Bread is a staple food for several civilizations. The first and earliest loaves of bread were made by the Egyptians around 1615 BC. These were made from barley and wheat, mixed with water into dough and baked over hot stones in the fire.
Not too long ago it was impossible to make a sourdough bread that was not stale and commercial within 5 days. Nowadays, with the food regulations on fermentation of loaves of bread relaxed, it is possible to make great tasting and healthy homemade sourdough bread.
The most important ingredient in this recipe for a successful loaf of sourdough is the container. The container for the dough is what makes sourdough bread taste good. To make the best sourdough bread, you need the best sourdough there is.
In this article, we’ll explore the best container for sourdough starter to make sourdough bread, guide you through the process of buying a sourdough container, and answer the lingering questions about sourdough containers that bakers have not been able to decipher, all to make your baking experience superb.
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Let us now guide you in finding the best sourdough container:
Glazed earthenware or enamel-coated metal are good choices since they do not react with acidic doughs. Sourdough bread and pastries have a low pH due to the lactic acid produced by the wild yeast you use. This means that they are more acidic than doughs made with regular yeast and are not suitable for baking containers made from materials such as cast iron, copper, aluminum or glass.
√ Resistant to heat
Sourdough bread baked in a container should be resistant to heat and able to withstand oven temperatures of over 300°F. Use a container that is made from high quality, heavy-duty materials and one that does not warp at high temperatures.
The best containers for baking sourdough bread have room inside to hold the dough you intend to bake plus your kneading bowl or plastic tub used for mixing. Choose a container that has room for your dough to double in volume when it is ready to take out of the container and put into the oven. This size will vary according to the type of sourdough recipe you are using, but assure that there is plenty of room inside the container for your bread dough.
The size of the sourdough container makes a difference to the cost and your baking success. The larger containers will be more expensive than smaller ones, but you gain ease of use and flexibility advantages. You also have the option of scaling recipes up or down as you wish.
√ What you intend to bake
If you make sourdough pretzels you will need a container with small holes punched into the base to allow water to drain out from under the dough. As well as room for your kneading bowl or tub, there should be enough space for the dough to expand and ferment without spilling over the sides of the container. Choose a container with plenty of headroom above your dough to allow for dough expansion when it rises.
√ An active ferment
A more active sourdough will rise more quickly than one which is not so active. Choose a container with room for plenty of leavens to ferment before putting it into the oven. There should be enough space for fermentation gases to expand and raise the dough up without spilling over the top edge of your container.
Not only must you consider how much space you have available when choosing a container, but also how much you want to spend. Containers for baking sourdough bread are available in a range of prices according to the materials used and their size, shape and weight. Check that your container can be used with the type of sourdough recipe you intend to use before deciding on a specific brand or model. Sourdough containers vary in price, so check that you are buying the right container at a fair price.
In this first segment, we review six of the best container for sourdough starter on the market as of now:
1. Anchor Hocking Storage & Food Preparation Glass Food Storage 7-Cup Tall Mineral Blue,11839AHG17,2
This is a seven-cup storage sourdough container designed with Green TrueSeal Lid Anchor Hocking to prevent any potential leakage or spillage. It is made in the USA and utilizes the BPA-free texture lid design to seal off the container. This sourdough container is ideal for both beginners and well-established chefs.
√ It is safe and easy to clean.
√ The tightly sealed lid makes it safe.
√ The glass does not absorb odors or stains.
√ It is made with durable material.
√ The container can withstand high temperatures.
√ It can be reheated in the microwave immediately after it’s out of the freezer or refrigerator.
× You should avoid sudden temperature changes with this container.
The Organic San Francisco Sourdough Bread Starter with 3.5-Quart Dough Rising Bucket makes baking your own sourdough that much easier and more exciting. With this starter, take bits of dough from the bucket to keep in your refrigerator and add only flour when you need to feed it. The bucket comes with a lid for keeping your starter safe and sound in the refrigerator so that you can have fresh sourdough at the ready whenever you need a loaf of bread.
√ Easy-to-use bucket set up.
√ Let’s you keep your starter at room temperature.
√ It’s the perfect option to keep in your refrigerator.
√ Easy to clean and maintain.
√ It’s strong and durable.
× While some might prefer larger quantities of starter, this package smaller.
A Cambro RFS6PP190 6 Qt Round Container Wirh RFSC6PP190 Translucent Lid is a nice addition to your kitchen. It would be worthwhile if you take note of the following about this sourdough container.
√ It has a high rating.
√ The buyers were happy with how it looked like and the material used for its construction.
√ The container is easy to clean.
√ It is durable.
× A few buyers commented that though they took their time in reading the instruction when installing the unit, but still encountered problems. It would have been easier if there had been a video tutorial provided with their purchase.
This container is heavy-duty, high-density polyethylene with a sturdy handle and tight lid. The interior has ribbed sidewalls that make it easy to reach into the bucket and get the dough out, it also helps dough retain moisture. While the bucket is large, at 3 1/2 quarts, it is also easy to store and stack. The bucket comes with a lid that has an airtight seal. When it’s time to use the dough, simply cut the seal off.
√ Easy to use.
√ Dishwasher safe.
√ It can stand high heat.
√ It is non-stick.
√ Its seal prevents the dough from bacterial infection.
× Only one size available.
× May be difficult to remove dough from sidewalls when too much flour is used.
5. Rubbermaid Commercial Products Plastic Square Food Storage Container with Lid, 6 Quart, 1815325 (set of two)
The Rubbermaid Commercial Products Plastic Square Food Storage Container with Lid, 6 Quart, 1815325 (set of two) is a commercial-grade plastic storage container that comes in handy when you have to make lunch for office or picnic. This is made from heavy-gauge, high-impact polypropylene material and has a secure snap-locking lid that forms an airtight seal to keep food fresh and prevent leaks. The Rubbermaid Commercial Products Plastic Square Food Storage Container with Lid, 6 Quart, 1815325 (set of two) can be easily stacked for compact storage and maximum space efficiency.
√ It is BPA free, which means that it doesn’t release any harmful chemicals into the food, making it safe for people to use.
√ It is really lightweight and was designed with a comfortable handle that makes it easy to carry around or even pull out of a cabinet without getting tired.
√ Durable and sturdy.
× Quite pricey, but it is worth its price.
We finish off by answering some of the hard questions about the best container for sourdough starter:
Q1. What is sourdough?
A. Sourdough, in its simplest terms, is flour and water. The process of creating a starter creates an awesome combination of billions of bacteria strains that work together to produce the dough’s aroma and flavor. It can be used for making pancakes or artisan bread or pizza dough which is quite delicious. The taste of sourdough bread is much better than the one made with commercial yeast.
Q2. What is the difference between a starter and an active flour mixture?
A. Sourdough starters are created to be sustained for years by regular additions of water and flour. On the other hand, active mixtures are used just for one or two batches.
Q3. Can I use a plastic Ziploc-type bag as my container?
A. In 2011, a study was done that found BPA in Ziploc-type bags, which is a hormone disruptor and linked to cancer. It can leech into food or drinks placed in the container. It’s not at dangerous levels for adults, but children should be kept away from it. The study concluded: “…Ziploc fast-closing pouches should not be used in food preparation or in any home environment with children.
But Ziploc-type bags are a godsend for sourdough starters. They’re easy to use, cheap, and reusable. However, the solution is: don’t leave them open for extended periods of time. Sourdough will last for days in a tightly sealed Ziploc bag, but if you leave the bag open for an extended period of time, it will ferment.
Q4. What are the different types of containers that people use for sourdough?
A. There are many out there. Some people who don’t want to deal with having different containers for their sourdough use glass jars. These are cheap and available in most grocery stores. The main problem with glass jars is that they break easily, so you have to be very careful when moving them around. It’s ideal if the jar can withstand a 10-15 degree temperature change.
Q5. What size container should I use?
A. This depends on how much starter you are using. One pound of sourdough will fit in a 1-1/2 quart container, and up to 2 pounds will fit in a 2-quart container. But you don’t necessarily have to use containers that big. Just start off with the smallest one possible, and add some extra starter if it’s too full to fit the amount of starter that you need. You can always move your sourdough into a larger container later on, but if you start off with too large of a container, you won’t be able to get all of your sourdoughs in.
Q6. What if I only want to keep a 1/4 cup starter instead of a whole batch?
A. This is pretty easy to do without damaging your sourdough culture (as long as that container can still hold 4 cups). It’s a good idea to have a couple of 1/2 cup measuring cups as well because you can transfer half the starter into one and leave it in your main container. Then start feeding your starter with an amount that fits into the remaining empty space.
Q7. What does “stir twice daily” mean? I live in a different time zone!
A. This is pretty self-explanatory. If you’re using a container, open it up and stir the starter with a plastic or wooden spoon (never metal) just two times during the day. Around noon after you’ve eaten lunch, stir once. And in the evening before dinner, stir again. That’s all!
Q8. How can I make a container safer?
A. There are two things to remember when using containers: don’t use metal that will interact with the starter, keep it clean and sanitary. The easiest way to do this is to place all of your containers in a sink full of hot water and use some kind of brush to remove any traces of food or bacteria from the container. Then you’ll want to rinse it out with very hot water and let it air dry.
Sourdough bread is one of the most delicious kinds of homemade bread. Bread with a sour taste and aroma also has special health benefits. When made with the best container for sourdough starter, the result of it is a delicious bread with many health benefits that can be consumed by the whole family as part of their everyday meals. Choose wisely today!
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