The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

problems getting dough out of bowl

tc's picture

problems getting dough out of bowl

Hi everyone. I'm having trouble getting my dough out of the bowl/container without it sticking a great deal, despite spraying with Pam or greasing with butter. I think it's degassing my precious dough (I make pain a l'ancienne) and leading to less full baguettes. I usually let the dough rise in plastic tuperware containers. Any tips for how to solve this? Thanks!

breadinquito's picture

yes you should try using flour instead any kind of grease...hope it'll work for you too! Greetings Paolo

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Spray lightly or sprinkle around the edges and then slip a wet silicone spatula or scraper down the sides and glide it around the bowl first before trying to pour out the dough.  As you do pour and dough begins to fall out, quickly wet spatula again (if you can) and scrape the bottom in short separating strokes.

"It's all in the wrists!"   :)


The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

I find that a smooth glazed glass bowl works great. Just a touch of oil all around and even wet ciabatta or sticky pumpkin bread dough slides right out. The glazed bowl works better even that a clear glass bowl. That's what works for me. I purchased this one a few years ago in a discount store that has since closed. I miss that store. Now its a ace hardware How generic. OK my mind is drifting, I hope this helps.


AnnaInNC's picture

either one took over the other or it is just this way in our small Southern Maryland community. I know there was yet another name but the merchandise seems to be the same.



Patf's picture

I have a special board for kneading (husband made it) and just leave the dough on that to rise, covered with a cloth. Or if you use your workbench (countertop?) just leave it there.

I just use a bowl for mixing - but in fact some people mix on the workbench too.

Another thought - I use quite a lot of oil in the dough so perhaps this stops it sticking. P.

LindyD's picture

TC, I keep my ancienne dough in a deep plastic container (I use canola oil instead of Pam) and when it's time to remove the dough, I turn the container over and walk away.  Gravity does the rest, and quite gently, too.

Are you spraying/wiping the sides of the container as well?

ehanner's picture

I know what you mean about getting dough out of the bowl. I discovered a long time ago that the most important tool in my kitchen was the simple plastic dough scraper. I use bowls that match the curve of the rounded edge of my scraper. There are some other tips that make it easier to manage slack dough. If you dust a small amount of flour around the top outside edge of the dough as it sits in the bowl, and with a quick stabbing motion slide the scraper in between the dough and bowl, working your way around the edge it helps to get the dough out in a more gentle way. The flour you sprinkled at the edge falls down around the outside and keeps the dough from sticking. I first saw that method watching a King Arthur video on artisan breads a few years ago and I still use it every day.

Here is a link for this must have tool. For some reason they are hard to find locally in most areas.


alabubba's picture

Search your area for "Restaurant Supply", I get bowl scrapers there for 7.99 for a 10 pack

tananaBrian's picture

When rising dough in a bowl, I make sure the bowl is clean (assuming you are re-using the bowl that was used for mixing) and then apply a thin coat of Crisco.  I find that it works better than oils.  When rising in a plastic container, like one of my deep rectangular ones, I find it more difficult to coat with Crisco, so a light spray of Pam is what I use.  Both seem to work.  Mini, Eric, and others have it right when they say to use quick short strokes with a bowl scraper while allowing the dough to pour out of the bowl onto the counter or board.  Using this method, you can remove the dough from a bowl still 'fully inflated' onto the counter.


Jw's picture

in the bowl before I put the dough in does the job for me (also using Tupperware aka 'that plastic'). I normally does turn the bowl over the get the dough out, sometimes it needs a bit of help (also for pain ancienne).


flournwater's picture

I oil my stainless steel mixing bowl with olive oil.  Never had any problem getting the dough out using the plastic bowl scraper as described above by ehanner, without the flour.

Mary Fisher's picture
Mary Fisher

I find that the best tool for removing dough from a bowl (and everything else!) is a hand.


deblacksmith's picture

I make my own bake release from 1 part Crisco, 1 part Veg Oil (I like olive) and 1 part flour.  Works great for me, I spread it on by hand.  I learned about this here on TFL, but my wife tells we she has used this for years on bread pan when making quick breads.  I use on both bread pans for baking and on plastic tubs I use for dough.  I mix up a batch and keep it in the fridge.


clazar123's picture

I get even the stickiest dough to release by using an oil/lecithin mix and brushing it over the entire surface and lid surface of a square, large,rubbermaid container. Never had a problem getting any dough out. A flexible plastic scraper and gravity helps get things started.

I always keep a small jar with a couple tbsp of canola oil and about 1-2 tsp of liquid lecithin mixed in for bowl and pan prep. Haven't had any sticking problems in years.Dough and breads all de- pan beautifully.

Paddyscake's picture

That we all struggle with something different. I have never ever had a problem with dough sticking in the proofing bowl. I have used Tupperware, ceramic, Gladware etc. sprayed with "Crisco" canola oil spray. Never had a problem.

I struggle with getting my bottom seam to hold. Flipped over in the brotform, it always starts to open up. I've used the edge of my hand, pinched with my fingers. I don't flour the shaping board..heck, what gives?

rick.c's picture

I think it was from using enough oil that my dough didn't stick in the proofing bowl.  (o:  I do remember reading somewhere (on this site) not to oil the proofing bowl, so I stopped.  I can seam things again, but I haven't worked with high hydration doughs since that would stick horribly.  Catch 22 I guess.  You could always proof them seam side down in the brotform and go for the "unslashed" slashing method.  I want to try that too!


diverpro94's picture

I use a tablespoon of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil or regular olive oil). Just take your fingers and rub it around the bowl. It works great and afterwards I sprinkle it with flour, so the flour will soak up the EVOO.

BobBoule's picture

Thank you. My super sticky dough is now more manageable with a bit of olive oil in the bowl, I can now slide it out whole without the sticky mess.

After oiling, I spin it around so the entire dough gets covered and it works fine (I wonder if the spinning process works the surface of the dough more, but I get nice crunchy crusts already, which I like so a little extra crunch won't bother me).

Now if I could figure out a way to score this super soft/gooey dough without the blade getting stuck to the dough, then I'd be all set.

frajasago's picture

I flour the top of the bread just before scoring it. Blade doesn't stuck.