No Professional Tools, No Problem

Dear Sourdoughmaniacs,

 A few weeks ago, I asked you what you would like to see more of on my profile. My inbox was flooded with questions and requests such as these:

Dear Anita, I’m a new baker and I don’t have any fancy tools. Should I even bother?

I don’t have a proofing basket, what now?

I can’t afford a dutch oven, can I even bake bread?

How do I cut and shape the dough without a bench scraper?

Sound familiar? I think we can all remember how frustrating and uncertain our baking beginnings were. I sure can!

That’s why today’s post is devoted entirely to DIY tips and tricks for chefs in a pinch and bakers on a budget.

Swipe to see which common household items double as sourtastic baking accessories!


You might not have a proofing basket, but I’m sure you can find one of these in your kitchen:

  • a strainer
  • a medium sized salad bowl
  • a wok or deep round pan

Put a clean linen kitchen cloth (or even a towel will do) into it and give it a generous coating of flour…

…and it’s ready to house your proofing dough.


A scraper can be replaced with:

  • a sharp knife
  • or even the edge of a thin plate that you roll across the dough

To help the edge of the knife or plate glide through the dough without sticking:

  • dust it with flour
  • or wet it slightly
  • or coat it very sparingly with oil


A lame is a tool that bakers use to score their bread. Apart from making your bread look IG worthy, scoring also allows the bubbles trapped in the dough to escape in the oven and prevent your bread from baking unevenly.

To make an easy DIY lame at home you’ll need:

  • a razor-blade
  • a disposable chopstick.

Bend the razor-blade and carefully push the chopstick through the holes in the middle.

You can also:

  • Tape one part of the razor-blade to protect your fingers.
  • Pinch this part between your thumb and index finger and use it to score your bread.

 Coating the blade in oil or water, or flour works great here too.


If you do not have a dutch oven, simply  bake your bread with the help of added steam. 


  • Put a shallow tray, pizza stone, or any other baking surface onto your middle oven rack.
  • Then place an empty tray onto the bottom of your oven and preheat them both.
  • When you put the bread into the oven, pour about 2 dl of boiling water into the lower tray simultaneously.
  • Bake your bread with the steam for the first 10-20 minutes, then remove the tray and bake the bread for another 10-20 minutes, or until beautifully crunchy.
  • Steam helps for a beautifully crunchy, delicious crust. 

Tag a DIY sourdough baker in the comments and let me know what was the weirdest household item you’ve used in a pinch on your baking journey.

Have a nice day and let’s bake the world a better place.

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