The Fresh Loaf

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If you work with wet doughs, read this for a "handy" tip.

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bnom's picture
bnom

If you work with wet doughs, read this for a "handy" tip.

For those of you who have adopted the stretch and fold in the bowl technique, I wanted to share a handy (pun intended) trick.  I discovered it yesterday when I needed to take my tub of just mixed dough with me to a meeting so I could do some S&Fs during the first proof.  Given the constraints (lack of sink, etc), i decided to bring along some nitrile gloves that I could slip on and off for the S&Fs.  

Wow!  Using the glove was great!  It allowed me to get a good grip on the dough and there was was no dough sticking to the glove. No added water (from dipping hand in water to prevent sticking). No need to remove my rings or wash my hands afterward .  I was able to reuse the same glove for all S&Fs.  I will be employing this hand-in- glove technique, at home or away, from now on. 

Barbara

 

 

largeneal's picture
largeneal

Great advice/very handy.  Although I'm left to wonder...what kinds of meetings do you have where you can bring a batch of dough with you?? :)

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

I agree, inquiring minds want to know - "what kinds of meetings do you have where you can bring a batch of dough with you?? :)"

I will, however, do some "hands-on" research of my own into this "handy" tip! Thanks for sharing it!

emkay's picture
emkay

I had an unfortunate "incident" with a Benriner Japanese mandoline so my thumb was bandaged for about 10 days. During that time I wore a nitrile glove whenever I handled dough including doing the stretch and folds. It was nice that most doughs did not stick to the glove, but after I healed I went back to using my bare hands. 

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Did the gloves impart any flavor to the dough?

I have to say that mixing the dough before the adding the salt is my least favorite part of the process and the idea of gloves is appealing to me. I just assumed one doesn't bake wearing gloves, perhaps because in days of yore, the latex gloves would in fact impart flavor to foods.

emkay's picture
emkay

As far as I could tell, the nitrile did not impart any flavors to the dough. I went back because I like feeling the dough. Yes, it's a mess to wash my hands, but only after the initial mix. The salt addition and stretch and folds don't really stick too much.

bnom's picture
bnom

The nitrile gloves are not like the dusted latex gloves.  Chefs often wear them for food tasks.  I keep a box in the kitchen and wear them when I do things that creep me out a little bit, eg, pulling the meat off a roasted goat leg, gutting fish, etc.   

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I had a dermatologist look at my hands recently and, after a discussion of my hand washing pattern, suggest that I use gloves to handle dough. Since I retired from medical practice, food handling has become the main context in which I wash my hands. And, as I have gotten older, my hands produce less natural oils to keep the skin supple. So, they crack. 

In fact, I've lost my girlish complexion altogether. I'm just waiting for some one to suggest I wear a protective cover over my face. (To protect others, in this instance, not me.)

David

bnom's picture
bnom

I hadn't considered the impact on my aging hands.  I would suggest getting a size up so you can slip them on and off with ease.  

 

 

BobBoule's picture
BobBoule

Try to coat your hands with a bit of AquaPhor before you slip on the gloves, its help many of my family members with their cracks.

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

As long as we're talking about keeping our hands covered while handling foods, I'd recommend something along the lines of good ole petroleum jelly. Just the el-cheapo store brand will work fine, no need to buy Vaseline brand. I've seen hands so dry that they were bleeding from hundreds of tiny cracks get healed and restored overnight with just a little PJ and some gloves!

AquaPhor works great too, as does just about any quality hand lotion, but PJ is so cheap, and most lotions have some amount of PJ in them anyway, so why pay more? If you're opposed to putting petroleum on your skin, you could try some olive oil. Ancient cultures recognized that olive oil had some amount of healing properties when applied topically.

andychrist's picture
andychrist

Coconut oil smells and feels a lot better on the skin than any other emollient; there are compounds in the unrefined type that closely resemble those we ourselves produce. Works like a charm as well and very economical, a 14 oz jar from Trader Joe's is only about $6 and should be enough to last a year or so.  Spectrum is another good brand that even has instructions on the label for skin care, dab it regularly on my own lobster claws.

BobBoule's picture
BobBoule

PJ does work, I agree. Products like Bag Balm and AquaPhor are PJ with a few secret ingredients added for extra healing. I have tried them all, as has done my family for decades and although we found that PJ works, Bag Balm works better and AquaPhor works much better than that. AquaPhor had Chamomile and other soothing/healing ingredients that plain PJ does not have. We've had a lot of experience testing these three specific rodents for the past 25 years on ourselves for a variety of skin issues and anything that PJ can do AquaPhor can do better, that what we pay extra for its healing properties. Of course once you heal you can switch to plain PJ to keeps things nice, but I never bothered to switch back because I buy the large tubs (intended for use on newborns, which is inexpensive and lasts forever. I think of AquaPhor on the hands inside the nitrile gloves as Autolyse for your skin.

samf526's picture
samf526

"when I needed to take my tub of just mixed dough with me to a meeting so I could do some S&Fs during the first proof."

spoken like a true baker!

BobBoule's picture
BobBoule

Thank you so much! I'm very new to baking and jumped in with Jim Lahey's No Knead recipe which is awesome for a beginner like me but I find the wet, sloppy, super sticky dough is challenging to handle. I'm digging out my box of nitrile gloves right now and giving it a go thanks to you!

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

Thanks Barbara.

A reason to use gloves now that the State of California is forcing everyone to where them in the food preparation industry.

Wild-Yeast

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Then surgeon's masks. 

i am all for food service folks keeping a near sterile field. And hygiene is god awful. The fact that we must remind people to wash their hands is a good indicator that they should just wear new gloves. 

kneadingbob's picture
kneadingbob

I am also working with wetter doughs so thanks for the great idea.

bnom's picture
bnom

So now that we are doing stretch and folds in the bowl, our stand mixers are under-utilized.  i take Aquaphor (as bob boule mentioned) and whip it in my kitchen aid with some Amlacitin lotion (contains beneficial lactic acid) and a few drops of essential oil for fragrance (i like grapefruit).  i like being able to manipulate the consistency and feel of the lotion (plus it's very cost effective).  Next time I might try coconut milk as Andychrist suggests.  

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Can I lick the spoon? :-O

Hmmm ... Better put up a cautionary sign.

David

PetraR's picture
PetraR

I just dampen my hands and that does the trick for the strecht and fold in the bowl.

But good tip, need to try.

I like to work with a 60 - 65 % dough but sometimes go up to 75-80%.

 

BobBoule's picture
BobBoule

I must have extra sticky hands, because wetting them with plainwater just doesn't do it for me. I get more dough stuck to my hands than is left on the counter. I've even gone to the extreme of coating my hands with olive oil which I really enjoy because then I can skip the AquaPhor treatment that day, and I kinda like the fragrance. By the way, the dough does not stick and my bread does not seem to suffer for it but then again I'm so new to this that I probably would not know the difference anyway.

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

Barbara,

Tried it out with nitrile gloves bought at Costco - the blue colored ones. Put them on to mix a levain - the dough stuck to the gloves as if they were made of skin.

Any suggestions?. I want this to work...,

Wild-Yeast 

bnom's picture
bnom

I've done this a few times now on formulas that were 75 percent hydration. Didn't have an issue with sticking until yesterday. In that case, I'd added olives to the dough which seemed to increase the wetness of the dough. I suppose I could have put a little oil on the glove.  I use the white nitrile gloves (also from Costco).

Was the dough sticking on each try?  I would think it would lessen as the dough strength develops (like the way it comes away from the side of the bowl/tub).

On a side note, having gloves a little larger than you need makes it a lot easier to slip on and off for successive S&Fs.

 

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

I only gave it the one try. The dough is 65% dry enough to lessen the problem. We have some of the white nitriles which I'll try. 

Wild-Yeast