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Wooden bread bowls?

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I just re-oiled my 2-decades old handmade wooden bread bowl. Got me thinking: in this day and age, how many people--even Chows--either know about them or use them? While I can knead dough quite well on the granite counter directly, or a wooden bread board, or a plastic cutting board, I much appreciate the artistry of the bread bowl. If this resonates with you, how do you use yours and what's its history?

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  1. I have a large one, about 26" by 12", but it has a crack towards the top - which is why I got it for free. It lives on top of the fridge and collects miscellaneous items out of sight. I have never used a bread bowl for actual kneading, though.

    1. Not wooden but I often make, knead, proof, and knead a second time in a large ceramic bowl.

      1. My sister made fresh pasta at my house and even though I provided a semi-circular "as is" Ikea wooden table top as a board (it's huge!), she used a metal bowl. [shrug]

        1. Can you explain more about it? I just started making bread after a long hiatus and I'm very interested! Why wooden? What do you think it does? I think kneading in a bowl cuts the mess and annoyance by at least 70%, but I usually use a glass bowl. Kneading in a wooden bowl sounds very pleasant - what do you think is great about it?

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          1. re: Sarah Perry

            Partly it's my love for beautiful hand-made wooden objects: spoons, bowls, etc. Oiling, over the years, has made my bread bowl satiny, so I need less extra flour for kneading the bread dough. Mine is about 1 1/2 ft. long, but narrow-ish, maybe 10 inches, with a shallow bowl. I just love the sensuous feel of it and the idea of its organic origin while I'm making bread to feed my family and guests.. I doubt it adds anything to the bread itself, but adds to the pleasure of baking bread, to me at least.