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What Is a Bench Scraper?

What Is a Bench Scraper?

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The tried and true bench scraper is known by many names, such as dough scraper, bench knife, and bench chopper. Whatever you want to call it, it is an indispensable tool when baking bread. Its stainless-steel blade cuts and portions bread dough cleanly, it provides support for lifting and turning dough, and it makes quick work of cleaning up a messy work surface.

The blade is honed, but not nearly as sharp as a knife. The handle, which sits where the body curls back onto itself, can be made of many materials, like wood, plastic, or stainless-steel.

You don't have to limit the bench scraper to your homemade bread activities! It works really well scooping up and moving chopped and diced veggies, or–and here is my favorite bonus job–it’s great for smoothing the icing on the sides and top of a frosted cake.

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11 Handy Ways to Use a Bench Scraper in the Kitchen

First off, that name (Bench Scraper) sounds rather weird for a kitchen utensil, don’t you think? Reminds me of something I might find out in our garage, especially since I certainly don’t have a bench anywhere in my kitchen! Truth be told, a bench scraper is also known as a bench knife and a dough scraper it originated as a tool that pastry chefs use for portioning out dough. Someone once told me that a bench scraper is simply an extension of your hand, and that is exactly correct.

While it’s not super impressive to look at (a rectangular, flat piece of metal with a handle attached on one side), it’s beyond versatile to use. As a matter of fact, every time I get down my cutting board, I reach to pull my bench scraper off the magnetic knife bar where it’s always handy. I also love how there is a ruler printed on the blade edge for quick measuring .

Here’s how I’ve found my bench scraper to be really useful with kitchen chores:

1. Smashing garlic cloves by using the side of the blade.

2. Shuttling veggies from my wooden cutting board to my skillet.

3. Portioning all kinds of dough.

4. Cutting bar cookies and brownies into neat, even portions.

5. Leveling a cup of flour or cornmeal.

6. Scoring scone dough before slicing all the way through.

7. Cutting soft and semi-soft cheeses.

8. Clearing my counter of bread dough, sticky foods, or crumbs. (I typically just hold my trash can beneath the counter edge and scrape everything right into it – super easy clean up.)

9. Scraping burned or hardened drippings (say from an apple pie that ran over) from a baking sheet.

10. Pressing frosting down to the very tip of my pastry bag when there’s that one, last cupcake to frost!

11.Cutting butter, shortening, or lard into dry ingredients.

And speaking of bar cookies, (see #4) here’s a recipe for one of my favorite bar cookies.

What Is It Good For?

When you're making bread, or any sort of yeast dough, like pizza dough, for instance, you know that many recipes call for making a double batch and then dividing the dough into individual portions, which you will then proof, shape and bake. A bench scraper is what a professional baker would use to divide the dough.

If you're weighing out the dough to make sure the quantities are exact, a bench scraper is what you'd use to trim off tiny bits of dough to get the weight correct.

And if you're making a huge batch of dough, a bench scraper can help you lift that mound of dough and shift it around your countertop.

Use it to cut

The bench scraper’s best-known purpose is cutting dough, whether it’s puff pastry, pizza dough, or pie crust. Bakers swear by the scraper’s ability to punch, cut and portion out sticky, wet dough—unlike a kitchen knife, these cutters won’t stick to dough, and this way your fingers are kept clean. The scraper can also be used to divide up frozen butter, finely slice pastry, and eliminate the need to handle dough with hands, which may warm it up.

It’s also great for cutting up fudge, brownies and other baked bars quickly and evenly while they’re still in the pan. Others swear by the scraper’s ability to divide up large portions of cheese or ground beef and some even use it for cutting up veggies like carrots, celery and peppers.

It is a great cake decorating tool. Use the scraper to smooth out frosting and eliminate any air bubbles.

  • Brown Sugar Pecan Scones(cutting & dividing dough)
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars(cutting & portioning desserts)
  • How to Make Pie Dough(kneading dough & cleaning)
  • Easy Italian Pasta Salad(scooping veggies from a cutting board)

Do you need a bench scraper? I strongly suggest investing in one. It is such a versatile tool in the kitchen. Even if you are not a baker, it is an incredibly helpful tool for cooking as well. Try this one! It is a simple and effective model.

Transfer chopped ingredients

You know that move that everyone always does? The one where you awkwardly try to gather the chopped onions on your cutting board with your knife or your hands to shuttle them over to a waiting pan? Guaranteed, you will drop some onions. Or accidentally cut yourself. Or just have to make multiple trips back and forth. That is, unless you hold the bench scraper in one hand and use the other to sweep those onions on top. Voila: You have a wide and sturdy surface for ingredient transport.

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Dip a measuring cup into a container of flour, sugar, or other dry ingredient and level it with the scraper.

Equipment Review Bench Scrapers

The deeply beveled edge of this scraper cuts through pizza and bread dough quickly and scrapes the work surface effectively. The textured polypropylene handle is easy to hold on to, even with greasy or floury hands, and is thinner than other scrapers&rsquo handles, helping us hold it flat to the work surface for easier, more effective scooping and scraping.

The many things a bench scraper can do

Transferring chopped and sliced ingredients: Bench scrapers are ideal for transferring chopped or sliced ingredients from the cutting board to bowl/pan/pot. The thin blade slides easily under a pile of prep, and the wide surface allows you to move twice as much as you would with just your cupped hands, and safer than using the side of your chef&aposs knife.

Cubing butter and shortening: If you love to make pastry, the bench scraper is great for cubing butter or shortening.

Managing pastry: Speaking of pastry, the bench scraper is the best tool for moving a thin pie crust or folding over a laminated dough, helping to keep your warm hands off of your cold pastry.

Frosting cakes: You can use it to smooth the sides of frosting on a cake, either for a perfect smooth icing finish, or that popular naked cake look.

Chopping ground beef while it cooks: If you like to make dishes like chili, which require the pre-cooking of ground meats into crumbles, and are tired of the work of trying to make your spoon or spatula break apart the meat, as long as you are not cooking in a non-stick pan, you can use the bench scraper to safely chop the meat as it cooks. The blade is sharp enough to get through the clumps but still blunted so it won&apost damage your pan.

Make Perfect Cookies with These Test Kitchen Favorites

Cook better and save money. Every product in this collection has been evaluated by our team of experts in a rigorous review and earned one of our highest ratings. We never accept advertising or free products.

In the test kitchen, we believe there’s a cookie for every occasion, whether it’s an afternoon snack or the sweet ending to a special meal. Over the years, we’ve perfected the art of cookie making and have found the best equipment for the job. Our winning kitchen scale guarantees consistent results thanks to precise measurements, and our favorite portion scoop ensures that every cookie is the same size—a perk for parents everywhere. If you’re the go-to cookie maker in your crowd, our top-rated stand mixer is a worthwhile investment, making it easy to mix even stiff or chunky doughs.

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The redesigned version of the OXO scale is accurate and had all the features that made the old model our favorite: sturdy construction, responsive buttons, and a removable platform for easy cleaning. The screen can still be pulled out nearly 4 inches when weighing oversize items. Instead of a backlight setting, the screen now has brightly lit digits on a dark background, which we found even easier to read than the old model’s screen. OXO also added two display options for weight. Users can choose to view ounces only (24 oz), pounds and ounces (1 lb 8 oz), grams only (2500 g), or kilograms and grams (2 kg 500 g), which comes in handy when doubling a recipe. The scale now uses decimals rather than fractions, so it’s more precise and easier to read.

Accurate and extremely durable, this set snaps together for compact storage. The handles are seamless with the cups themselves, making them easy to level off.

The unbeatable traditional version of the Pyrex Liquid Measuring Cup is back on the market.

We wish the measurement markings had more staying power, but we can’t complain about how easy to use and effective this measuring cup is with messy ingredients like honey, yogurt, shortening, and peanut butter.

Comfortable and accurate with long handles, this set nests nicely. The rim of each spoon is flush with the handle so it is easy to sweep accurately. Our only gripe: The oval bowls made measuring liquids slightly tricky.

This Microplane grabbed the top spot thanks to its great performance and its soft, grippy rubber handle that was slightly more comfortable and secure than that of our old winner. Otherwise, their grating surfaces are identical, so they both shredded cheese, zested lemons, and grated nutmeg, garlic, and ginger with ease. The Premium Classic came sharp, stayed sharp, and looked as good as new after testing. We do wish it had a wider surface so it didn’t form a trench in our cheese while grating, but it’s still the best option out there.

This powerful, smartly designed machine made quick work of large and small volumes of food. The bent tines of its whisk fit the bowl’s shape perfectly, its Y-shaped paddle creamed quickly without allowing butter to bunch up in the crevices, and the model handled batches of stiff dough without flinching. Testers liked the bowl-lift design and large vertical bowl handle that aided pouring.

This basic, compact, heavy machine’s across-the-board performance knocked out many competitors that were bigger and much more costly (although its tilt head broke on an extreme abuse test). We wish that its bowl had a handle, and a bowl-lift (rather than a tilt-head) design would have been nice, but those are small concessions given its affordable price.

A practical, no-nonsense spatula that aced every cooking test, with a great balance of flexibility and firmness for both the head and the handle however, the head did become slightly discolored by the turmeric in the curry test, and if we were going to quibble, the handle, while providing a great grip, could be a bit more cushy. But all around, a terrific choice for nearly any job in the kitchen. (We also went beyond its top recommended temperature with no sign of damage.)

This model is firm enough for scraping and scooping but also fit neatly into tight corners. Its straight sides and wide, flat blade ensured that no food was left unmixed. The all-silicone design eliminates any crannies that could trap food. It felt exceptionally comfortable. Its smaller blade fell short in our folding test.

This light, smooth bamboo spoon was broad enough to churn bulky stews, yet small enough to rotate a single chunk of beef without disturbing surrounding pieces. Its rectangular handle was comfortable to grip its head had the most surface area in contact with the pan, so it excelled at scraping fond. Stain-resistant, it emerged after testing looking closest to new.

The deeply beveled edge of this scraper cut through pizza and bread dough quickly and scraped the work surface effectively. The textured polypropylene handle was easy to hold on to, even with greasy or floury hands, and was thinner than other scrapers’ handles, helping us hold it flat to the work surface for easier, more effective scooping and scraping.

Perfectly contoured to fit the side of a bowl, this scraper had the most surface contact of all the scrapers. No dough or batter was left behind. It gained rigidity from a steel insert. Opposite the contoured side is a straight edge that doubles as a bench scraper or dough cutter, making this a multipurpose winner.

Featuring grippy rubberized handles and an inner spring with just the right amount of resistance, this portion scoop was very comfortable to hold and squeeze. It also dispensed dough with the neatest and most controlled motion.

This pin capably handled dough for pie, cookies, pizza, and yeasted rolls, with gentle weight and a slightly textured surface that holds a dusting of flour for less sticking. Its long, straight shape made achieving even dough thickness and rolling out larger disks easy.

Everything prepared in this sturdy, warp-resistant sheet cooked appropriately and evenly. Best of all, our new favorite is a few bucks cheaper than our old winner.

Testers gave top marks to this rack, which has six feet on three support bars for extra stability. Cookies cooled evenly on this rack, and pork emerged from the oven with crisp, browned surfaces. It fit perfectly in our favorite rimmed baking sheet (and other standard-size baking sheets) and is safe to wash in the dishwasher. It’s sold in packs of two, making it the best value in the lineup. Update October 2018: Since publishing this review, the quality of this rack has become inconsistent. We now recommend the Checkered Chef Cooling Rack, which had earned a Highly Recommended rating and come in a close second place in our original review.

No other cookie jar in our lineup had an airtight seal (activated by a pop-up button on the lid). We also liked that the clear plastic (BPA-free) jar showed off our baking. The container was easy to clean, but the lid’s nooks and crannies took more effort, and the lid is not dishwasher-safe. We tested the 4-quart model the container comes in several sizes and shapes.

This set has all the essentials: six core tips in the right sizes, twelve 16-inch disposable pastry bags, and a set of four reusable couplers. The six tips make topping cupcakes, decorating cakes, piping pâte à choux, and filling savory foods effortless. all the components are available at craft stores such as Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, or Jo-ann Fabric and Craft Stores.