Tips on Choosing the Best Rolling Pin
Rolling pins are an essential tool for any baker. It is used in making bread, pastries, and pies as well as for decorating cake. Even a culinary chef will find use for a rolling pin as it is used for making savory pies, pizza, and other crusted goods like quiche. It can also help in pounding various ingredients in the kitchen or making them even. With so many uses for the rolling pin, it is important for any homeowner to know how to choose the best one for their kitchen.
Traditional Rolling Pins vs. French Rolling Pins
As a first tip for choosing the best rolling pin, one should know the basic kinds and differences. This pertains to knowing about traditional rolling pins as well as the more advanced French rolling pins.
Traditional rolling pins are made with handles that allow it to be easily used even by those who have little to no experience. The handles make it easy to roll out and they also prevent the user’s hands from getting dirty in the process or from getting into contact with the dough. This keeps the dough more intact and your hands clean to do other tasks. Also, a traditional rolling pin with handles can also come with what is known as a rod and bearing. This allows the user to hold on to the handles and not have them turning even as the rod is rolled over the surface.
Unlike traditional rolling pins, French rolling pins do not have any handles and are simply made up of just the rod. This allows the rolling pin to have a larger surface area, making it ideal for most experienced bakers. This type of rolling pin is quoted as being more advanced in that a higher level of experience is ideal before you can use it properly. There will be no handles to hold onto and so the user must exert equal pressure at all times while rolling the pin along the length of the hand. This can cause your hands to get into contact with the dough that you are working on, and it could prove to be messy or even break the dough while you are working on it.
Rolling Pin Materials
The next point of consideration in choosing rolling pins is the material it is made from. There are different materials to choose from, and each comes with their own advantages and disadvantages.
- Wood Rolling Pins
Wooden rolling pins are the most common and traditional types of rolling pins. The most common are made of birch or maple, and are often quite affordable and sturdy. The problem is that dough tends to stick to the wooden material, making it necessary to add flour to the surface of the rolling pin so that it does not stick to the dough. Also, wood tends to warp when exposed to moisture and it is also prone to having marks and dents due to use. Wooden rolling pins should be cleaned with warm water and soap right after use, and should be dried immediately to prevent the material from breaking down.
- Marble Rolling Pins
Marble is the second most common type of material used for rolling pins. The natural coolness of the marble makes it ideal for working with delicate pastries as well as fondants for cake decorating. It can also be cooled in the freezer for items that are sensitive to heat. Another added benefit of marble rolling pins is the fact that they are heavier and sturdier than the wooden types. The cost of marble rolling pins is not significantly higher than that of wooden rolling pins, but they do come in smaller sizes of an average of 10 inches in length. Marble rolling pins should not be immersed in water. Instead, they should be wiped clean with a damp cloth and using a neutral cleanser. Exposure to acidic substances should also be avoided as these could easily stain the marble material.
- Glass Rolling Pins
Rolling pins made of glass are often bought as collector’s items. Although they are also effective in dealing with dough that needs to be cool, they are quite delicate and require extra care. Most glass rolling pins come in a variety of designs and styles, making them an aesthetic addition to any kitchen.
- Silicone Rolling Pin
Silicone rolling pins are best for those who are concerned with the dough sticking to the surface of the rolling pins. The silicone material is non-stick and easily comes in a variety of colors.
- Plastic Rolling Pin
Plastic rolling pins are selected due to their light weight. This is most ideal for dealing with delicate dough and most especially for rolling out cake decorations. Also, plastic rolling pins come in a variety of lengths, from as short as 5 inches to as long as 20 inches in length.
Other Factors to Consider when Buying a Rollin Pin
You should also look into these other factors when looking for the best rolling pin to purchase:
The barrel is the main surface of the rolling pin used to even out surfaces and it comes in a variety of lengths. Wooden rolling pins come in an average length of 12 inches, while marble rolling pins come in a shorter 10-inch length. Plastic rolling pins can come in a variety of sizes, and the length you choose will ultimately depend on what you intend to use the rolling pin for. Larger dough will be easier to work with when using longer rolling pins, but smaller rolling pins can be enough for simple pieces. Also, longer rolling pins have more tendency to have bowing or curves along the barrel, making it difficult to roll out pieces evenly.
The weight of the rolling pin is also an essential factor. Heavier rolling pins can create too much pressure on the dough, which can potentially have it broken. However, heavier rolling pins will also make it easier and faster to flatten out the dough. Marble and stainless rolling pins are naturally heavier than other materials, while plastic rolling pins are oftentimes lighter in weight.
Never buy a rolling pin without feeling it in your hands. Are the handles comfortable? Is the surface smooth and straight? Does it feel well-balanced in your hands? Make sure to buy a rolling pin that you feel comfortable with. As vague as it may sound, the best rolling pin will often just feel right in your hands.