When you think of bread making equipment these days the dough (or bench) scraper is probably one of the most popular. All of the celebrity bakers use one and you can even get them branded, but do you really need a dough scraper and what can you use instead if you don’t have one?
While the dough scraper is not essential for making bread, it’s a very useful bread-making tool which can be used for various tasks during the bread-making process, including:
- Scraping dough out of bowls
- Scraping dough up from work surfaces
- Cutting and dividing the dough into sections
- Easily removing excess flour and dough from work surfaces when clearing up after bread making
Read on to find out more about dough scrapers, including what you can use them for, what you can use as an alternative to a dough scraper, the best types and where to buy one.
How You can Use a Dough Scraper For Making Bread
Scraping dough from bowls
Even when you oil bowls the dough will tend to stick to the mixing bowl during mixing and rising, scraping the dough out with a dough scraper helps to get it all out without any mess.
Using the scraper, you can simply scrape the dough directly from the bowl and on to an oiled or floured surface with minimal mess.
Using scraping dough up from work surfaces
A dough scraper is really useful when it comes to kneading dough especially if the dough is on the sticker or wetter side. Using the scraper as you knead helps to lift the dough from the surface as you work it.
Being able to easily lift the dough also means you don’t have to flour or oil the surface so much, which is helpful as added flour can dry out the dough.
Cutting and dividing the dough into sections
If you’re making bread rolls, pizza or any type of bread where the dough needs to be divided, then the dough scraper can also be used for this job too.
The scraper will easily cut through the dough and some also have a measure on them so you can divide it up in equal portions.
Easily removing excess flour and dough from work surfaces
Before I bought a dough scraper I ruined many a dishcloth trying to wipe up excess flour and any dough stuck to the work surface. The flour and dough just sticks to the cloth in clumps and it becomes unusable.
With a dough scraper, you can scrape up all of the flour and debris from the work surface and then it just needs a final wipe with a soapy cloth.
TIP: Not sure if you have all the necessary bread baking equipment at home? Check out my recommended picks below (Amazon links):
Plastic vs Metal Dough Scrapers
Although both plastic and metal versions are both helpful tools when it comes to bread making, there are a few differences.
Plastic scrapers are more flexible and most have rounded edges which makes them really good for scraping-out bowls. They can also be used for lifting dough from work surfaces, cutting and dividing dough and clearing up flour and dough.
Metal scrapers are sturdier and are especially good for cutting, dividing and measuring dough along with scraping dough from a work surface. They are not so good for scraping dough from bowls because they’re inflexible and have a straight edge.
Protecting your work surfaces
If you have work surfaces which damage easily such as composite, then I would recommend using a plastic scraper over a metal one. I have composite surfaces and I get along fine only ever using a plastic scraper.
If I need to measure the dough to divide it up into portions for rolls or pizza, I just use a ruler or weigh each section using digital scales.
Which Are the Best Dough Scrapers For Making Bread
Below are the dough scrapers I recommend in both plastic and metal, all are available from Amazon – click on the images below to check the current prices.
These quality plastic dough scrapers are perfect for all bread-making tasks including bowl scraping and cutting dough. They come in a two-pack making them excellent value for money. Check the current Amazon price for Decora dough scrapers here.
This dough scraper is a good budget version, suitable for many bread-making tasks and which is a useful addition to a bread-making kit. Check the current price of the vouge scraper on Amazon here.
This dough/bench scraper is perfect for most bread-making tasks, especially cutting and portioning due to the measurements on the side. Not so good for bowl scraping as it has no rounded edges. Check the current price of this dough/bench scraper on Amazon here.
Can You Use a Dough Scraper For cakes?
Dough scrapers are really useful for cake making and decoration, below are just a few ways a scraper can help with cake-related tasks:
- Scraping cake batter, frosting, cream etc from mixing bowls cleanly and without waste.
- Levelling off cake batter in tins before baking.
- Smoothing frosting and other cake toppings across the top and sides of a cake.
- Spreading melted chocolate.
What Can You Use Instead of a Dough Scraper?
Bread scrapers are pretty cheap to buy, but if you need to improvise, here are a few ideas on what you can use instead:
- A clean and unused wallpaper scraper – if you happen to have one hanging about in your DIY kit.
- Cut a scraper shape with rounded edges out of a sturdy plastic tub or container – making sure there are no sharp edges.
- A palette knife works well for scraping dough and other baking tasks.
- A sturdy spatular or a flat fish slice with no holes can become do some dough scraper tasks.
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I hope this post has helped to help you decide if you need a dough scraper in your bread-making kit along with some creative ways you can use one.
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