As a beginner baker it can be tricky to know what equipment you really need, and what you can live without, especially when you're just getting started.
Rest assured you generally don't need to buy a whole lot of new or specialised equipment to bake your first loaf of sourdough bread.
While some bread making tools can be really helpful, you may want to wait and see if it's something you'll be making regularly before investing your hard earned dollars.
Here is a handy table outlining my recommended sourdough bread making tools plus suggested substitues.
|Banneton basket||Container for proofing (rising) bread, helps with shape||Glass or ceramic mixing bowl lined with cotton or linen tea towel|
|Lame||Scoring (cutting) the top of the dough prior to baking||Sharp paring knife|
|Flexible Dough scraper||Scraping dough out of the bowl||Use your fingertips to gently tease out the dough|
|Stainless steel dough scraper||Working the dough on the bench top, dividing dough||Use your hands, use a sharp knife to divide the dough|
|Bench top mixer||Mixing and kneading dough||Use your hands and/or a wooden spoon|
|Flour scoop||Keep in the flour canister for convenience||Measuring cup or spoon|
|Dutch oven (camp oven)||Assists with encasing steam and heat around the loaf while baking||Add hot water to a pan at the bottom of the oven to create steam and bake on a cast iron skillet or baking/pizza stone; cover loaf with a pot or pan during the first half of baking time if possible, reduce heat for second half of baking time to avoid scorching|
Sourdough bread making kit
I found this kit really helpful and has everything you need at a really great price. The kit includes a bread proofing basket, flexible dough scraper, stainless steel dough scraper and bread lame. This is the latest model of the kit I bought.
Second proofing bowl
Bench top mixer
Perfect for mixing and kneading this mixmaster has the extra power required to tackle more advanced techniques such as bread making. I love the dough hook for making sourdough bread. I also have the Sunbeam Glass Bowl Attachment 5L for making sourdough (metals can react with the mixture), plus it's handy to have that second bowl when you've got multiple recipes on the go.
Using a dutch oven will encase steam and heat around the loaf while it's baking, helping the to bread rise really well and produce a crispy, chewy crust. I use a cast iron camp oven I've had for many years. I couldn't find the exact same camp oven I have online, so I have linked a similar product that has received good reviews.