If I were to choose one tool and only one, that’d be the kitchen scale. I couldn’t have made it without it. The kitchen scale will become your best friend and it’s useful in any kitchen for other stuff too. This is the one I use, from Salter (Amazon UK, Amazon US)

And the second one is the dough scraper – a great helper when it comes to dough handling. Tip: If you work on a wooden surface, a stainless steel one could work well. Not ideal though if your countertop is quartz/marble or anything similar to this. Opt for a plastic one instead

A glass jar with a lid to keep your starter in. Better to have 2 if you can, so that you can give it a good wash from time to time. 400 – 500ml, wide opening makes is the best choice, easy to stir your starter. Not too deep either. Any kind of lid is suitable (plastic, wood or stainless steel).

Banneton (proofing basket) for dough proofing, ideally with a liner. You can also use a bowl lined with a cotton towel if the budget is tight.

Tip: Should you decide to buy a proofing basket, consider the shape you want to give to your loaves. And if you plan to also get a dutch oven/cast iron pan, make sure they are both the same shape

Not sure which size to buy? Here is some guidance based on the bannetons I use, two things to consider. Dimensions and final weight dough.


19 – 20 cm / 7.5in : 500 – 600g final dough

24 – 25cm / 9.5in : up to 1kg final dough


13x21cm / 5x8in : 500 – 600g final dough

16x22cm / 6x9in : 700 – 800g final dough

15x25cm / 6x10in : up to 1kg final dough

Again, dimensions will vary, so treat this as guidance only.

I almost always use a liner, as it helps to absorb the moist released by the dough during proofing (especially during the long cold proofing in the fridge). The other benefit is that you minimise the risk of the dough getting stuck in the banneton.

Some other tips

  • Make sure you dry the banneton after using it, otherwise mold grows on it over time. And once that happens, there is no way back.
  • Wash the cotton liner ideally with water only, by hand. And let it dry completely before using it again
  • You don’t need to wash the banneton after every bake, just remove the flour and dry it

Scoring lame – to score your bread before putting it in the oven. You could try and use a sharp knife, something I have never tried though. If you don’t have a lame (the blade holder essentially), you can just use a razor blade, just be careful when handling it. My scoring lames are from Wire Monkey.

Baking stone/ steel – if you’re not ready yet to spend money on a dutch oven, you might consider a baking stone instead. This is the one I use.

This is made of material that is poor in conducting heat, which means your bread is less likely to burn than when using metal trays. The porous nature of the stone used also helps absorb moisture, helping to get that crispy crust. Tip: do not wash your stone with dishwasher liquid, google this before you attempt to clean it

Or just a baking tin, you can use it for the final proofing too. For baking, there are other alternatives as the oven tray or a pyrex dish (if it comes with lid even better)

Sourdough bread baking tools
Sourdough bread baking tools
Goldie warmer

Nice to have sourdough baking tools

Goldie – your sourdough starter warmer, a nice & cosy home, which comes as a warming base and a glass cloche. 

We know that the sourdough starter is most active in between 24°-28°C / 75°-82°F and this is the temperature Goldie maintains.

When it’s too cold, Goldie will keep your starter warm. When it’s too hot, it will keep your starter cold, by using a cooling puck. And the good news is that you can use your own jar. More about it on their website.

Stand mixer – a great help in every kitchen. I have a KitchenAid and I simply love it. You can purchase it on Amazon UK or Amazon US.

Dutch oven / iron cast pan – can significantly improve your bakes when you use a normal domestic oven. Keeping the lid on seals in the moist the dough releases, allowing the dough to expand before the crust starts forming. With regards to dimensions: 24cm / 9.5in diameter & 4.2l / 4.5qt in volume for the round one and 29cm / 11.4in for the oval one worked best for me so far (for max 1kg final dough). If you decide to go for a bigger one, make sure it fits in your oven, especially the oval shaped one. I’ve got an oval Staub (link to Amazon UK, link to Amazon US) and a round Le Creuset (link to Amazon UK, link to Amazon US)

Digital thermometer – a nice to have item, useful to measure the dough temperature during bulk fermentation or the water temperature used to feed the starter or make the dough

Oven glove – mandatory in my view, will save you the burns

Cooling rack – another optional item, you can also use the spare rack from your oven – it must be cool

A heavy, shallow bowl – my absolute favourite for coil folds, as it allows better dough handling.

Parchment paper – I use a reusable one, to avoid waste as much as I can. This will help you place the dough in the dutch oven or any other iron cast pan. I also use it to protect the baking stone. You can purchase it on Amazon UK or Amazon US.

Now that you got this, you can learn how to make sourdough bread.

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