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What is a Dough Scraper?

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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 25 August 2016
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A dough scraper is a useful tool, both for professional bakers and home cooks. It is usually a long, rectangular metal piece, topped with a wooden or plastic handle. It can be alternately called a dough cutter, bench knife, bench scraper, pastry scraper, or a dough knife. The term pastry cutter may also be used, but this is actually incorrect. A pastry cutter is used to cut butter into flour for different types of pastry and is quite different in shape. In all, the dough scraper has numerous applications in baking.

Most commonly, the dough scraper is used for a few basic things. While you are kneading dough on an open surface, you may use the dough scraper to combine bits of the flour that are falling to the sides. You can also push away any dough that has dried that you don’t want combined with the rest of your dough. Another quite practical application of the dough scraper is its ability to evenly divide dough. You can of course do this with a knife too, but why use another tool if you don’t have to?

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Many cooks like the dough scraper because it is one of the best cleaning tools in the kitchen. After you’ve kneaded your dough, a pass or two with the scraper will remove any flour or dry bits left behind, cleaning a surface in a few seconds. If any dough has dried to a board or surface on which you’ve kneaded, a little pressure on the scraper usually pulls the dough right off.

There’s really no good reason not to have a dough scraper, even if you don’t bake bread frequently. If you make piecrust, for instance, the scraper will be excellent for removing small bits of crust. It can further make for a handy clean up tool after you’ve chopped veggies or fruit. You’ll probably find numerous other applications for a scraper.

Perhaps the one of the best features of a dough scraper is its price. A simple stainless steel scraper with a wooden handle can frequently be purchased online for about $2 US dollars (USD). You may find them in kitchen supply stores for a little more, perhaps as much as $5-10 USD. Given their usefulness, even at higher prices, dough scrapers are worthy kitchen tools and it’s well worth it to own at least one.

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tolleranza
Post 12

With the pre-school classes that I work with, we are always doing cooking projects as they can be turned into snacks, art projects, or community projects (for a bake sale).

One of the kids' favorite things is using the kitchen tools, maybe because they see them as adult items or maybe because they do not often get to take part in the making of food. Either way they have a blast with rolling pins, stirring, pressing the button to start a blender etc.

It means a lot of adult supervision necessary, but that and the mess is worth it.

I look forward to adding this tool (finding a blunt one of course) to our kit of things for the kids to use while cooking!

julies
Post 11

I have one bottom drawer in my kitchen where I keep utensils that I don't use very often. This drawer used to hold my metal dough scraper until I began making my own bread and pie crusts.

There is something very relaxing about mixing and kneading your own dough, and I find myself using the dough scraper to constantly scrape the small bits of dough into the larger ball.

This works especially well when you are using a cutting board, or whatever flat surface you are using to knead your dough.

I also like to use the dough scraper to section off the dough I need. If I am making a double pie crust and want two pieces of dough to be the same size, the dough scraper is an easy way to separate the dough.

SarahSon
Post 10

Whenever I mix up a batch of dough, I like to use it for many different things. With one big batch I can make several things such as bread, cinnamon rolls, pizza crust and bread sticks.

I would be lost without my dough cutter scraper which comes in very handy. If I want to slice the dough in long pieces to make bread sticks, this is the perfect tool.

It is much easier to work with small amounts of dough at a time, and by using a scraper you can make a clean cut in the dough and get the right proportions to work with.

kylee07drg
Post 9

Dough scrapers are the best for cutting the latticework that goes on top of a pie crust. Because it is so easy to do, I will sometimes vary the thickness of certain pieces for a more intricate look.

I love the way that the scraper makes clean, even cuts. I can make lattice as thin as a quarter of an inch. This makes the top crust more crispy, and it contrasts the gooey center. I love doing this on my cherry pies.

For chocolate pies, I alternate between thick and thin strips. This gives plenty of interesting texture to each bite.

wavy58
Post 8

My mother always used a dough scraper to make biscuit sticks. These were a fun variation of regular biscuits. The shape made them more appealing somehow.

She would take the dough scraper and cut narrow rectangles from the dough. If she had any small bits of dough left over, she would re-roll it and cut it again.

Using the dough scraper to cut the rectangles was so much faster than using a knife. For one thing, a knife would have clung to the dough, and she would have had to keep pushing it off to get a clean edge. Also, she would have had to slowly cut around each edge. With the dough scraper, she was done cutting a biscuit stick in four chops.

lighth0se33
Post 7

A dough scraper is great for cleaning up spilled rice or pasta. Little bits of these hard grains and noodles can be really hard to see, but if you run the scraper across the counter top, you can locate them quickly.

It seems that every time I scoop out a cup of rice, several grains fall on the counter. Also, whenever I break spaghetti noodles in half, small pieces fall all over. The dough scraper lets me easily find and gather the pieces and scrape them right off into the garbage can.

Perdido
Post 6

I have a dough scraper that my husband and I got as a wedding gift. I rarely bake, but this tool comes in handy with cleanup of other foods.

I often cut up chicken and steak, and I set the fat that I have trimmed off of the edges over to one side of the cutting board. After I have put the lean meat in a skillet, I use the dough scraper to push the fat into a plastic bag, which I tie in a knot and throw in the garbage.

I remove tails from shrimp before I steam them, and the dough scraper saves me time with cleanup of these, too. It can be time consuming to have to pick up all those tails, but with the scraper, I just rake them into the trash bag.

fify
Post 5

I had completely forgotten about this tool even though I worked for a pastry shop when I was in High School. We used it to cut and divide the trays of pastries and serve them to customers. It was so convenient to use because you can do so many things with it at the same time just like the article said.

It was especially helpful with baklava, which is a Greek pastry dessert that is made by layering fillo dough on a tray with nut fillings. Before we put this in the oven, we used a dough scraper to cut it into little squares. After it baked and the syrup was poured on, we again used the dough scraper to completely separate the pieces and scrape it off the tray onto serving plates and containers.

It's been many years since I worked there and I just realized that I'm missing this handy tool from my own kitchen at home!

ElizaBennett
Post 4

We used to use these in my home ec class years ago. (Do schools still even have home ec? They should!) I didn't know what it was. We were forbidden to use the word "spatula" and I think we called the dough scraper a "leveler" because what we used it for in the introductory class was to level off measuring cups after we had scooped the flour. (One more use for them!)

My concern is that I knead dough on my plastic laminate counter. Wouldn't a stainless steel dough scraper scratch it? Do they make plastic dough scrapers?

chivebasil
Post 3

I actually use an old dough scraper to scrape the ice off of my car windows in the winter. I know its a little unorthodox, but it works as well as any ice scraper and I didn't have to go out and buy one.

I got into the habit one night after and unseasonably early freeze. I didn't have an ice scraper but I happened to have a dough scraper in an old box of kitchen utensils I had in my backseat. It worked great and I just left it in my car for the next time. I know people will say that the metal blade will damage the windshield but I have never had any problems. I guess you just have to watch what you're doing.

ZsaZsa56
Post 2

My mom used to give myself and my sister a dough scraper when we were kids and making rolled cookies. We also had your traditional cookie cutters, but she would give us a dough scraper just in case we wanted to experimenter with making stars or something else with a bunch of straight lines.

I can remember one year I was very careful and took a lot of time to make a castle using cookie dough and a dough scraper. I even used the scraper to scratch windows into the front of the castle. It was pretty cool looking if I do say so myself.

truman12
Post 1

I used to work in a pretty upscale pizza joint that tossed all their own dough fresh to order in front of a big kitchen window so that the dough tossing was kind of a show for the customers. A dough scraper was an indispensable tool for this kind of work.

The pizza dough came in big blobs lined up on big plastic trays. We used the dough scraper to cleanly separate the dough from the tray. Without this simple tool the dough would have ripped and torn and we would have ended up with oddly shaped and undersized pizzas.

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