Why rolling pins are a must have kitchen tool
Often considered a humble kitchen accessory, the rolling pin is more essential than you may think. Rolling pins are needed for a variety of cooking tasks such as rolling out pie dough, puff pastry and cookie dough. However, they can also be used for other tasks such as crushing biscuits, nuts, pepper, ice, or even tenderising meat.
With a variety of rolling pins available, it’s important to know how to pick the right one for you and your needs. The main considerations are the shape and material of the rolling pin as well as how you will be using yours.
Popular rolling pin styles explained
American (textured) – A ball-bearing pin where a cylindrical barrel rolls around the shaft with handles on each end. These are best for rolling out springy, resilient dough thanks to their ease of use.
French (tapered) - French rolling pins are more lightweight and don’t have handles, instead the heel of the hand is used to press the rolling pin in a forwards motion. Pressure is naturally placed towards the centre of the pin, allowing more control over how and where you roll over the dough or pastry.
Let’s talk about materials
Wooden – Wood rolling pins are the most traditional and a reliable choice as they stay neutral in their temperature unlike other materials. Beechwood rolling pins also holds flour well to prevent sticking when rolling dough.
Metal/Marble - Metal and marble stay cool to touch which is perfect for rolling buttery dough as the butter is less likely to melt. These pins are also quite heavy which may be a negative for some bakers.
Silicone pins – Silicone is lightweight and much like silicone bakeware, they have non-stick qualities which is highly desirable as less additional flour or sugar is needed when rolling dough out.
Factors to consider when buying rolling pins
Material – Consider whether wood, metal, silicone, or marble will be best for your use and baking needs as each will have an effect on weight and ease of use.
Style – Available in a variety of styles such as tapered, with or without handles, heavy or lightweight. Solid but not too heavy or long will make for the easiest rolling pin to use.
Durability – Consider which style and material will be most durable for your general cooking requirements.
Price – Available in a range of price points to suit all levels of baking skills and needs.
Features – Features like a rolling shaft and handles are very useful for some bakers, especially beginners who are still learning how to master rolling dough or pastry.
The best rolling pins for professionals
French rolling pins are often the preferred choice for professionals such as pastry chefs as they are high quality and allow more control of how dough or pastry is rolled, they’re easy to clean and have no nooks or crannies where flour can get stuck.
Tips on rolling dough with your pin - a beginner’s guide
Always sprinkle flour to your rolled out dough and to the rolling pin. If dough continues to stick, just add more flour as needed.
It's best to work with dough that is still cold and a bit firm. If your dough is room temperature, it will stick to the rolling pin.
Adjust your rolling technique to the type of dough you’re working on as some doughs are more stretchy or springy. As a general rule, the firmer the dough the better.
The air temperature and length of time working on your dough will impact how firm the dough remains and this can affect the end result of your creation.
Baking tools to consider when buying a rolling pin
Baking trays and tins
Rolling pin dos and don’ts
Do store the rolling pin in an uncluttered space, away from other tools which may scratch or bump the surface. Any nicks or dents will prevent your pin from rolling a smooth dough.
Do prep your rolling pin with a thin coating of flour before using to prevent dough sticking and tearing.
Don’t clean wooden rolling pins with water and soap as this will affect the wooden texture and taste of dough.
Best non-stick rolling pins options
Stainless steel - Like marble but without the weight, stainless steel can be cooled down further to keep pastry cool. Both produce a smooth finish and are light and easy to use.
Silicone - Food safe silicone rolling pins have a non-stick coating and lightweight for easy rolling.
Polyurethane -This finish is excellent for rolling fondant icing as they are light, easy to use and dishwasher friendly.
Maintenance, cleaning and care
Wipe the crumbs and flour from your rolling pin with a dry washcloth or a paper towel.
With a damp washcloth, wipe off any remaining flour and debris from your rolling pin.
Wipe your rolling pin dry immediately, letting it completely air dry before storing away.
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What is a rolling pin used for?
A rolling pin is a baking accessory which is used to evenly flatten different types of dough such as pie, pastry, cookie and pasta dough.
What kind of tool is a rolling pin?
A rolling pin is a cylindrical food tool mainly used when baking to shape and flatten dough.