cleaning up bread bowl

Quick Tip for Cleaning Up Bread dough Bowls

I love making bread – yeast breads in particular.   And I love how the kitchen smells with a loaf of bread just pulled from the oven.

I don’t love cleaning up.

The bowls that hold the mixing of or rising bread dough invariably have some sticky dough left inside.  And while it’s not that difficult to wash out while fresh, it does clog up the sink strainer and make a sticky mess of my washing sponge. (a word of advice – do not leave bowls with dough remains sit to wash later – it hardens up pretty quickly!)  This residual mess is probably not so good for the plumbing pipes either.

So first off, I have learned to use a set of bread / bowl scrapers like like these to keep my hands clean and get as much dough out of the bowl as possible. They are also great for making those first few folds to work a bit more flour into the dough when it’s really sticky after teh first rising.

But this is what I do with the bowl itself: 

Once I have scraped out most of the dough, I fill it with water to cover any dough bits sticking to the bowl itself.

Let it sit a few minutes, then dump out most of the water, being careful not to dump any bits of dough int he bottom into the sink.  Dump whatever is left into the garbage pail or compost bucket.  Than take a rag or paper towels and wipe out all the really sticky (now water soaked) dough.  It will almost wipe clean at this point.

bread bowl soaked and ready for wiping out

Now I can wash well without my sponge and sink strainer becoming clogged with residual dough .

wipe out the dough bits with an old rag or paper towel


This is one place where paper towels are the easiest option, because they can be recycled in the compost pile. If you use an old rag, you will probably need to throw it away, and sticky, dried on bread dough does not wash out well, and may get onto other items in your wash load.

Please tell me – what is one of your kitchen tips that makes your life easier?

One thought on “Quick Tip for Cleaning Up Bread dough Bowls

  1. Jenny Whitman says:

    I didn’t even know that bread bowl scrapers were a thing! I’ve just added them to my personal Amazon wish list. I keep a running list of neat odds and ends I see throughout the year that I don’t really want to buy for myself, but make good gift ideas to pass on to family that ask around Christmas time.

    The main thing I dislike about making bread is the mess. I like to grind up my own grains in my electric mill, so that’s a clean-up process in itself, but the counter cleanup from kneading dough is also always a pain. Do you knead on a cutting board of some sort, or directly on a floured counter?

    I don’t really have any special kitchen tips, but I do try to keep parchment paper lined in all of my refrigerator drawers and that really seems to help keep them cleaner longer.

    Do you have any tips on keeping your dishwasher and oven cleaner between uses naturally?

    Thanks for the great tips!

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