I wanted to make bread on the weekend and I could not find my dough scraper. It does often get lost in my messy “tool” drawer as it is white and thin and discrete but usually I pull it out after a couple minutes of desperate searching. But this day I really could not find it. Squelching panic I decided, no biggie, I can forge ahead yet soon realized that bread making life was nowhere near as comfortable without ol’ Scrapey. Scraps I sometimes call him–or “stupid piece of plastic” if I’m mad. (Those are all lies, we never speak)
Anyway, a bread scraper or a pastry scraper can also be called a bench scraper (although a bench scraper is a bit different, stainless steel with a straight edge). This simple tool is all about manipulating dough. A spatula or your hands can’t lift soft dough well and some cases just plain rip up the dough –plus if the dough is wet–forget about it.
So moving onto irritation 1: Without my scraper I could not do this:
Scraping out Rios Jr, my sourdough starter is a neat and efficient job with a scraper and is messy, sticky and maddening without. Wide, flexible and rounded-the scraper gets in all the corners. (Also great for scraping under a pie crust that has gotten a little sticky or been rolled too thin.)
After not being able to do THAT….I then could not do this:
And nothing scrapes down a mixing bowl quickly like you-know-who. You also like it on hand to then gather your slightly damp, sticky dough and remove it from the mixing bowl. See below:
And finally, on the cutting board, the scraper lets you lift, roll, move the dough around and scrape up any sticky bits left on the counter or work surface. There is serious satisfaction in efficiently flaking dough bits away and leaving a smooth, clean surface.
And as mentioned earlier you can then also portion your dough into smaller loaves or buns with the scraper (which I did in the Fougasse recipe) but in this case I was just making my usual two loaves.
In hindsight, knowing how much I need him, I give at least 35% credit to my plastic bread scraper for any loaf I have ever made. I love you man.