The Bakers’ ABC: K is for Knife and Rider

This is the name of an old-time appliance, used in bread bakeries, for cleaning the tables at the end of a day’s work. If tables used for bread dough handling are washed, there is a danger of swelling the wood, particularly if it is soft, and raising the “reed” or fibres. The “knife and rider” cleans the tables perfectly, without washing, and keeps them smooth and free from splinters. The apparatus consists of any old knife, with the handle cut off, but with its sharp side straight.

The rider is a piece of rounded hard wood almost 4 in. long and 1 ½ in. in diameter. A saw cut abot ¾ in deep, is made at the middle of the wood, at a right angle to its length. In this the back of the knife blade is inserted, and the saw cut should only be deep enough to allow the blade to enter, so that almost half an inch is exposed. The “rider” is a convenient handle. By a side-to-side movement of the arm, holding the instrument quite slackly, and with very little pressure, all scraps of hard dough or other hard matter sticking to the table are easily and quickly removed. The tool has to be kept only to clean the table before work commences, or at the end, and is in no sense a substitute for the ordinary dough scraper used at mixing operations.

From The Baker’s ABC by John Kirkland, formerly Head Teacher of National School of Baking, published 1927 by Gresham

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