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The Best Strategies for Rolling Out Pie Crust and Cookie Dough

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There are so many great conversations on the Hotline -- it's hard to choose a favorite. But we'll be doing it, once a week, to spread the wealth of our community's knowledge -- and to keep the conversation going.

Today: Are pastry cloths and rolling pin covers necessary, or do you just need a heavy rolling pin and a good stash of flour?

How to Roll Out Dough, from Food52

When it comes to pies and cookies, sometimes we focus on how we’re going to top the finished product, but before we can get decorating, we need to cover the basics. Namely, what’s the best way to handle and roll out the dough or crust. This week on the Hotline, AntoniaJames asked if others have found success with pastry cloths and rolling pin covers. Being a fan of reusable and recyclable products, she’s in search of an alternative to plastic wrap, and luckily, suggestions from the community came rolling in:

  • Use a Silpat, or make your own reusable plastic sheets from a large freezer bag (cutting it open to make two sheets), from HalfPint.
  • ChefJune has success rolling out her doughs on a marble slab with a large rolling pin with ball bearings.
  • Mrslarkin finds that most of the time a well-floured rolling pin and surface are all you need, but she’ll occasionally reach for parchment paper when rolling out numerous batches of sugar cookie dough.
  • Boulangere concurs, noting that an adequately floured surface, flour on the dough, and a large, heavy rolling pin are the perfect combination -- plus they all clean up easily.
  • When working with an exceptionally fragile cookie dough, trampledbygeese rolls it out on a well-floured tightly woven linen cloth, which has the added benefit of protecting the countertop if using metal cookie cutters.

We want to you to fill us in on your strategies for rolling out cookie dough and pie crusts. Tell us in the comments!

Photo by James Ransom

Tags: Community, Tips & Techniques, Advice, DIY Food, How-To & Diy, Hotline, Your Burning Questions, Best Question