The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Pastry Cloth and Roller Cover

SulaBlue's picture

Pastry Cloth and Roller Cover

Today I used my grandmother's pastry cloth and rolling pin cover for the first time. When I first saw it, I had NO idea what this thing was. When it was suggested to me by mother that I could roll dough out on it, I simply scoffed - using whole grain doughs, the dough I work with is generally very sticky.

Well, today I'm making the <a href=">Tangy English Muffins</a> from Wild Yeast's blog. I took that cloth out and rubbed flour down into it, rolling it into it using the covered rolling pin. This worked SO MUCH better than a floured counter or floured parchment (which I used to use to keep my counter clean as I could just fold it all up and throw it away). The dough didn't pick up much extra flour at all, the way it does from a floured counter, and there was nothing shifting and moving about and dropping onto the floor.

I can't imagine why these things went out of favor. I can only assume that they didn't really 'go out of favor' so much as people simply stopped baking.

proth5's picture

That you put the set to the intended use.  See, Grandmother knew a few things...


SulaBlue's picture

Thankfully I saw someone using one in a video, or I wouldn't have known to really rub the flour into the pastry cloth and likely would have ended up with a HUGE mess.


As it was, I ended up with -way- less of a mess than I normally do. I live in an apartment and the countertop has a slight texture to it - NOT good for rolling out dough! I've usually laid out waxed paper or parchment, but the flour just scoots around and inevitably gets pushed off the edge and has to be cleaned up. No more of that now!

mredwood's picture

I lived in place years ago that had a krappy counter & it never seemed clean enough to put dough on. I found a pastry cloth at a second hand store and when my eyes lit on it they sure brightened cause I knew I would be a happy baker. Now I find tightly woven canvas rolled up and sold as rems and sometimes I will buy a chunk at the fabric store for a really low price. I have given away many a pastry cloth as it's so easy. The other day I put my loaves to rise with the cloth around them just like they show in our best books. They did not stick. But they were a bear to get out & up on to my peel and into the oven. No more fancy for me. If they go in a canvas blankie next time there will be parchment under them. Unless some has a different idea. I am always ready to try something new. Thanks all.


SulaBlue's picture

Check out this video:


BTW, what's the wettest/stickiest dough you've put on your cloth? I'm making Reinhart's Bavarian Rye tomorrow and I'm not sure if I want to shape it on my pastry cloth or not.

summerbaker's picture

I haven't yet made any nice long baguettes and have wondered how people keep them in such a nice shape.  Thanks for the link.  I'm adding "4'x8' sheet of luan" (to be cut to size) to my Home Depot list!

I hope your Bavarian Rye turned out well.  I haven't had good luck with bread using over 50% rye.  Practice, practice, practice, I guess!