Bread Prerequisites: The Flexible Scraper
The humble flexible scraper. It’s just a bit of bendy plastic with a couple of rounded off corners. It’s about the cheapest thing you can buy from @BakeryBits. Why wax lyrical about it? Because the scraper is the bit of kit that took me from the kind of baker who kept chucking more flour on the board to keep everything from sticking to being unafraid of dealing with doughs like ciabatta which have so much water in them they’re better thought of as batters.
If you don’t have a scraper, dough that keeps sticking to your board is a pain. every time you knead, you’ll lose dough to the board. The cloth you wipe the board down with each time will be clogged up with flour and water glue and you’ll try to rectify this by chucking so much flour all over the place that by the time your bread goes in the oven, dough that started at 60% hydration could be down at around 55% or lower, wrecking the quality of your loaf’s crumb.
Don’t add any more flour! — the mantra of the serious baker
When you have a scraper, sticky dough holds no terrors. Scoop it up the with scraper. Off hand covered in dough? Get it off with the scraper. Dough needs dividing? Scraper. Board needs cleaning? Scraper. Tea leaves spilled all over the place? Scraper. Gripping hand feels strangely empty? You put your scraper down didn’t you?
If you make bread and you don’t have at least one flexible scraper (and maybe a dough cutter) in your utensils drawer, you should rectify that immediately. Buy two for when you lose one, or for when your friend asks you for a lump of your starter and a bit of breadmaking advice.
Just get a scraper. No need to thank me.