Over at Orthonomics, Sephardi Lady gave her recipe for 15-minute challah. Readers were appreciative, but complained that they dreaded making challah because cleaning out the bowl was her least favorite job. One reader mentioned not having room for a bowl of soapy water on her counter.
I was mystified. Cleaning the bread dough bowl takes two or three minutes, perhaps only one. Is the problem that too much dough is left in the bowl after the challah has been shaped? If your bowl is full of dough, it’s messy to clean. The dough gets into the sink and has to be fished out of the drain, too. That would make anyone want to avoid baking.
When I knead dough, the dough naturally separates from the bowl. It’s been a while since I used a mixer or food processor for kneading—I do it by hand because I bake in large quantities. But either way, it’s worth the minimal effort to collect the leftover dough and add it to your loaf. It doesn’t matter if the dough has dried out a little bit.
If you’ve already shaped the dough, stick what you’ve gathered on the bottom of your loaf, or in some other unobtrusive place. An inexpensive plastic spatula helps a lot. With experience, you will naturally start add dough from the sides as you are emptying the bowl.
Washing the bowl
Once you’ve scraped out most of the dough, washing is a breeze. The remaining bits will already be starting to dry out, and that’s good. Don’t fill the bowl with water. The bits of dough will crumble, and you can use your hand to scrape them into the garbage. What’s left comes off easily with a slightly soapy sponge.
Am I missing something obvious. Is there another reason that bread dough bowls are challenging to clean?