A lot of cooks have their personal favourite cooking accessories. Little, often inexpensive tools that they may not necessarily need, but they help get some of the more arduous tasks done faster. Personally, in my own kitchen, I’m fond of the vegetable chopper that allows me to blend salads together in a matter of seconds. Salads that I often prepare to start off a two-course dinner that often ends with pizza.
You don’t necessarily need a dough scraper when you’re working with dough for any variety of baked dishes, but it helps. A lot of pizza chefs rely on dough scrapers, or bench scrapers as they’re known in the baker community, so if you cook plenty of pizzas, you may want to get your hands on one.
A lot of people don’t realize what the benefits of a dough scraper are, and being that they’re relatively inexpensive, it’s somewhat surprising more people haven’t invested in one. But here are some reasons why it might be wise.
Reasons Why You Need a Dough Scraper
A dough scraper is marketed as a baking tool, however that’s far too limiting a description. I’ve found uses for it in all the ways I’ve cooked, from grilling to simple cooking to more complex, foreign ways.
There’s really never been an occasion where I haven’t reached for it in the kitchen, even if it was just to transfer something from one dish to another or quickly measure out a size. Here’s how to use a dough scraper:
Hopefully, it makes sense that you would use the device for the very purpose it is named. Use a dough scraper to remove any sticky, congealed dough on cookware. It can be used to scrape away any dry, sticky substance you have in your kitchen.
In an emergency, a dough scraper can even be used to clear a bit of ice from a windshield or unwanted paint, though I’m not sure if you’d want to use it in the kitchen again after this kind of application.
As a Straight Edge
The scraper’s straight edge is ideal for leveling a cup of flour or other ingredients. You can also use it to tighten a roll of cookie dough or, in lieu of a spatula, level mixed batter in a pan.
As an Extra-wide Spatula
Often, dough scrapers are plastic or even stronger metal. Either one can easily be used to pick up and loosen dough and pastry. You can transfer any baked goods onto their plates, or use it to sift flour.
You can even use one to turn a fragile piece of fish on the grill.
As a Knife
It’s not a sharp tool, however a dough scraper can easily slice through any raw dough, making the malleable substance ready to be shaped into virtually anything. Or, if you have a log of dough, you can evenly chop it in proper sections.
I’ve also found it useful when I need to crush something, such as garlic. In lieu of a proper garlic press, pressing a scraper down on some chopped garlic seems to do the job just as well.
As a Ruler
Often, dough scrapers are lined with numbered inches. You can easily use it to measure multiple necessary depths and lengths, such as checking the thickness of a pie.
This is incredibly handy if you’re making pasta, as it’s easy to quickly measure out the noodles and cut them to desired length. Personally, I’m not too crazy about dangling noodles that hang from my mouth, so it helps to have something chop them down to something more manageable.
Probably my go-to ancillary use for a dough scraper has been as a cutting tool. It’s just a matter of convenience, if you’re arranging and measuring the dough with it, it’s really easy to just chop off what you need with the same device.
In an emergency, you can even use a dough scraper to remove dough that’s stuck to your pizza stone.
But there’s one other use that you may not have thought of. It didn’t dawn on me until a chef on television did it. When I saw it, it was one of those, “But of course!” face-palming moments.
You can use the dough scraper as a shovel for ingredients after chopping. Surely, you’ve had experience gathering a large portion of chopped onion into your hands. The smell, if you don’t wash it out immediately, lingers on you through dessert.
It’s obvious to me now, that all one needs to do is simply shovel the ingredients onto the scraper. After that, if you’re putting together a pizza, you can slowly dole them out by pouring them off.
And that comes especially handy at clean up time. If your counter is full of a lot of cooking debris, simply scoop it onto the scraper and toss it in the trash. It’s the perfect tool for the beginning, middle and end of cooking.