14 Essential Sourdough Tools for Bread-Making Success

That crusty exterior and tuggy interior of an amazing sourdough bread are easier to achieve when you have all these sourdough tools on hand.

If you've studied up on the basics of making sourdough bread and have a sourdough starter recipe, the final step of your preparation is ensuring you have all the sourdough tools you'll need for bread success. Some of these sourdough bread tools are surely things you already have in your kitchen and use regularly, but others are more sourdough-making specific and help produce the mouthwatering results you crave. After all, it would be a shame to invest so much time and effort into a loaf that could have turned out better if only you had used the correct tool. These are the tools our Test Kitchen suggests you have on hand before making sourdough bread.

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Ryan Krull

14 Essential Sourdough Tools

If there's anything in this list you don't have and you are just raring to start making sourdough bread, add the item(s) to your cart so you can get baking sooner.

Large Mixing Bowl

This is a kitchen staple for so many recipes, such as cookies, meringue, meat loaf, a pasta toss, and much more, so chances are you've got one already. For our Artisan Sourdough recipe we suggest using a 4½- to 5-quart bowl made of glass or ceramic material.

Buy It: Swiss Dot Ceramic Bowls Set ($80, Williams Sonoma)


Commonly used for combining liquid ingredients and achieving lump-free gravy, a whisk can also be used to evenly mix dry ingredients in your sourdough bread and for stirring flour into your starter.

Buy It: Balloon Whisk ($10, Crate & Barrel)

Digital Thermometer

Often used to check meat temperatures for food safety, a digital thermometer is a necessity for making sourdough because water temperatures need to be exact throughout the process.

Buy It: OXO Digital Thermometer ($22, Bed Bath & Beyond)

Digital Scale

Sure, you've got all sizes of measuring cups and spoons stashed away, but for the precise nature of baking—especially for the precise and consistent measurements needed for making sourdough bread—a scale is one of the most critical sourdough tools.

Buy It: Taylor Digital Food Scale ($21, Target)

Bowl Scraper

During the stages of sourdough-making where the dough is particularly sticky, this flexible plastic tool is very handy. Use it to easily scrape all the dough out of your bowl to avoid disrupting air bubbles. It's also helpful in scraping bowls clean (and removing dried-on dough pieces) when washing.

Buy It: KitchenAid Scrapers Set ($10, Target)

Bench Scraper

More solid and sharper than a bowl scraper, a bench scraper is the perfect tool for dividing dough and helping to transfer dough throughout the recipe process. Once you add this kitchen tool to your arsenal, you'll find all kinds of uses for it, such as cake decorating, cutting brownies, transferring chopped ingredients into a bowl or skillet, and much more.

Tea Towels

Cover your sourdough dough during each resting time to help maintain proper temperature and ensure nothing else gets in the bowl. Not just any towel will do, you need tea towels (or flour sacks) made of cotton or linen that won't wind up adding lint to the dough.

Buy It: Flour Sacks ($10, Crate & Barrel)

Sourdough Proofing Basket

This tool is not a must (you could use a towel-lined bowl), but if making sourdough is sure to be more than just a one-time thing for you, you'll appreciate owning a sourdough proofing basket, which helps create the perfect moist environment for sourdough to proof. This tool is also called a brotform or banneton.

Buy It: Bread Banneton Proofing Basket Set ($55, Amazon)

Reusable Plastic Bowl Cover

Help lock in moisture by using these bowl covers instead of a damp towel for the proofing stage. Of course, these work to cover all kinds of foods you need to store too.

Buy It: ReDeMM Reusable Bowl Covers ($20, Amazon)


You almost definitely have this in your kitchen already, and now you'll find foil is a key sourdough tool when making your sourdough in a Dutch oven. Folded for enough strength to support your dough, the foil serves as a sling to transfer dough out of the proofing basket into the hot Dutch oven and out of the Dutch oven after baking.

Buy It: Reynolds Wrap Foil ($9, Walmart)


A sourdough lame (pronounced LAHM) is a bread pro's key tool for scoring sourdough. As sourdough rises while baking, it needs a natural place to expand. Scoring the bread with a lame directs the expansion and shape of the final loaf. Or a clean razor blade or kitchen scissors could be used.

Buy It: Bread Bakers Lame ($14, Amazon)

Cast-Iron Dutch Oven with Lid

To get crispy crusts on your sourdough bread, a cast-iron Dutch oven is key. It's an excellent heat conductor, and when covered with its lid, it creates a steamy extra-hot microclimate for your sourdough to bake. There's no specific sourdough Dutch oven, so if you already have one of these basic kitchen tools, you're all set.

Buy It: Lodge Dutch Oven ($45, Target)

Cooling Rack

Here's another of the sourdough tools you likely have in the kitchen already for making cookies, quick breads, cakes, and more. A cooling rack serves the same purpose here: to allow air circulation around the entire surface of the sourdough so the internal temperature decreases evenly, preventing soggy or tough spots.

Serrated Knife

The little teeth of a serrated knife are ideal for cutting through a crusty and chewy sourdough bread. Using a serrated knife in a sawing motion to cut through your loaf will prevent you from squishing your masterpiece.

Buy It: Zwilling Serrated Knife ($55, Bed Bath & Beyond)

Once you've gathered all these tools and the ingredients for your sourdough bread, you'll have everything you need to make baguettes, boules, and maybe even some sourdough discard recipes to put excess starter to delicious use.

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