting we will need a set of basic brushes, a palette, set of quality paints, watercolour paper, etc
It is the same with sourdough baking. The difference is that there is not much of an initial cost and we can all use most of the tools we already have in our kitchens.
Maybe something that not all of us have is a big enough pot with a lid which is either glass, cast iron or terracotta.
So here is what you will need:
The first and most important ingredient
You can either tart it yourself (we have a dedicated articles just to sourdough culture, levain and how to look after it) .
The easiest way and quickest, if you don't want to wait 14 days to create an active and healthy starter, is to buy it or ask a friend who bakes sourdough to give you some.
We truly believe that sourdough culture should be shared and not sold for profit, that's why we have some in our online shop where you are only paying for delivery and packaging.
Sourdough starter has to be fresh, smells pleasant, active and in good shape so to be used in bakes.
It is important that the flour you will use is very good quality, organic and not bleached.
We recommend to start with organic bread flour and add only 10% some additional, different kind of flour - for example Rye, Malts, Wholemeal, etc
You can find how to calculate bakers’ percentage and more in our article about sourdough bakers' terminology.
You don't have to invest in a proofing basket just yet, but if you decide that you love this hobby and would love to bake more, there are plenty of sizes and shapes out there.
To begin with you can use any bread basket you have or a small cake tin, loaf tin… just line it with pure cotton cloth and you are ready to go.( make sure you sprickle enough dusting mix before you put the dough in though)
You will need a few jars to keep and refresh your starter in, but I am sure you have plenty in your kitchen. Best jars are the ones with rounded bottoms so they can be cleaned easily. They need to have a lid too, or you have to be inventive and use foil, or silicone one.
Shower cap/ Cling film or silicon lid
One of those essentials is needed as you will need to cover the dough during bulk proof as well as when it is going in the fridge for retardation.
People use cotton kitchen towels but we think that plastic works better( unfortunately) as it traps the air inside and the top of the dough doesn't dry out. This helps to achieve those pretty blisters while baking the loaf too) We have tried the wax wraps too, but they don't stick to the bowl nicely and tightly and air still gets inside and dries the dough out.
It is essential, as you will need to monitor the temperature of the starter and the dough, especially if you are very new to the process.
Just a simple razor blade will work at the beginning. Make sure you keep it safe and away from kids though. Some people use normal knives to score their loaves. So this is ok too.
You can make your own lame too.
Just by using a Cava/ Prosecco cork , razor and hemp string you can do that at home. In one of our YouTube homemade lame making videos you can see how to do that.
You probably have one already, but they are available widely.
You will need to divide, shape and transfer your dough from the worktop to the banetonne.
So it is essential.
Or in other words, a pot with a lid.
Can be cast iron, glass or terracotta.
This is probably the most expensive tool/ equipment that you will need but it will last you the longest too.
If you are planning to start this new hobby you can find everything you will need to bake your first loaf by checking our sourdough kit in our shop. The only thing you will need to buy separately is the Dutch oven.
Wish to all beginners happy baking, stay positive, enjoy the ride and don't give up!
It is an amazing hobby and sourdough bread is the best bread possible, made with lots of love and dedication!