How to CookCleaning

The Best Way to Clean Baking Bowls, Once & For All

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There’s not much in this world better than a fresh-baked loaf of bread—well, unless it’s your fresh-baked loaf. That’s the very best.

But the cleanup that comes with bread baking can be a headache. Dough sticks like glue to bowls and spatulas and definitely fingers. If you’re like me, you turn up the heat and soap up the sponge. After all, it works for other sticky substances like oils and syrups.

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But it turns out the best way to clean anything coated in dough is with cold water, says San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jessica Battilana in her new book, Repertoire: All the Recipes You Need.

“Use cold water first,” she says. “It will prevent the gluten in the flour from activating and becoming that sticky web that coats your sponge.”

Simply rinse (or soak, if you’re multitasking) with cold water to relax the gluten, then use your fingers to rub the dough off. Make sure to throw the doughy blob into the trash so it won’t clog your kitchen sink, then clean as you normally would with warmer water and a sponge.

Ready to give it a try? Here are some of our favorite breads to bake:

Oaty Brown Sugar Soda Bread

Oaty Brown Sugar Soda Bread by Emma Laperruque

Dan Leader's 4-Hour Baguette

Dan Leader's 4-Hour Baguette by Genius Recipes

Tahini (or Peanut Butter!) Brioche

Tahini (or Peanut Butter!) Brioche by Sarah Jampel

Kindred's Milk Bread

Kindred's Milk Bread by catherine margaret o'donnell

Edward Lee’s Popcorn Bread

Edward Lee’s Popcorn Bread by Food52

Ima's Challah

Ima's Challah by Rivka

Do you have a baking cleaning tip for us? Share your best one in the comments below!

Tags: Bake, Tips & Techniques