When working with cookie or bread dough, a crucial tool is the dough mixing bowl. But what size bowl should you use? It primarily depends on the batch size, but if you have a selection of bowls to choose from, it’s best to opt for the largest one.
A bigger bowl provides ample space to mix wet and dry ingredients without making a mess, and it also allows you to get your hands involved in the kneading process. In this guide, we’ll explore the different sizes of dough mixing bowls available and recommend the best types for specific baking activities.
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Dough Mixing Bowl Depth
Most dough mixing bowls have a depth ranging from three to eight inches. If you’re whisking ingredients for cake batter or cookie dough, a deeper bowl is ideal.
This is because loose ingredients tend to fly out of the bowl when whisked rapidly, and a deep bowl prevents any stray bits of food from escaping. This helps minimize mess and ensures precise measurement of ingredients.
Losing too much flour while whisking can result in the need to add more to achieve the right consistency, but it’s challenging to determine precisely how much to add if some has been lost outside the bowl.
For small batches of dough, a shallow mixing bowl may suffice, but when in doubt, it’s best to opt for a deeper bowl.
Dough Mixing Bowl Diameter
Dough mixing bowls are typically round, but oval-shaped bowls are also available, depending on personal preference.
The diameter of a dough mixing bowl can range from 6 to 36 inches for industrial-sized bowls. For making dough at home, a maximum bowl size of 16 inches in diameter is sufficient. The most common sizes of mixing bowls range between 10 and 12 inches in diameter.
Dough Mixing Bowl Materials
Mixing bowls can be made from various materials, each with its own benefits, price points, and durability.
If using a glass mixing bowl for dough, it should be tempered glass as it’s more resistant to breakage. Glass is non-porous, making it ideal for bread dough as it won’t absorb flavors from previous recipes. Glass bowls are also versatile, as they can be used in the microwave and are heavy, providing stability for bakers.
Stainless steel is virtually unbreakable, making it a great option for a dough mixing bowl. Like glass, it’s non-porous, ideal for bread dough proofing. Stainless steel bowls are lightweight, making them easy to handle, but heavy enough to prevent slipping while mixing ingredients.
One drawback of stainless steel bowls is that they’re not microwave-safe.
Ceramic mixing bowls offer a traditional and decorative option for baking bread and cakes. However, they’re more prone to breaking than stainless steel and tempered glass, and are heavier, providing stability for mixing and kneading dough.
Plastic mixing bowls are affordable and lightweight, making them a versatile option for outdoor grilling and serving. However, they’re porous and can absorb colors and flavors from past recipes. They’re also less durable than other materials and may need to be replaced more frequently.