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Bakers, how do you clean up flour mess?

Firegoat Jul 17, 2013 07:31 AM

The only thing I don't like about baking bread or pie crust is all the flour. Even using a silpat like rolling sheet I still end up with flour on the counter. I was watching the American Baking Competition this summer and they showed a clip of one baker, Brian I think, at home cooking and he whipped out either the hose of his home vacuum or the shop vac and was vacuuming up all the stray flour off the counter. I was dumbfounded. What a genius idea. Has anyone else tried this?

  1. l
    Liz K Jul 17, 2013 07:35 AM

    A board scraper followed by a wet dishrag work just fine. Getting out the vacumn would be too much trouble for me.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Liz K
      escondido123 Jul 17, 2013 08:12 AM

      I make the bread near the sink so I can scrape the extra flour into my undermount sink and then wipe counter with a damp paper towel.

      1. re: escondido123
        Davwud Jul 17, 2013 08:17 AM

        I too scrape off with a board scraper. i do it over the DW into my hand. Any that falls goes in there. Can't do too much or it may gum up the works.

        Wipe with a dish rag.

        I dare suggest I can do that faster than you can get out the vacuum.


        1. re: Davwud
          G8trDoc Aug 2, 2013 02:43 PM

          I've got a funny image in my head that won't go away -

          I thought "DW" was shorthand for "dear wife"


          Guess not.

          1. re: G8trDoc
            blaireso Aug 2, 2013 02:53 PM

            That's hysterical! My DH (dear husband) used to think that LOL meant lots of love--his friends didn't quite get it!

      2. re: Liz K
        Michelly Jul 29, 2013 11:46 AM

        Also the tips of all the vacuum attachments have been under furniture and places in the garage that I don't want to have contact with the area that I prepare food.

        1. re: Michelly
          blaireso Jul 29, 2013 02:48 PM

          Good point! Eeuuwww.... If you have to wash the counters after you vacuum, all you've done is add a step. I'm stickin' with my scraper and microfiber cloth.

          1. re: Michelly
            pedalfaster Jul 29, 2013 03:09 PM

            You can have multiple vacs (as we do) or even just multiple tools in your household to prevent this. I had a thought that one could use colored electrical tape to dedicate different tools to different areas of the home.

            1. re: Michelly
              Ruthie789 Jul 29, 2013 03:19 PM

              A small little vacuum reserved for the kitchen would be a good idea.

          2. w
            wyogal Jul 17, 2013 07:37 AM

            I use an offset spatula to scrape the flour off the counter, then use a wet paper towel to wipe up what's left, then a dish rag.
            Vacuum would be a bother.

            1. mels Jul 17, 2013 07:38 AM

              I also use a bench scraper to get the loose stuff, then a quick wipe down with a damp cloth. It usually takes all of 2 minutes.

              1. SWISSAIRE Jul 17, 2013 07:51 AM

                I do a fair amount of fresh bread each week.

                A large clean, wet sponge is all I have ever used.

                1. g
                  gourmanda Jul 17, 2013 08:11 AM

                  Sweep it off of the counter (using your hand, bench scraper, whatever isn't wet) directly into the trash can. That being said, I often vacuum my counter, oven and drawers but only when I'm all ready vacuuming the kitchen floor.

                  1. JonParker Jul 17, 2013 08:31 PM

                    I don't bake, but I fry chicken sometimes. I always use the vacuum.

                    1. LindaWhit Jul 18, 2013 11:56 AM

                      Plastic pan scraper that I got as a freebie (or a plastic spatula) to get the worst of it; then a damp sponge or paper towel to get the last bits.

                      1. Candy Jul 18, 2013 12:35 PM

                        I use my vacuum cleaner.

                        1. mrbigshotno.1 Jul 18, 2013 02:56 PM

                          I find myself more and more using my hand-vac for crumbs, flour etc. follow up with damp towel. Dough cutter/scraper is still indispensible.

                          1. b
                            blaireso Jul 20, 2013 05:04 PM

                            Like others, a bench scraper and dish towel. I usually take some bench flour and use that to scrub off my rolling pins, but if they're too yucky I use hot water and a green scrubby, then air dry. I have a plastic Tupperware thing I've had for nearly 45 years with marks for pie crust sizes, I wash that with hot soapy water and air dry, then it gets rolled up around the rolling pin.

                            As far as the actual work surface, it's so easy to just wipe it off. Maybe I don't throw flour around as one might in a competition???

                            1. girloftheworld Jul 23, 2013 07:39 PM

                              pie crust or cut dough i roll the leavings and use them like a lint brush to pick up quite a bit of the mess...then a sponge.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: girloftheworld
                                kattyeyes Jul 29, 2013 02:54 PM

                                Oh, whattawaste, girl! ;) You should be rolling those extra bits into "tootsie rolls"...and I don't know why we called them that, ever, but cinnamon and sugar sprinkled over the remaining dough (rolled out) then rolled up like a snail, then cut in pieces. Mmmm.

                                Meantime, back to the OP, what everyone else said--clean with a dishrag and use your vac for the floor.

                              2. PattiCakes Jul 29, 2013 12:37 PM

                                I have several old cotton table clothes that I use strictly for baking/food prep. I lay one out on the counter, folding it so it is long & narrow. Then I do my baking/cooking thing. When I am done, I gather the table cloth up, take it out side for a vigorous shake, then put it in the washer. When table clothes were on sale at Kohl's, I bought a red checkered one for my daughter to use when she is cooking with her kids. It makes clean up so much easier!

                                1. p
                                  pedalfaster Jul 29, 2013 03:15 PM

                                  I generally use the wet towel method on the counters but I ~love~ to vacuum the flour off of the floor AND out of the oven. We make a lot of pizza and flour and/or cornmeal tends to land on the oven door or the floor of the oven.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: pedalfaster
                                    blaireso Aug 2, 2013 02:36 PM

                                    I think if I did more production baking I'd do this. For my family, it's mostly one-offs or holiday baking. I tend to clean as I go. Also, pastry flour is finer and probably tends to land everywhere, so it might make sense if you're doing lots of cakes at one time. First time I've heard of vacuuming out the oven, not a bad idea if strewn with cornmeal. However, it does creep me out to use the same equipment in the oven as I use for pet hair--eeuuwww.

                                    1. re: blaireso
                                      Ruthie789 Aug 3, 2013 09:07 AM

                                      If you designate a small shop vac or a small hand vacuum just for kitchen use, it is a great idea. Flour and water=glue of sorts and sticky counters.

                                  2. Ruthie789 Jul 29, 2013 03:18 PM

                                    I recently went to a local bakery where they were doing the same thing in the back store where they prepare the food. It is a great idea.

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