I made a short bread recently(it was my first try at baking) and the recipe said that I should use a wooden spoon.

My question is this: could I have used a dough whisk instead of a wooden spoon?

And of course any comments on experience using a dough whisk would be appreciated.

  • Counter top mixers typically have a whisk attachment and a dough hook attachment. I think you may mean the dough hook. ...or maybe you mean a hand whisk? Maybe edit your question for clarity? – moscafj Jan 15 '16 at 12:02


My dough whisk, Vera, is one of the most useful utensils in my kitchen. There's something magical about the loops that cause whatever you're mixing to combine easier and faster than using a spoon.

Not to be confused with a wire whisk, a dough whisk won't whip very much air into the mixture — unless you want it to. For making your shortbread, operate it just long enough to combine the ingredients, but not so long that it starts kneading the dough.

After mixing, the dough whisk will do a superior job of scraping down your mixing bowl. It requires no electricity, takes up less storage space, and cleanup is a breeze compared to other kinds of mixers. They're so inexpensive, no kitchen should be without one. If you've never tried using a dough whisk, you don't know what you're missing!

Oh, and don't let the name dough whisk fool you. Just as an egg beater can beat things other than eggs, a dough whisk can be used for many things besides dough. Beating eggs, for example; it's so lightweight and balanced that you can flick it rapidly, whisking in air much like a traditional wire whisk, to create a fluffy mixture.

A dough whisk can simplify your kitchen and cooking workflow by replacing several other, bulkier, harder-to-clean utensils. There are many to choose from on Amazon, but they're essentially the same except for size:

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My Vera is the larger 14" size, she sells for less than $8. I bought a second whisk which also claimed to be "large", but as you can see, is somewhat smaller. They both work great!

  • I like very much that you gave your dough whisks names. Thanks for the information. – Danny Rodriguez Jan 15 '16 at 23:06
  • @DannyRodriguez most of my household appliances have names; after all, they are individuals. I originally bought Vera to replace my bread machine, Erika, who died of a prolapsed kneader bearing. – ElmerCat Jan 15 '16 at 23:30

Shortbread should be crisp and crumbly, using a mixer to mix the flour in will work the glutens in the flour and make the dough stretchy which is not what you want. Using a spoon (wooden or not doesn't make any difference) or scraper will help limit the working of the dough. So cream the butter and sugar with the mixer for sure, but then stir in the flour until just combined and then stop.

  • 1
    To add to this a bit, the point of using a wooden spoon is to minimize homogenization of ingredients. Similar to making fluffy biscuits you only want to mix it enough to collect it into a dough ball without breaking everything down into a smooth dough. Using a wisk or even a mixer will over mix it. – Escoce Jan 15 '16 at 14:23
  • What I like to do is use my cuisine-art food processor with the hurricane blade. And I pulse the ingredients together until it all starts to get picked up into a ball. The very moment that happens is when it is mixed perfectly to make shortbread or fluffy American style biscuits. – Escoce Jan 15 '16 at 14:25

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