This tool is meant to cut dough, but we use it for lots more. We like a bench knife, sometimes called a dough scraper, with a ruler printed on the blade for quick measuring.
1. Shuttle vegetables from cutting board to sauté pan.
2. Cut brownies or bar cookies neatly.
3. Clear the counter of sticky food or crumbs.
4. Score shortbread and other dough before baking.
5. Smash garlic cloves (using the side of the blade).
6. Level a cup of flour.
7. Make chocolate curls (pour tempered chocolate on a surface, let it harden, scrape into cigarette-like curls).
8. Press ganache or icing out of a pastry bag so there’s no waste.
9. Cut soft or semisoft cheese.
10. Scrape burned food off baking sheets and pans.
Bench knives, or dough scrapers, with rulers along their edge, are made by KitchenAid ($10; Amazon.com), Oxo ($8; Cookswares.com), and Sur La Table ($7; Surlatable.com). The one shown here is from Pedrini ($9 at Amazon.com).