Over the years I’ve devoted a considerable amount of time to researching and testing out a range of baking tools and equipment, slowly narrowing down my collection to only the most convenient, sturdy and reliable items.
Some of these items are available globally on major sites like Amazon and I have included links here (please note these are affiliate links which means you do not pay anything extra but Amazing shares with me a small commission which helps me pay for this website). Others I have found locally within Australia and will include links where possible to these stores or an alternative global seller.
1. Dough Prover (Brod & Taylor)
I’ve had this dough prover now for many years and can honestly say that it is an absolute game-changer. I began storing my sourdough culture in the prover and within weeks noticed a huge improvement in my baking. You’re able to maintain a steady temperate of between 21 and 49 degrees Celsius (84 F to 120 F) – perfect for fermentation which requires steady, warm environments in order for the bacteria to do its thing! I keep my culture in the prover at all times and set to 21 degrees, with feeds twice a day (morning & night) and this enables me to always have a very active starter or levain available for any spontaneous baking adventures (there are lots!).
If there is one toy you’re tempted to splash some cash on to ramp up your new obsession, I highly recommend starting with this prover!
Check it out here: Brod & Taylor – Folding Prover
2. Sourdough Starter Jars
A wide-mouthed jar with round corners inside is a perfect vessel to keep your sourdough starter in. My ideal jar is a 540ml jar from Weck, which is sturdy and has a really wide mouth making getting your starter in and out very easy.
If you live in Melbourne, you can track down these Weck jars from Chef’s Hat in South Melbourne:
Another great alternative is the range of jars from Kilner which can also be used for pickling and fermenting of other foods.
I’d recommend the following Kilner jar as it has a wide-mouth and is very affordable:
3. Global 22cm Serrated Bread Knife
A quality bread knife that stays sharp use after use is a vital tool for the home baker. The better the knife, the less work and strain on your hand and wrist, and the more even the slices of bread you can cut (no more of those slices that start off nice at the top and end up as thin as a cracker at the bottom).
I have this exact Global bread knife and I absolutely love it. I’ve had it for years, have never sharpened it, and have cut literally hundreds and hundreds of loaves with it.
It may seem a bit more expensive than usual, but it more than pays for itself, and I’d always prefer to purchase a quality baking tool that I’ll have for many years to come, than every 1-2 years have to replace a poorly made, cheap version.
Another absolutely vital piece of equipment for any baker wanting to improve their breads is a set of digital scales. These will enable you to weigh every ingredient to the nearest gram, which will reduce the variability in your bread when compared to using cups or volume measurements.
The scales I use are a set I bought off Amazon in the UK many years ago that are still going strong to this day. Any decent digital scales will do the job, such as these:
A food thermometer is another piece of equipment that will make a huge impact on the success of your baking. Sourdough cultures, like humans, love consistency and predictability. Measuring the temperature of your ingredients (especially your water) ensures that each time you feed your sourdough starter, or mix a batch of dough, you are using a similar temperature of ingredients, which will ensure you get consistent results.
If you find taking the temperature of all your ingredients too much, even if you just measure your water temperature each time, you will immediately uplift your consistency. This is what I do – I only ever measure the temperature of my water, and if it comes in at between 26 and 32 degrees Celsius (78 – 89 degrees Fahrenheit) then I know my final dough or starter temperature will be right in the range I want.