Tag Archives: pie crust

Oh Dough Scraper: You Don’t Know What You’ve Got Til It’s Gone

Thank God I found you again under the meat tenderizer, lodged inside the medium size whisk

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:

I hope you get the idea. It was near impossible to take the picture and lift dough!

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.

Again, one handed demo with other hand on camera, apologies it is not more action packed.

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.

Dedicated to a lost (and found) kitchen essential and sidekick.

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Filed under Blogs with cooking tips, Ruminations on the Edible

You and Your Stupid pie crust Mario Batali

Stupid Lemon Tart with Gooseberries

“You are such a jerk,” I yelled out at Mario Batali’s cookbook photo (but with more use of the word asshole)  as the almond crust dough from his lemon tart recipe crumbled in my hands.  I actually love this recipe for its lemon filling.  It’s like making a lemon curd but then you lighten in with whipped egg whites. But whenever I go to make it I have that little “itch” in the back of my mind reminding me that something is going to make me livid.   For one thing, the quantity of crust is way too big for the 9″ tart pan (in my opinion) and secondly, it never comes together–if you x-rayed this dessert-you’d find a patchwork quilt of dough pieces which would mirror the fragmented state of my pie sanity.

And what’s up with ambiguous instructions like, “the juice of three lemons”?  Big lemons, little lemons?   I guess he means “just right” lemons.   Sorry.  This pie crust makes me angry.  It’s not the lemons, it’s me.

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Filed under All Recipes, Cookbooks, Magazines (+recipes from), Ruminations on the Edible