The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Flour everywhere!

Nora Claire's picture
Nora Claire

Flour everywhere!

Ok so maybe this is naive of me, BUT-

is there an simpler way or preventative measure for dealing with flour dust and cleaning up loose flour from kneading?

after kneading on my work bench there's flour everywhere. But even harder to clean up is the dust coating my entire sink/counter/dish drainer area after shaking out my couche. flouring the couche BEFORE lining my colander (for boules) is also a very messy ordeal.

If there is no solution for minimizing this, is there some sort of magic device/product for easier clean-up?

Any tips would be greatly appreciate!



Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

The easiest way to minimize flour dust problems is to adapt one of the methods that utilize minimal to no kneading during the production process. I have a link to a post by an esteemed TFL member that just might help by explaining his approach.

You might also borrow a copy of this book through your local library or skim through it at a local bookstore. I found it helpful in developing my minimal knead technique.


drogon's picture

Other than the no-knead methods, if you get the mix right then you should be able to mix it in the bowl by hand, or with a plastic scraper to get all the flour incorporated into the liquid, then tip it out onto the bench and knead without any flour at all. All you're doing by scattering flour over the bench/hands/dough is adding more flour into the dough, making it stiffer.

Here's a video:

start at about 4:15 in though.

here's another, although he uses oil on the table - you don't really need it to knead it :)

... and shake the couch outside :)

Or, use cane bannetons rather than cloth liners.



Nora Claire's picture
Nora Claire


LindyD's picture

Why not shake the couche outdoors?

A dredge works for flouring the couche - and applying a minimal amount of flour to the bench.



Nora Claire's picture
Nora Claire

I'll check out the dredge, thanks! As for the couche, I live I in a 4th floor walk-up in Brooklyn. But I could shake out the window I think. Thanks again

drogon's picture

... use a vacuum cleaner! I have a hand-held Dyson which is great for my oven gloves, etc.



alfanso's picture

For kneading dough, try a standard method which I use in my video, starting at minute 11:00 .

As far as removing loose flour from a couche, lay the couche down on a flat surface and scrape the flour off the couche with a bench knife (dough scraper) or something similar.  As Follows: 

Hold the couche with one hand and scrape the blade across the couche, direction from bottom to top, away from you.  Repeat moving the scraper to the next area of the couche.  You can then shake off the very little that remains on the couche by holding it up on end and tapping the end against the work surface a few times.  All of your scraped loose flour will have accumulated in a relatively straight line across the top of the area where the couche was scraped.  Just don't scrape so hard as to damage the linen material itself.  Then, the simple act of collecting the line of flour using your scraper.  

If your work surface has a lip, just bring your trash container to the lip, and scrape directly from surface into the container.  If your work surface is adjoining your sink, don't scrape the loose flour into your sink because then you will have to clean it out of the sink.

Voila, or as someone my wife once worked with said "walla"!

dabrownman's picture

i just mix the autolyse with the salt and levain in the bowl with a spoon, dump it out on the counter and do the first set of slap and folds until the dough doesn't stick to the counter anymore.

Adding bench flour throws off the formula and makes the dough too dry.

Happy no bench flour baking! .

sandytroy's picture

I use the no knead bread method (78% hydration, 30 to 60 min autolyses)... and after the first proof, I put parchment paper on the counter, generously flour the parchment paper, scrape/pour the dough onto the parchment paper, form a ball (almost no touch, no degassing), remove the excess flour from under the dough and off the parchment with a scraper, then use the parchment paper like handles to lift the dough into a bowl (with plate for a lid) for the second proof.   The counter stays very clean. see pictures