To get you started, we have put together a list of Vanessa’s recommended and essential sourdough baking equipment and ingredients. You won’t have to buy much, because you may already have most of these items in your kitchen, and for other items it’s often possible to make do or repurpose things you already own.
Beginners sourdough baking ingredients and equipment:
If you are on a budget:
- The item that is most useful is a digital thermometer – this is an essential piece of kit when it comes to maintaining the correct temperature of your water, starter and dough.
- For the storage jar for your sourdough starter, you could just use a jam jar with a greaseproof paper lid and an elastic band.
- Any kitchen scales will do, but if you get totally stuck, then simply buy a 1kg bag of flour and use half for a 500g-flour loaf. You can use a measuring jug for the water, and 1 tablespoon of salt is about 10g.
- Ideally you will need a loaf tin, but if you are stuck, then a cake tin or even a Pyrex dish will do; just remember to butter and flour it well so your bread doesn’t stick.
- You don’t need a banneton; you can use a colander and a tea towel dusted very well with flour.
- If you don’t have a cloche to bake boules, you can use a casserole dish with a lid.
- Dough scrapers are very useful and can be bought for as little as £1 or £2.
Our sourdough baking kits
Always an option is our Essential Sourdough Baking Kit or Sourdough Boule Baking Kit both of which contain all of our favourite baking items needed to learn to bake delicious and nutritious, diversity sourdough loaves. They also come with a £99 e-voucher to use against our Sourdough Club Community Membership.
If you are not on a budget
- Bakery scales – ideally with a built-in bakers’ percentage function, but this is not essential.
- A Danish dough whisk, for mixing your dough (if you don’t have one, a wooden spoon or spatula is fine).
- A dough scraper, to divide, handle and transfer your dough.
- A lame or grignette, to score your dough (not needed for tin loaves).
- Bannetons (proving baskets for boules, available in different shapes and sizes). To begin with, we recommend one or more of the 1kg cane bannetons, or two or more of the 500g cane bannetons.
- A cloche is essential to trap steam while baking boules in conventional ovens– we suggest the spun iron cloche made in the UK for the Sourdough School (31cm diameter), or a Challenger Bread Pan, which can be shipped from the USA all over the world.
- Marriage’s Organic Strong White flour – UK white roller-milled flour with a protein content of 13.4%.
- Gilchesters Organic Wholewheat flour – UK stoneground strong wholemeal flour. Protein – 12.3% Hagberg – 323 Gluten – C 2.2 strong/high
- Our 3kg bag of Botanical Blend No 2 flour designed to be used instead of whole wheat flour this is our diversity flour.
- Unrefined sea salt – a nutritionally beneficial salt, our Sourdough School Sea Salt is produced in the UK.
If you are new to the Sourdough Club, or you are a new online shop customer, you can find discount codes on our Member Discount page.
Advancing your sourdough baking:
As you proceed through the lessons and recipes, you might like to consider some of the more advanced equipment and ingredients that Vanessa uses for baking sourdough.
- The Mockmill 100 or Mockmill Pro 200 – mill your own flour and your own Botanical Blends.
- Botanical Blend No 2 Meadow Blend – ‘mill a meadow’ and begin to introduce diversity into your bakes. Also available as a 3kg bag of Botanical Blend flour.
- Miss Baker Pro/Pro XL – this is one of the mixers Vanessa uses at the Sourdough School.
- Gozney Roccbox or Stadler Made Outdoor Oven – portable outdoor pizza ovens, for truly authentic sourdough pizza.
- Black iron and oak long-handled peel – handmade in the UK and made to last a lifetime.
DeliverDeli are a leading UK supplier of baking equipment and ingredients, and they run the majority of our online shop for us.
If you need any advice, please ask us below in the comments section below.
The Sourdough Club Team x