Sourdough ( Discussing the hobby or craft of baking with sourdough. We are not just a recipe group, Our charter is to discuss the care, feeding, and breeding of yeasts and lactobacilli that make up sourdough cultures.

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Old 13-04-2007, 04:27 PM posted to
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Default Required equipment for SD Baking

OK, I'll join in the food fight.

I tell folks not to bother if they're not willing to put out
about $100 for the following:

a digital scale

I agree that a digital scale makes things much simpler, especially for a
newbie. For me, using a $30 scale speeds things up and allows me to fiddle
around with recipes much more easily. That said, plenty of folks make fine
bread with measuring cups and spoons.

an oven rack thermometer

Eh. I don't see the point, myself. If the bread's not baking through or the
crust isn't dark / crispy / whatever enough, just adjust the dial a bit next

a dough thermometer

I use an instant read thermometer occassionally to make sure the bread is
cooked properly, but I don't fiddle with dough temperatures much. Bread
turns out fine. After it's shaped, I let it rise in a makeshift proofbox,
which is a beer cooler, an upturned bowl and some hot water poured in the
bottom. I check the temperature with an instant read thermometer to make
sure it doesn't go above 86 degrees. If it's too hot, I open the lid for 30
seconds or so.

Works for me.

As for the dough temperature itself, if I were on a production schedule at a
commercial bakery, dough temperature would be crucial. But I just don't see
the point of getting all finicky about dough temperatures for the home
baker, unless you're interested in doing the Detmolder 3-stage stuff and, if
you're a newbie, that's definitely NOT the place to begin.

a hot pad (to fashion a simple proofing box) a proofing

Maybe, but I think the beer cooler method is cheaper and just as effective.
I think the bread tastes better if it's had a warm rise, but it'll rise just
fine at room temp and still taste plenty good -- just takes longer.

bucket a couple of proofing baskets

A couple of mixing bowls and some cloth napkins are a heck of a lot cheaper
than proofing baskets, and work just as well. And if you're making pan
bread, no need to bother. As for a dough bucket -- what's wrong with a bowl?


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