Tools for Your Summit Sourdough Starter
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Weck 1L Tulip Jar
My favorite jars to use for sourdough are the Weck Tulip Jars in the 1L size. Not only are they beautiful in design but they offer a light fitting glass lid that can rest on top. When it comes to sourdough we don’t want an air tight lid, this creates too much pressure in the jar. The neck of the jar is open enough to scrape down the sides without being cumbersome. Not only do these Weck Jars come in a set of 2, the 1L size is perfect for allowing your starter to grow after it's fed. If you're keen on a larger jar, especially to prevent spilling over, Weck also makes a 1.5L Mold Jar too!
Cast Iron Dutch Oven
If you are after that crusty boule, you’ll need a Dutch oven. A Dutch Oven is a great option that you may already have in your kitchen. Dutch ovens are multi-purpose and versatile in the kitchen. I'm currently baking all my boules and batards in a Le Creuset Bread Oven. They are on the higher end for price, but the lifetime warranty along with the results I've been achieving have been worth it. On the cheaper side, iIdeally, you’ll want a Dutch Oven that is 6 - 7 quarts in size (I use a 7qt Cuisinart Dutch Oven). Look for a dutch oven that can withstand temperatures of 500 degrees in your oven safely. Not all of them can and many brands only can only withstand a 400 degree oven. Lodge is a brand that is high quality and beautiful, and this Lodge 7 qt Dutch oven is no exception. Lode also creates an Enameled Cast Iron Dutch oven in may colors, also good to 500 degrees.
Banneton Bread Basket or a Lage Mixing Bowl lined with a Thin Towel
Bannetons (also called proofing baskets) are natural cane baskets used to proof and hold dough. The natural cane material helps absorb excess moisture. They are available in various sizes and shapes. Be sure to purchase bannetons that allows the dough to increase in size during proofing. I recommend 9 - 10 inch round bannetons, or 10" Oval Bannetons also known as a Batard. If you're looking for a full kit, this one comes with many pieces you may be looking for.
Reusable Banneton Covers and Sheet Pan Covers
Summit Sourdough has an eco-friendly and reusable line of products that include banneton covers and sheet pan covers. They are the perfect addition to any Sourdough bakers kitchen! Made in Canada, our banneton covers ( which also fit over the kitchen-aid mixer bowl) and proofing covers are designed to help you reduce your environmental impact while keeping your doughs and food fresh. The banneton covers are meant to proof sourdough in most round and oval 10" bannetons or cover bowls. Compatible with and fit over a 9.5" kitchen-aid mixer bowl with room to spare. Our reusable sheet pan covers are meant to lay over your sheet pans or casserole dishes while proofing your favorite dough, buns, bagels and more! Our slippery, waterproof fabric prevents moisture from escaping and keeps doughs moist and warm.
These covers are an excellent alternative to single-use plastic wrap and can be used over and over again, making them a cost-effective and sustainable option. Our covers are durable and easy to clean, simply wash them with cool water and lay flat to dry.
An Amazing Bread Knife
With over 28,000 reviews you cannot go wrong with the Mercer 10" Serrated Bread Knife for under $30.00. I have one of my own and for the price point, it performs better than the high end bread knives I've bought that were 5x the cost. This knife is not only light, but glides through boules and batards with ease!
White Rice Flour and a Shaker
Rice flour is less absorbent than regular wheat flour (and is naturally gluten-free), it's a great choice for dusting banneton baskets or bowls, especially with a flour shaker, to prevent dough from sticking during proofing. You'll find that rice flour doesn't get gummy and it wont burn in the Dutch Oven. Bob’s Red Mill brand is my recommended choice and easy to find in most grocery stores.
Digital Kitchen Scale
If you are serious about making amazing bread and keeping your starter healthy and fully active you must use a digital kitchen scale that measure ingredients in weight by grams. Escali makes a wonderful product. Not only will it allow you to get precise measurements, it will allow you to feed your starter accurately to prevent diluting the strength and activity.
Bread Lame or Scoring Blade
If you wish to create beautiful ears or decorative scoring you'll want a bread lame. Lame's come in many shapes and sizes and range from a circular disk you hold to a long a slender lame with a handle. You can even make a homemade lame with a wooden skewer and a Astra Superior Platinum blade attached. These are incredibly sharp, so be very careful!
The dough and bowl scraper is one of the most under-rated tools in my option. They are relatively inexpensive and they do an amazing job at scraping your bowl clean. I also use mine at various stages to multitask for things like chopping dough or using it to lift edges during the shaping process. In any event, you'll want to pick up a few of these!
Great Quality Baking Sheets
I use these oversized baking sheets made by Nordic Ware which come in a 2 pack. They are made from aluminum and the embossed grid pattern enhances the performance, adds durability and provides easy release while also improving air flow for uniform crisping. I always use these with high quality parchment paper over top, which makes clean-up a breeze.
While this isn't necessary, I will say that this makes feeding, mixing and scraping your jar down so much easier than a large bulky spatula. The Trudeau Slim Confetti Spatula, I found at my local Superstore in Canada as well as on Amazon. The confetti on it is fun and the sizing makes it easy to scrape down your Weck Jar! I own 4 of these and so should you, they are a perfect fit for your jar.
Elastics - They Might as well be Colorful
Use these on your jar to mark the level of your starter directly after feeding. They act as a wonderful visual to see just how much your starter has grown. Remember, you're looking for the starter to be more than double in height before mixing it into your recipe.