Easy Oven Rack Cleaning Hack During Bread Making – Who Knew?

Double whammy pre-breakfast life hack discoveries feel pretty awesome, can I just say, especially when you’re up at 5am, restless and wide awake. What’s quiet but productive and won’t disturb everyone else? Hmmmm. Maybe something to wake the household but in a fabulous way? What could be better than wafts of freshly baking, cheesy rolls drifting up the stairs and nailing the best rack hack at the same time.

In an attempt to cut down on plastic waste and tap into Lockdown bread making but without actually faffing with sour dough starters, I bought some Wright’s ready mix bread packets (not an #ad btw), last week. They have different bread styles: plain, ciabatta and mixed grain to name a few. I chose the £1 cheese & onion mix, wrapped in paper sheeting. I know it’s only a little thing, the plastic bags wrapping supermarket bread, but I hate throwing them away and now have about 7000 of them which I save for freezer use etc but still, they mount up and it irritates me. Roll on the day that companies switch to biodegradable wrapping. Let it be soon.

Just before anyone comments, I also rinse and re-use clingfilm. I’m going to try these again without it, but the rolls might end up too moist. Maybe a tea towel next time, or damp kitchen roll.

Many people don’t bake their own bread because they either don’t have a bread machine or a Bake Off style posh proofing drawer. I’d a disaster last week with some bread in our understairs cupboard next to the heating manifolds, returning to find the heating had switched itself off. The result was one flat & rock hard focaccia. More like a naan really. Revolting. Following that hiccup I got googling to try and find out what temperature to proof bread in an oven, or if that was even possible, and discovered that a bowl of boiling water on the bottom shelf of a cold oven creates a warm, damp environment perfect for proofing – result! Armed with this advice, I made some cheesy rolls today and here’s where the hack come in….

When the 40 minute proof was up and my rolls had doubled in size, I removed the bowl of cooled water and lifted out the rack to wipe off any residual moisture. To my complete delight, wiping away along with the condensed moisture came all the brown / yellow fatty matter which splashes off roasting dishes and items cooking. Now just to be clear I’m pretty clean, and my racks were all spotless at Christmas, but we cook a lot and these build ups happen. Tell me this happens to yours, please, to make me feel better 😉

Usually I soak racks overnight and scrub them with Cif, or for tenant’s oven racks which are usually goddamn awful, I paste them with Lakeland oven gel specially designed for this very purpose. But honestly, this hack works. In just 40 minutes the steam will make your oven racks so, so easy to wipe, even more so with a metal scourer which just lifts the remainder off with no real effort.

We all know that heating a bowl of lemony water in a microwave performs similar magic, I guess the principal is the same. No nasty cleaning products, no chemicals, and best of all once the racks were wiped and spotless, the bread rolls were ready to bake – double whammy! I’d call that a pretty productive morning wouldn’t you: clean oven racks, fresh bread and a blog post. I think this means I can go back to bed right?

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