The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

rolling pin

dunyar's picture

rolling pin

I am wondering what  kind of  rolling pin people like. I have a small wood one and a marble one, but am wondering if one that is 12 or 18 inches by 3 inches round is better. Also is stainless steel or wood better? Any suggestions and also where you purchased it would be so helpful.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

with a good deal of weight and width.  It is great for stiff doughs but for soft ones it is too heavy and I have to lift it more, which means more work for me.  I also have a small diameter 12" long wood broom (or hoe) handle from a hardware store.  A little sand paper, fits nicely in a drawer.  One of my favorites!   I have also used straight sided glass bottles to roll out dough (this is easier to find when traveling) and easy to discard into recycle when done with it.  The bottom side to using bottles is that you need to label it or someone may toss it when it's empty or you're not looking.  I've found some rather nice textured bottles too.  If more weight is desired in the rolling process, fill the bottle with tepid water and cork it or use a full bottle.  (purchased in the wine section, check the bottles in your kitchen & pantry.)

If you find you cannot roll out dough evenly,  it might be practical to buy a pin with colored spacing rings to shove onto the ends of the pin and thus limit dough thickness.  They also limit the width of the rolled dough and can be frustrating when a rolled surface is larger than the rolling pin.  But a good way to get even thickness for small items until you loose the rings or they get sucked into the back of the drawer.   

About stainless, marble, Teflon, plastic, etc., I believe each one works, the dough and the environment might influence the material choices.  Wood shouldn't soak or be thrown into a dishwasher and should just be wiped clean and dried.   A rolling pin by nature rolls so I wouldn't purchase one that breaks when it rolls accidentally off the table and lands on the floor.   Glass sounds impractical but a glass bottle has only one "handle" and can be stood on end when not rolling saving counter space.  :)

MangoChutney's picture

I had always used a traditional rolling pin with handles, made of wood.  I was never very good with it.  Dough would always go up the ends and get between the pin and the handles, and the rolled dough was not uniform.  Two years ago I bought one of the kind called a "tapered French" rolling pin.  It is made of wood and I bought it at WalMart.  I am much happier with this rolling pin.  I find I can control the thickness of the dough more easily, and of course there is no axle to get gummed up with stray dough.

I prefer wood to other materials for a dough-rolling pin, but I can imagine that marble or some other hard, non-porous, material would work better for making candy.

flournwater's picture

MangoChutney and I are pretty much on the same page with this one.  I too prefer my french tapered wooden rolling pin for most chores, but the marble model that rolls on an axle works better for layered pastries where butter needs to be kept cold between layers  because that type of rolling pin can be fully chilled.  It is also heavy enough to take the back breaking effort out of rolling some heavy dough formulas that need to be rolled out very thin (e.g. ravioli) when you don't have a dough/noodle machine.

btock's picture

and got a wooden dowel. there are so many different thicknesses and then you decide what length you want to cut them to.

proth5's picture

many rolling pins over the years. For very light duty rolling - I use a piece of steel pipe - which is handy because it hangs from a hook near my counter.

I have improvised quite successfully with many things.  Any round thing can be used to roll dough - but if you are doing a lot of work, its deficiencies will show.

I've used solid wood rolling pins (including the French style) with success and have quite a few.

I have a range of dowels of various diameters and lengths for specialty bread shapes an decorative doughs.

I have used the very large rolling pins on bearings.  They are great, but a little on the heavy side for long use.  And they cannot be used for pounding out butter.

I tried out the OXO non-stick rolling pin when I was working there.  It was a nice, well balanced pin, but I found it to be too short for the things that I do.  It also has bearings which means that you need something else for pounding butter.

Some years back I bought the Matfer non-stick rolling pin.  Although it is not really non-stick, it is the pin I reach for if I am doing any serious rolling.  I spend a full 8 hours rolling out a batch of "special" cookies each year and I would not be without this pin for that particular job.  It is large enough to evenly roll out a large batch of dough and holds flour well enough so that sticking is not a problem.  It is heavy and well balanced and works like a champ for pounding out butter.  It can go in the dishwasher, although I see no need to do that.

I think I got mine from King Arthur.

I like beautiful tools and still probably would have collected some of my wooden rolling pins anyway, but had this been my first pin - it would have been my "main pin" over the years.

Not inexpensive, though, and I know that is often a concern.

I really comes down to what you are rolling and how much/how often you are doing things.  Spend 8 hours at the bench just rolling and cutting cookie dough( and you will understand some of my sheeter love) and you will want a comfortable pin that will roll a big batch of dough - do a few piecrusts a year and bottles or dowels will serve you well.

The bigger the pin, the easier to roll a large quantity of dough, but the harder to place it well.  My Matfer fits my hands, my kitchen, and my needs and that's why I love the thing.

Hope this helps.

asicign's picture

I'm still using the tapered french rolling pin that my mom got for me 45 years ago.  It still works great, can't imagine using anything else.