The Chef Hack To Stop Dough From Sticking To Your Hands

One of the worst parts about making homemade bread or from-scratch pasta is kneading the dough. Not only does it take a lot of arm strength and patience (hello, sore biceps for days!), it also can be a messy process. Your kitchen counter isn't the only thing that will likely get covered in flour and dough remnants — so will your hands. More than requiring a lot of post-baking hand washing, when your hunk of dough sticks to every inch of your hands (even in those hard-to-clean crevices between your fingertips) it also wastes precious material.

How do you prevent your dough from sticking all over your hands? Many of us have probably opted to rub flour all over our palms as a quick solution. After all, if it works for your counter it should work for your hands, right? Well, turns out there's an easier — and less messy and wasteful — way to keep dough from sticking to your hands. Here's how.

Wet your hands before handling dough

Sure, you could flour your hands, but that makes quite the powdery mess. Instead, baker Samuel Fromartz recommends wetting at least one of your hands to prevent dough from sticking to it. "If you dip your other (clean) hand in water and use it to scrape off the dough, you can keep things from getting to be a total mess," he told Food Network. Users on Reddit agree that wet hands work best when handling sticky dough. One person said they were very skeptical at first but very impressed with how well the method works.

Another option is to rub oil on your hands before kneading the dough. The blogger behind Gygi says to apply oil the same way you would apply lotion to your palms and fingers and your hands will remain mess-free. If you opt for that method, Lifehacker recommends using canola oil or another neutral-flavored oil that won't affect the taste of your dough.