Learn About Sourdough
Recommended Culturing Products: Sourdough
These are all products we recommended from our own research and own personal use.
• Each item is what we've found to be superior in its category.
• All the products in some way aid in fermenting, are sustainable, or are eco-friendly (and in many cases all three).
• We live on a tight budget so you'll find most of our recommendations are reasonably priced as well.
• Have something you think we should recommend? We'd love to hear! Let us know on our contact page!
Milk Kefir / Viili / Yogurt
Water Kefir / Ginger Beer
These icons will take you to culture-specific recommendations. OR view the full recommendations list below.
(click product images to view more details about each item)
Supplies & Equipment
A bowl with a pouring spout and nice grip on the handle and bottom - really nice to have for
collecting your strained ferments and then being able to pour them into your bottling jars. This
one holds 8 cups and even has measuring notches inside - convenient and handy bowl.
Ingredients & Flavoring
An airlock is a great cheap little necessity if you are thinking of fermenting beer, wine, or lacto
fermented veggies such as sauerkraut or pickles! We make our own sauerkraut with this.This
also is wonderful to use to ferment sourdough, kefir, kombucha, and gingerbeer. It simply keeps
the ferment cleaner than a cloth lid, while still expelling built up carbonation from the fermenting
Fascinating and fun book full of helpful and truly unique fermenting advice. It focuses on the
flavor, nutrition, and craft of live-culture foods. There aren't a whole lot of books out there on this
topic - we ended up owning this we liked it so much.
Sandor Katz (author of the above mentioned book, Wild Fermentation) takes fermenting to a
whole new and more in-depth level. His most current book chalk full of fascinating info on
cultures from around the world, how to obtain them, and how to work with them. Beautiful large
reference book for any fermenting enthusiast, including several photo sections.
King Arthur flour is known for their fine, fresh flours and gourmet choices. Their bread flour is
considered one of the best amongst the dedicated hobby home bakers.
One of THE best maple syrups out there - and we're talking Vermont fresh from the tree quality.
You will be dining on cloud 9 pouring this over your fresh sourdough waffles and pancakes!
Raw honey has substantial health benefits both for your skin and for consumption. Although we
recommend finding local raw honey (which also can help improve seasonal allergies), this is an
excellent and highly recommended choice of raw honey.
Absolutely the best tasting jams out there (and that's not just our opinion). A little background:
Bonne Maman products are exported to over 100 countries and are top rated in taste tests. Their
preserves and jellies are made with no colorings, artificial preservatives, pulps, purees, juices or
Cooking oil mister. Reusable, economical, environmentally friendly and attractive as well. This
one we particularly like because it has the capability to hold just oil, or oil with blends of herbs or
spices, without clogging up. Nothing like home-made infused oil to spray onto fresh salad greens
or bbq's! Having the ability to spray oil comes in extremely handy for any type of baking.
Great for storing herbs spices and jams, and equally great at storing sourdough starter. These
swing top jars by Bormioli Rocco can handle being used to can as well. They come in many
sizes and beautiful shapes. With the airtight clamp and swing top lid, this is also a perfect
storage jar for sourdough. You can rest the lid closed, without sealing it tight, allowing your
sourdough to breathe and release trapped gas, but without letting in dust or invading critters of
any kind. With this type of jar you don't have to bother with cloth or paper lids.
Some things like butter crocks have stood the test of time for centuries. This one is affordable, a
nice size and keeps your butter preserved at room temp for accessible, spreadable butter. Also
can be used to store sourdough at room temp if you are feeding it regularly.
There are so many jars to choose from out there, but we recommend thick-walled glass jars
which offer more protection against explosion when storing and bottling your ferments. Brands
that make superb jars include Ball, Kerr, Bormioli Rocco and Anchor Hocking. This pack is a
good size to start out with if you can't find it at your local store. We have jars available in our
supplies section of our store, too.
Glassware is wonderful for storing, baking, freezing and heating. We try to use glass as much as
possible as its healthier. The largest sizes are perfect to bake round cakes and bread in too.
Although almost twice as much as the above set, we stuck this set in here because it has clear
lids and tests better for sealing.
We like this measuring cup because you can push sticky stuff out of it without touching it with
anything else (great for cultures where contamination is an issue). Perfect for measuring honey,
molasses, yogurt starter, kefir grains or sourdough starter.
Many digital thermometers are unreliable but this one is rated one of the best (and priced well
too). As mentioned above, this is excellent for making yogurt or bread. Perfect for inserting into
the loaf to check internal temp, indicating when its ready to come out of the oven.
Digital multi-function food scale. Serious bakers always have a scale on hand. Measuring truly
accurate amounts of flour, starter and other ingredients can only be done by weight. The best
thing about this scale is that its affordable, comes in tons of colors, its easy to use and can be
used to weigh other things such as your mail, freezing portions of meat, etc.
If you want fresh flour or specialty flour (rice, bean, etc) at home, this is the little grain mill to get
the job done. One of the best on the market, very durable, reliable and easy to use.
Really the best unbleached baking cups out there currently and by far the best price. They
permit baking without greasing the pan, are reusable 3-4 times, coated with natural silicone
(non-toxic when incinerated, not chrome-bearing chemical quilon) and of course they're
unbleached. Now that's a baking cup!
Unbleached parchment paper is such a versatile thing to have on hand for baking. It prevents
any type of cookie, muffin or bread from sticking to the pan or the paper itself (good for fries, fish
sticks, etc too). Reusable a couple times before you need to toss- we use this stuff all the time.
Even better than parchment is this reusable non-stick silicone baking mat - doesn't work well
for wrapping around things, but is perfect for all your flat baking tray needs.
This silicone muffin pan is perfect for baking your muffins in a non-stick, reusable pan. For now
silicone is considered safer than traditional non-stick pans. When all is said and done, the best
method is probably still cast iron (or glass that is greased) if you want non-stick cookware without
strange chemicals leaching into your food.
Our favorite cooking vessel. If we could choose one pot to take with us to an island this would be
it. Clay bakeware makes outstanding crunchy sourdough bread, succulent roast chickens,
perfectly oven-roasted veggies, and any type of casserole. Whatever goes in the oven for us goes
in this basically. There are many clay bakers out there, all different shapes and sizes, we
recommend this one for its versatile size and affordability (some are very expensive).
Our second favorite cooking vessel. We did our research before purchasing, and we've been very
happy with it. A couple reasons why it's worth investing in this dutch oven over out there. It has
a knob/handle that withstands high heat (you need this for baking bread - most don't have this), it
has unique self-basting spikes on the underside of the lid for distribution of juices throughout
cooking, it has a natural non stick surface that is more resistant to scratches and chips. It won't
discolor or rust and never needs seasoning like cast iron. It's also suitable for use on any cooking
surface, including induction (making up for the one thing the clay baker can't do). We fry and
roast and do just about everything stove-related with this. This is pricey, but still cheaper than
some brands and is worth the investment.
This little cast iron griddle is perfect for pancakes, english muffins, panini, pita bread and
tortillas. Cast iron has a naturally non-stick surface, cooks much more evenly and allows
everything to brown more easily too. It's difficult to burn things because of its slow steady heat.
We get beautiful golden pancakes and even perfectly seared steaks and bacon on ours - cast iron
is really quite helpful to have on hand in the kitchen. Never got good results with tortillas until we
used this. This can also double as a baking stone in the oven!
Your standard traditional waffle maker, we own this one and it continues to serve us well.
These can have a bad rep for being a gimmick item - but if you like to save money, and like
sourdough waffles, you will get quite a lot of use out of it. We use ours monthly, making huge
batches of waffles to freeze, pop in the toaster and enjoy at a moments notice.
Popular little Belgian waffle maker. Same thoughts apply as the aforementioned one above!
Makes waffles with larger holes.
As for sourdough books and bread-making and baking books there are hundreds to choose from. Check out your local
library, you may be pleasantly surprised that they have many of them. Here are some of our favorites (we've actually read)
with very brief explanations as to why:
Classic Sourdoughs is a very easy to understand beginner's book with a wide range of simple,
functional recipes (bread, pizza, pretzels, etc).
World class pastry chef and owner of La Brea Bakery divulges many of her tips and scrumptious
exotic recipes - all based on sourdough starter baking. This book is heavy on skill, labor and
For getting serious with baking this is the right place to start. Beautiful photos, well-presented
facts and tips, lots of interesting recipes - highly discussed amongst bread forums.
The other book (besides the one above) that is the best place to begin delving into some serious
knowledge with baking. It is presented well and easy to understand.
Emphasizes old-world traditional breads - full of pictures and unique rustic European recipes.
A very fun sourdough cookbook full interesting scraps of information, history and of course
scrumptious cabin in the woods, no-nonsense hot off the griddle recipes. One of the best.
Can't sum it up much better than it's title: Wild Bread, Handbaked sourdough artisan breads in
your own kitchen. The author is very informative and put a lot of heart into the book - a favorite for
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