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Easy Sourdough for Beginners: What is Sourdough? Sourdough Supplies You Need!

Everything you need to know to keep sourdough starter and bake a loaf of bread! The BEGINNERS guide to sourdough! In this multi-part series I will teach you everything you need to know about keeping and using your own sourdough culture!

In this first section, I will cover what sourdough starter is, and equipment you’ll need to get started. Part two will teach you how to feed and store your sourdough starter, and in part three we will learn how to make a loaf of bread from scratch using active starter!

In-Person Sourdough Workshops Coming Soon!!

Would you rather learn sourdough in person?

I am so excited to announce I’ll be teaching IN-PERSON SOURDOUGH WORKSHOPS soon for those of you in the Metro Detroit area!!!

More info coming soon!! Check the Shop for registration links in December 2023!


What is Sourdough Starter or Sourdough Culture?

So, you’ve decided to keep a sourdough starter! Congratulations! What exactly is sourdough starter, or sourdough culture?

From Wiki:

Sourdough or sourdough bread is a bread made by the fermentation of dough using wild lactobacillaceae and yeastLactic acid from fermentation imparts a sour taste and improves keeping qualities.” from on 11/28/2023.

Sourdough is the oldest from of yeast used to make bread. It is believed sourdough products may be easier to digest for some people and contain more nutrients than non-sourdough products because of this long fermentation process.


Can I make my own sourdough starter?

YES! Check out my easy step by step NO DISCARD method HERE!

Would you like me to make another one step by step with you on YouTube, with daily videos? Let me know!!!

Can I buy sourdough starter?

YES! You can buy my homemade organic sourdough starter, Genevieve, for pickup in Metro Detroit Area!

Dehydrated starter coming soon to the Jess from Earth Shop with nationwide shipping!

You can also get some from a friend, or find it in your local facebook marketplace often!

Part 1: What equipment do I need for sourdough?

What equipment do I need to keep sourdough starter and bake bread?

As a beginner, I try to use what I already have in my kitchen, so first here is my list of stuff you probably already have that will work (if you want fancy bannetons etc. I’ll list those separate in the following optional section).

Must have sourdough equipment:

Digital Kitchen Scale

You will need a digital kitchen scale to measure flour and water for every sourdough starter feeding, and to measure ingredients when you bake bread. It isn’t mandatory, you can measure the old fashioned way with cups, but using a scale is much more accurate!

Mixing Bowl with Cover

These bowls are great for mixing dough and covering it during rise!


Use a rubber/silicone one piece spatula, or one that comes apart for complete cleaning. You can use a wooden utensil if you prefer, just make sure your utensils are always clean! I use my spatula to mix my bread and to feed and work with my starter.

Jars and lids for Starter

I mostly use the larger quart size jars here, you can use smaller jars if you keep smaller quantities of starter on hand. I don’t use the bands, I just lay the lids on top of the jar so air can escape as needed but debris cannot get into the jar.

Rubberbands to mark jar

I like to use a rubberband to mark where my starter is on the jar after a feeding, you could use a marker or other label of your choice.

Water Filter

Be sure to use filtered water, without chlorine! Chlorine can destroy sourdough cultures and it can add bad taste to your bread.

I love King Arthur Organic Flours! Check them out at the King Arthur website HERE! You will need organic all purpose flour to feed your starter, and if you like you can mix that 50/50 with organic whole wheat flour, rye flour, or other flours you like! I like to use the organic bread flour to bake bread and other recipes!

Shop King Arthur Baking for all your baking needs!

Choose a good quality sea salt! I love Redmond Real Salt because it is mined from Redmond, Utah, a single source, ancient, unrefined sea salt!

Measuring Cup

I like to use glass measuring cups to measure my water in grams before I add to my starter when feeding or recipes. This way I don’t add too much water by accident if I were to measure directly into my starter or baking bowl (I learned this the hard way lol).

I also like to measure my flour in a separate bowl and then add to my main starter/recipe, so you don’t accidently add too much!

Dutch Oven

The dutch oven is to bake the bread inside of! Using the Dutch Oven creates steam and a crispy crust! I have this Lodge 5qt Cast Iron Dutch Oven and I love it! It comes preseasoned and ready to bake!


You’ll need a sharpie or permanent marker to label your lid when you feed starter. Writing down the pre-starter weight of your jar helps you know exactly how many grams of starter you have left later when you are baking.


Just use any kitchen knife you have to score as a beginner, if you want to get more pro check out the scoring blades in the next section below!

Unbleached parchment paper

Use unbleached parchment paper lined with flour first to bake your bread on, it makes it easy to move the dough into and out of your dutch oven too!

Food Thermometer

Taking the internal temperature of the bread when it first comes out of the oven is the best way to ensure the bread is baked all the way through and is safe to eat. Bread should be about 210 degrees farenheit after baking when ready.

Optional pro sourdough equipment:

Here is a list of equipment to take your sourdough game to the next level like a pro!

Bannetons and Cotton Banneton Liners

These are what the pros use to help shape loaves during bulk fermentation.

Rice Flour

Use Rice Flour to dust the bannetons liners before you add your bread so they won’t sitck!

Scoring Blade

Score your loaves with beautiful patterns using a scoring blade!

Silicone Bread Slings

Replace throw away parchment paper with reusable silicone bread slings!


Thanks for reading part 1!

Check back next week for Part 2: How do I feed sourdough starter? We will learn about the full cycle of a sourdough culture from feeding, to active and ready to use, storage, and back to next feeding. I’ll also discuss “To discard or not to discard, that is the question!” lol

Coming in Two Weeks! Part 3: How do I make sourdough bread? A step by step guide to make dutch oven sourdough bread using active starter!

Questions? I want to know! Ask me below in the comments, my email, or socials!

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