11 Handy Ways to Use a Bench Scraper in the Kitchen

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11 Handy Uses for a Bench Scraper

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.11 Handy Uses for a Bench Scraper

2. Shuttling veggies from my wooden cutting board to my skillet.11 Handy Uses for a Bench Scraper

3. Portioning all kinds of dough.11 Handy Uses for a Bench Scraper

4. Cutting bar cookies and brownies into neat, even portions.Uses for a Bench Scraper

5. Leveling a cup of flour or cornmeal.Uses for a Bench Scraper

6. Scoring scone dough before slicing all the way through.Uses for a Bench Scraper

7. Cutting soft and semi-soft cheeses.11 Handy Uses for a Bench Scraper

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.Uses for a Bench Scraper

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

11.Cutting butter, shortening, or lard into dry ingredients.11 Handy Uses for a Bench Scraper

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

Blueberry Crumb Bars

Blueberry Crumble Bars

Crumb

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 cup cold, unsalted butter, diced into small cubes
1 egg

Blueberry Filling
4 cups fresh blueberries
½ cup granulated sugar
4 tsp. cornstarch
juice of 1 lemon (approx. 3 Tbs.)
½ tsp. lemon zest

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil, then lightly grease the foil.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Using a fork, cut butter into the flour mixture, then the egg, creating a crumbly dough.  Press half of the dough mixture into the prepared 9 x 13 pan.

Meanwhile, make the filling by whisking together the sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl; fold in the berries, coating well with the sugar mixture.  Spread the blueberry filling over the crumb dough in the pan; crumble the remaining dough evenly over the blueberry layer.

Bake, uncovered, for 40-45 minutes, or until crumb topping is golden brown.  Cool completely before lifting foil and bars from baking pan to the counter.  Flatten foil flat, then use your bench scraper to cut the bars into 18-24 squares, depending on the size you desire.  Store in an air tight container.

Let’s Get You Cookin’,
Chef Alli

 

 

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Chef Alli

Chef Alli is a home-grown Kansas girl on a mission to strengthen families through enabling kitchen confidence, educating the family cook, and encouraging better food relationships. She believes with her whole heart that time spent with our loved ones and our overall quality of life is greatly enhanced by nutritious food made at home with simple, wholesome ingredients. She loves being able to connect and share this passion with others through her website, her social media presence, and her coveted speaking engagements.

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