Kneading table - what type of wood surface?
I have a big, old, heavy, wooden table that I'm not using. I was thinking it would be perfect for kneading bread EXCEPT it has decorative grooves cut into the top. I have no idea what they were thinking - those grooves collect gunk and are really difficult to clean. I've never tried to knead bread on it - I mean those grooves get full of gunk just using the table as an ordinary table (which is why it isn't being used).
So ... I'm thinking of putting a layer of wood on top and making it into a kneading table. I have one of those unfinished wooden desk tops from Ikea (I think it is birch) and wondered if that would work for the top of a bread table. Or if I need some other type of wood.
I have always made yeast breads and just shaped them into loaf tins - so never needed (kneaded?) any special table. But I'm just getting interested in sourdough and I see all these videos of shaping really wet doughs with a dough scraper. And I want to learn how to do that. And maybe I'm being silly here - I mean I have granite counters which work fine for my bread pan loafs (less hydration) ... but when I try any sort of high hydration dough, it's just a big sticky mess on the granite counter. Or maybe once I get my dough scraper (I don't have one yet) it will work just fine on granite? But the granite is always very cold and I thought wood might be a better surface. At least all the videos I watch are making beautiful loaves with the dough scraper and wooden surface and really wet dough.
I have a birch top I could try (it's not very hard wood - it's easy to make a dent in it) - or I could get bamboo, or maple, or oak? Or should I just get the scraper and do it on my granite tops?