Below is a list of the things you ideally need to make my recipe, these are my recommendations; some of the things you can substitute or find alternatives in your kitchen, which I’ve noted for you, but this would be my preferred list. It might seem like a lot of things initially, but if you use them week after week as I do, you’ll see that it’s worth the investment.
*Starter, fed and ready to use – see my information pages about starters
*Glass bowl with fitted lid for your starter, I like glass bowls with fitted lids or Weck jars, see links below for where to buy in the UK and US
*Weighing scales, preferably digital, mine are made by Salter
*Strong white bread flour – not all flours are equal, please read my page about flour for more information and my recommendations
*Filtered or boiled & cooled water or tap water if you know yours is okay
*Salt, any granular salt is good
*Large mixing bowl, mine are 23cm diameter and 9cm deep (these are exactly what I use and are perfect for knowing if your dough is fully proved)
*Shower cap or clean plastic bag
*Rice flour, this can be easily found in Asian food shops, or you can grind your own uncooked rice to a fine flour
*500g banneton, 8″ or 22cm diameter for round loaves, and 28cm long for oval loaves. This is a cane or wood pulp proving basket that gives the dough it’s shape and concentric lines. If you don’t have a banneton, you can line a bowl with a clean, lint free tea towel, make sure you flour it well, and use that to prove the dough.
To prepare: when you first get a new banneton, spray the inside with water, pour in some rice flour and tap tap flour all around the inside of it, moving the banneton around to move the flour. Then let it dry, creating a dried layer of flour inside the banneton. You will still need to add extra flour every time you use it but this gives you a good non stick base. If you use a brotform banneton, just sprinkle some rice flour in and smooth it round the inside.
NOTE: I’ve been using brotform bannetons more and more and really like them, the dough tips out of them very cleanly and they produce a lovely shape. I use the size that is listed as being for 500-750g dough, there are perfect for my master recipe sized doughs. They do not need to be pre prepared and definitely do not put any water in them; when you want to use them, just sprinkle in some rice flour, brush it around, and put the dough in. Find links from my shop page for ordering in the UK or US.
*Bread lame for scoring the dough
*Oven proof pan with a lid, my personal choice is 26cm diameter round or 30cm oval enamel roasting pans with lids, mine are made by Falcon. I also have 20cm round small pans for smaller loaves, they are not a huge necessity, but they are very cute! Cast iron is not necessary but can be used.
*Good quality parchment baking paper (not waxed or greaseproof paper, it will stick to your loaves)
*A good bread knife – I highly recommend an Appalachian Bow Saw, mine is handmade by an amazing artisan product called The Garlic Tun
Find the jars, bannetons, bowls and pans that I use plus my dried starter and bowl scrapers available from Shana’s Sourdough in the US, or EcoBaker in the UK (use code foodbod2023 on the EcoBaker site) and online in other countries.
Contact me for any further recommendations.