The following list are items that are needed to get you started making home sourdough bread.
- Kitchen Scales
- Large Metal Bowl
- Stone or Tile for Oven
- Plastic Spray Bottle
- Bakers Peel
- Proving Baskets/Bannetons
- Tea towels or linen cloth
- Dough Cutter
- Flour Scoop
- Steam Generator (metal bowl and metal thermal mass)
Accuracy is important in making top quality artisan bread. There are three types of kitchen scales; mechanical, balance and digital. Digital scales are often inexpensive and have the advantage of being able to set the display back to zero when needed.
Large Metal Bowl
Stone or Tile
You can use unglazed quarry tiles, a pizza stone or even that bit of left over granite from a kitchen renovation. Place the stone in the oven an hour before baking and turn the temperature to maximum for your oven. Bread needs a steady heat and the stone helps achieve this.
Water Spray (atomiser) bottle
Spray the sides of the oven when you put the bread in to create steam. Steam in the first half of the baking cycle will create a beautiful crust. Remember to place the bread in the middle of the oven. Additionally you can lightly spray the loaf when initially inserted into the oven for a nice glazed look and a tender crust.
This product is available at most hardware stores.
A proving basket is where you place the bread to rise. They may be made out of rattan, silicone or plastic. It should be lined with a tea towel or linen cloth before placing the moulded bread into it.
This is used to cut the top of the dough just before placing in the oven. The main purpose of the cuts are to relieve the pressure of the rising dough, giving a controlled pattern on the loaf. If you don’t then the crust will naturally split apart at the weakest points. This is fine if that is the style you want as long as you choose it.
To place the moulded loaf onto the oven stone you need a peel. This helps to retain the shape of the bread and prevents you from burning your hands. The peel can also be used to remove the loaf once baked, although for a domestic oven using oven mitts will suffice as the oven is not that deep.
This makes light work of all of the flour scooping.
Metal Bowl Steam Generator
Place a small stainless steel dish/bowl in the oven during preheating. This will hold the boiling water just before the bread dough goes in. A tip is to put metal chain links or clean heavy nuts and bolts into the container which will increase thermal mass so that when the boiling water hits the links a large amount of steam is created. Steam in the first few minutes of the baking will create a beautiful crust.