a loaf of sourdough bread on a cutting board

Welcome to the first post of How to Make Sourdough Bread, a two-week series on Girl Versus Dough focusing on all things sourdough bread. Today’s post is about my essential sourdough tools — that is, the tools I regularly use to make the best-ever sourdough loaves in my own kitchen. I firmly believe that with a few simple, easy-to-acquire kitchen tools, you’re already off to a great start to make your own sourdough. Scroll to the bottom of the post for a printable guide to help you check off everything you need to get started!

Happy Monday! Usually I’m very meh about Mondays, but today is super exciting because we are kicking off my How to Make Sourdough Bread series, which I introduced yesterday. Today’s post is all about essential sourdough tools, aka a simple checklist of kitchen utensils that I find necessary or helpful to achieve the best results in sourdough prep and baking. Once you have these tools in your kitchen, you’ll be set for the entire process from start to finish. Ready? I’M READY.

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a loaf of sourdough bread on a cutting board

Weeee! Friends, pardon my ridiculous enthusiasm, but today is a day I’ve been waiting for for a long, long while. I’m here on this snowy Sunday to introduce you to a new, two-week series I am posting on Girl Versus Dough titled: How to Make Sourdough Bread. I hope you are as eager to learn as I am to teach you all about sourdough bread from starter to loaf. Let’s get baking!

Today has literally been years in the making. For a very long time, I’ve been wanting to create an in-depth series on how to make sourdough bread from scratch — like, the kind that is formed entirely from wild yeast, looks like artisan bread and tastes like the kind of bread you get from a bakery but you bake it AT HOME. I’m here to take you by the hand and help you every step of the way until you, too, have a beautiful baked loaf of sourdough in your own kitchen. It’s possible, and you CAN do it. I totally believe in you.

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slices of babka on a cooling rack

Melty cheese, fresh herbs and pillowy bread are MFEO in this cheesy babka recipe with Gruyere and sage. This savory twist on a classic babka loaf is made with enriched dough that bakes up soft and fluffy with ribbons of herb-flecked melted cheese, garlic and black pepper throughout. Enjoy it on its own, as a killer sandwich or on the side of a cozy soup or stew.

Do you ever wonder what is the recipe you will be remembered for making? I think about this a lot, actually. Because in my family, my great-grandmother was known for her Black Forest cherry cake, my grandma is known for her dumpling soup, my mom is known for her homemade spaghetti sauce and my dad is known for his beef chili. Me? I’d like to be known for this cheesy babka recipe. It’s THAT good.

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Breakfast called and it wants — nay, NEEDS — these overnight caramel pecan sticky buns. Prep these tonight for a perfectly sweet, fluffy, gooey, homemade morning treat everyone at the table will love.

Overnight Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns -- This fresh, fluffy, gooey, easy sticky buns recipe can be made ahead or right away: whenever you need a sweet breakfast treat! @girlversusdough #girlversusdough #breakfastrecipe #sweetrolls #caramelrolls

It’s a full-on winter wonderland outside in Minnesota and I am full-on here for it. Much as I do love me some warmth and sunshine, there’s nothing quite as magical as a blanket of fluffy white snow — especially if I’m inside in a cozy warm blanket with a cup of coffee in hand to enjoy it.

But you know what’s even better than that? Enjoying the snow from inside with a cozy blanket, cup of coffee in one hand and a plate of overnight caramel sticky buns in the other. That is living the best life.

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Cozy up to this Winter Deep Dish Sausage Pizza with Brussels Sprouts and Pesto. A thick homemade no-knead pizza crust is topped with layers of sauteed Brussels sprouts, melty mozzarella cheese, creamy pesto and hot Italian sausage crumbles. It’s official: this pizza is my Valentine.

Winter Deep Dish Sausage Pizza with Brussels Sprouts and Pesto Recipe -- Homemade no-knead pizza dough topped with sauteed Brussels sprouts, bright pesto, melty mozzarella cheese and hot Italian sausage. This easy pizza recipe will keep you full and cozy all winter long. @girlversusdough #girlversusdough #weeknightdinner #datenightrecipe #winterrecipe

I’m coming to terms with the fact that I need to have a break-up, and that break-up is with frozen pizza.

Yes, I know, it’s so easy to just pop a pizza pie into the oven and have hot and ready pizza in 20 minutes, but it’s just never that good, ya know? The crust tastes like cardboard, the sauce is too sweet, the toppings include approximately 3.25 pieces of pepperoni, etc. You get my point. While there may be a time and place for subpar frozen pizza, to me, it’s just a waste of a perfectly good pizza night.

So now that I’ve broken up with frozen pizza, I want to introduce you to my new Valentine: this homemade deep dish sausage pizza topped with Brussels sprouts, pesto, Italian sausage and of course, cheese. This is no rebound, friends — this is the real deal of pizza. It’s true love at first bite.

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Stop trying too hard to bake the perfect bread! With this no knead ciabatta bread recipe, you can make the best-ever, foolproof scratch bread in your own kitchen with ease. Promise.

No Knead Ciabatta Bread -- A deliciously airy, crusty homemade ciabatta bread recipe that requires NO kneading. Perfect for toast, sandwiches and more. @girlversusdough #girlversusdough #nokneadbread #homemadebread #easybreadrecipe

Happy 2019, friends! I hope the holidays treated you well with plenty of people you love and more Christmas cookies to devour than you ever thought possible. We spent the holidays (and actually, the greater part of the month of December) with my family in southern Wisconsin. We’ve been living here while we transition from RV life to apartment life back in Minneapolis (THIS WEEKEND. We move THIS WEEKEND), so it was good to be part of all of the family festivities this year.

But once the hubbub of the holidays died down, it was time to get serious. No, not with packing, SILLY — with baking this glorious no knead ciabatta bread for y’all. OK, also with packing. But that’s far less exciting.

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