Pastry cloths and rolling pin covers: Do you use them? Why, or why not? Thank you. ;o)

I have inconsistent success with pie crusts; in the past I've used plastic wrap, when necessary. I'm not crazy about using non-renewable, non-reusable, non-recyclable products in my kitchen (or otherwise), so I'm wondering if this is a good alternative. Thanks so much, everyone. ;o)



ktr September 15, 2015
I use both a rolling pin cover and a pastry cloth when I make lefsa but not for anything else. I also use a rolling pin that has grooves in it when making lefsa. I use a tapered rolling pin and a floured countertop for pie crust and cookies. I roll pizza dough (yes, I roll it out with a rolling pin) on parchment paper (I do this because I could never get my pizza to slide onto the baking stone without it - would probably work better if I made smaller pizzas). I'm not really sure why I use the pastry cloth and rolling pin cover with lefsa. That's how my grandma did it so that's how I do it! If I remember, I might try rolling my pie crust out on parchment paper or a pastry cloth next time just to try it and see how it works.
On a side note, my grandma inherited a glass rolling pin and I've always wondered how well it would work. Has anyone here every used one? Right now it is displayed on my grandma's wall.
PieceOfLayerCake September 15, 2015
I've used glass/ceramic rolling pins for fondant/gum paste....but have used food grade plastic since.
PieceOfLayerCake September 12, 2015
I find that as long as my pie crust is cold and I keep it moving on my counter, it doesn't stick or tear. I also find that its less prone to stick if I don't add too much liquid to the dough...which I believe is the root of a lot of pie crust failures and fears. I'm a staunch minimalist in the kitchen so I tend to be adverse to superfluous products. Not because I'm too cool, but I just don't have a lot of space! :)
Smaug September 12, 2015
I use a cloth if I have to roll on formica because pastries tend to stick to it- if you keep the cloth for the purpose it needs no special care; don't wash unless you spill something on it. Never used anything on the rolling pin.
Jennifer R. September 12, 2015
I was taught to make pie crust with a covered rolling pin and cloth. The recipe I used is very thin and tender and this was the best way to handle this soft dough. A few years ago I was diagnosed with gluten intolerance and I have finally found a good gluten free recipe, but after the frustration of trying every imaginable way to handle the gluten free dough, I went back and tried the old pastry cloth and rolling pin cover method. It works like a charm and I am so glad I have them!
boulangere October 23, 2013
An adequately floured surface (stainless steel and marble are wonderful), flour on the surface of the dough, and a large, heavy rolling pin are the perfect combination. And they all clean up easily.
trampledbygeese October 23, 2013
I've never found I need them. Most of the time they just confuse me. I just use a wooden rolling pin with a smooth surface, or a wine bottle, whichever is closest to hand at the time.

Although, if it is an exceptionally fragile cookie dough, I may roll it out on a tightly woven linen cloth that has been well floured, before cutting them out. This is especially good if I'm using metal cookie cutters that may scratch the countertop.

A lot of the household manuals (pre-plastic) suggest a lightweight, tightly woven linen cloth that has been well coated in flour or powdered starch (like today's corn starch) for what we use rolling pin covers and pastry cloths now a days.
Greenstuff October 23, 2013
I used to use them, and they worked great. I stopped using the rolling pin cover when my daughter gave me a big, red silicone rolling pin. And think one day I just felt that the cloth had gotten too old and filled with flour, so I tossed it too, and somehow, never replaced it.
mrslarkin October 23, 2013
I do not use a pastry cloth or rolling pin cover. My pin of choice used to be a heavy marble one, but the handle broke. Now I use a long french rolling pin with the tapered handles and that does a great job on anything I'm rolling out.

My one tip is to make sure your pin is well floured as you are rolling, and that your surface has been finely sprinkled with flour.

I've found parchment paper also works a charm for a nonstick surface. I use parchment primarily when I'm rolling out lots of sugar cookie dough.
ChefJune October 23, 2013
Years ago I had both a pastry canvas and "sock" for the rolling pin. I found they just collected dust (the floury kind) and made a bug mess all over the kitchen/house. These days my rolling pin is 18 inches long and 3 across.. on ball bearings. Things get rolled out in a hurry, and I love it! My rolling surface is a marble slab. I've found that combination to be very efficient.
HalfPint October 23, 2013
Lately, I've taken to using my Silpat to roll out my pie crusts and any dough. Works better for me. I had a canvas pastry cloth that was more work than it was worth. I've always been pie-crust challenged. And I've also made 'reusable' plastic sheets from large Ziploc freezer bags by cutting open a 2 gallon bag to make 2 sheets. They're nice and thick. They get washed and wiped dry after each use, then rolled up and stored in the drawer.
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