How did I become a baker? My whole life I hated to bake. Not only am I baking but I’m baking fresh sourdough bread.
Yes, everyone during the pandemic took up baking and sourdough bread was all the craze. I honestly was so intrigued and for a good year I sat on the sidelines gawking at all the sourdough bread being made on social media. But, I just couldn’t pull the trigger. The thought of “feeding” a sourdough starter daily sounded daunting. I can barely provide food daily to feed my families mouths, let alone feed a jar of sour pasty gooey dough.
I have to admit I had never even heard of a sourdough starter, I honestly always thought bread had to have yeast. But, throughout the months of sitting at home with my family quarantined to our house, I learned a ton.
So throughout the year I watched many Instagram stories of either random people making bread or professionals and I kept wanting more. This challenge of making my own bread wouldn’t go away. Finally, one day it all seemed to come together—it was a serendipitous week. One of my friends gave me some of her sourdough starter and another person gave me her favorite sourdough recipe that had step-by-step instructions. I then went out and bought all the things I needed to create my very own sourdough bread!
One day, I got up and decided that I was going to attempt the challenge. What’s the worst thing that could happen? The bread doesn’t turn out and nobody has to know about it. I made my first loaf and when I pulled it out of the oven it was a moment of such accomplishment and I was so darn excited to not only feed my family yummy sourdough but give it to all the people that surround me with love! Most of the time I make one sourdough loaf for us and one for a neighbor or friend. I get giddy off delivering warm bread—it’s the little things these days!
So I thought I would put together a list of items that I use to make sourdough and hopefully this will inspire you to start baking bread for your family and friends.
This is an essential item in my book. After your dough has been pulled, it’s time to rest the bread for 8+ hours. I put the dough in these baskets with a light damp towel overnight for it to rise more. In the morning, you plop the basket over to get your dough out to be floured and rise more.
2. Dough Hook
I used to use my hands to mix the wet sticky dough and soon discovered this was a messy process. A lightbulb went off in my head and remembered I had purchased a dough hook. This is a huge help when I mix the water, starter, and flour. It easily makes the process less messy and gets all the ingredients to form into the start of sourdough.
3. Sourdough Starter
This is is your yeast for your bread to rise. It’s how they made bread years ago. Sourdough starter is literally just mixing flour and water every day, which is what they call “feeding.” You are feeding your sourdough starter daily with just 1/2 cup of flour + 1/4 cup of filtered water. That’s it!
There are three ways to get your hands on sourdough starter: One, is to have someone who already has a sourdough starter give you some in a jar and then you keep feeding it on your own. This is the easiest way to start. Or you can purchase a sourdough starter online and then start feeding it at home. The third way, is to start your own sourdough starter by scratch. Yes, this can be time consuming but it’s a fun project for the kids! Here’s the recipe I used: King Arthur’s Sourdough Starter Recipe.
Of course you can use any dish towels you have in your kitchen. But, these are my favorite towels and I have talked about them a ton. They’re super lightweight and easy to put over your proofing baskets when you’re letting your dough sit. I also use them as napkins, dish towels for drying, and the list goes on!
I have tried a bunch of flours and this one is my favorite! My bread has been the best consistency since I started using this flour and it tastes so good. I buy it at Whole Foods but you can also get it on Amazon in bulk if you decide that making bread is your thing!
6. Mason Jars
I use a 24 oz mason jar to store my sourdough starter. I then put a piece of paper towel as the lid with a rubber band. I use these jars for everything and they’re super easy to store. I always keep my sourdough starter in a warm spot next to my sink in the window sill with the sunlight!
When baking the bread you to have need a pan with a cover. A dutch oven is a perfect option since you will be baking the bread at a high temperature (450 degrees). Plus, the bread fits perfect in this size pan. Again, you don’t need this exact one but this is the one I use for baking the sourdough. You can get similar ones at Target or even TJ Maxx.
This sounds silly but I thought I would give you a complete list of what I use for the process. I put a piece of parchment paper inside my dutch oven. I then plop the round sourdough into the hot dutch oven. The parchment paper helps the bread not stick to the pan. I also use that to wrap the bread in and then I store it in zip lock bags.
Have fun baking, please message me if you need a sourdough recipe!