The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Cleaning after baking

iratchka's picture

Cleaning after baking

Hello! How do you clean your baking equipment? I am tired of throwing away sponges. The glutenous flour sticks to everything like crazy. I soak all containers and kitchen counter in water, but still....

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and those loose plastic balls of netting.  I save orange net bags and such and rinse with COLD water.  If they get gooey, just toss them away but they seem to stick around a long time for easy cleaning.  No soap or hot water until all the wet flour is removed.  

You can also clean off flour with a light dusting of dry flour first and rubbing your hands together over the trash bin.  Better there than down the drain.  If you have to use water, catch it into a large bowl or bucket and pitch into the compost pile.  

BGM's picture

Use cold water and get rid of all the flour and dough BEFORE adding hot water and soap.  Hot water sets the dough and makes a real mess.

Portus's picture

... has the inherent risk of clogging drains with sludge/dough balls; ask me!  So what I now do is dry them in the sun, scrape off the surplus and only then wash or rinse them in the sink with a brush and cold water.

jimbtv's picture

Early on I had the same problem. Everything was covered in dough including the hairs on the back of my hands. It was a painful and messy process trying to clean-up after a mix.

For me the key is to manage the mess on the front end and not the back end. What I mean is that I wet my hands before mixing a wet dough, dust my hands before handling drier dough, and made sure that all the dough that has collected in bowls and on scrapers is removed without water.

Scrapers make a big difference and I have 3 types - soft plastic, medium plastic and a metal bench knife. The soft scraper conforms to the shape of a bowl so it is easy to remove all the dough. When working with rectangular tubs I use the medium scraper, and when working on the bench I use both the medium scraper and bench knife. If the dough sticks to my scrapers I use one scraper to clean the other.

By the time my hands, containers and utensils reach the sink there is very little dough left to manage - maybe a few grams at most. I first use water and my soft scraper to remove any remaining dough and then wash the utensils with soap, water and a wash cloth. The cloth remains free of dough and I remove the small amount of remaining dough left in the sink strainer.

Another suggestion is not to rush to clean your bowls and utensils. Let them dry out and the remaining dough usually just flakes off.  I think another factor is experience. As I gained more experience I learned how to manage the dough more cleanly. Adequate dusting and short periods of contact make a big difference. 

Weizenbrot's picture

...that, when  soaking the bowls and utensils, add a little vinegar to the cleanup water. It cuts right through the sticky mess. A few tablespoons per quart is all you need.

AndyPanda's picture

I keep a few plastic cards (expired credit cards, door key cards, grocery discount cards etc.) around and use them to scrape down the counter or anything else (cookie sheets, cast iron, sides of bowls). The plastic cards have an edge to scrape with but it's still soft enough it won't scratch surfaces.

For dough that is still sticky, a little flour and rub it into little balls and scrape that all into the trash.

Razor blade on granite counter will remove even the most stubborn, crusted on gunk.

Portus's picture

... type "cleaning the dough" into the search box. Ha!