The Fresh Loaf

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Kneading dough surface

Robin H's picture
Robin H

Kneading dough surface

I have been baking bread for years and knead my breads by hand.  I like the feel of the dough.  Having just redone my kitchen with granite countertops, I started looking into purchasing a bread board to knead on and see silicone mats are being used as kneading surfaces.  These mats are advertised as "non-stick" surfaces.  I am wondering how the dough will grip to the surface if it is non-stick.

Has anyone used a non-stick mat to knead their dough?  

I can add that my preference is good ole butcher block as a kneading surface, but I wanted to explore options.

I appreciate any thoughts.

Thank you.

alfanso's picture

Hi Robin,

I've been hand kneading on granite for years.  It will not catch as a wooden surface does, but it does work, especially for the kneading.  I do French Folds for kneading and Letter Folds during bulk fermenting and never have a problem.  The place where you'll find a difference is during the shaping where a hard wood will catch the dough more easily than stone will.  But the "problems" with shaping on stone are relatively negligible.  Pretty much zero issue with a boule or batard, and the singular trick is getting comfortable with rolling out a long shape such as a baguette.

Before you invest in anything, give yourself some time to acclimate to the granite surface and see whether you feel comfortable with it.

bottleny's picture

I knead & shape the dough on top of silicone mat. To me, it's less messy to clean up the benchtop. If the dough is very sticky & wet (i.e. not well form yet), it will still stick on the surface but I feel it's easier to handle. Personally I prefer using silicone mat.

To me, "non-stick" means that when baking on silicone mat, it won't stick with baking goods. Just like baking paper or parchment paper.

When using silicone mat for kneading/shaping, you need to wet the benchtop first so that the mat can stick on the benchtop. Otherwise, it will move along when you knead the dough.

bigcrusty's picture


About two years ago I had a woodworking friend make me a large breadboard (28-24") and then I saw the silicone mat being used and found them on Amazon (36x24") and purchased it.  It works very well for doing my folds and if I have a sticky dough it can be handled with a Bench Knife.  I usually make about 3.5 Kgs to bulk ferment so I'm dealing with a large dough ball.  Only thing I found was that using my standard practice of using an Oiled bowl between folds made the mat less sticky and it started moving around on the counter.  When new it gripped the counter tenaciously.  Now I have to soak it in Hot Soapy water and put in the dishwasher.  Gripping is improving now.




Big Crusty