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I own several rolling pins and use them for a lot of different things. I use an old rolling pin to flatten chicken breasts for chicken piccata and to smash crackers to bits to add to meatloaf. It’s kind of like doing primal therapy, and afterward, I feel fantastic! With a different rolling pin, I roll out pizza dough pretty often since rolling the dough means I can get it into the oven faster, and I have no patience when I want pizza.
When inspired, I use yet another rolling pin to make a beautiful puff pastry, remembering the first time I made it from scratch. I lived on a vintage sailboat with a tiny galley kitchen, testing recipes for a new husband who loved to eat. On the top of an icebox cover, I rolled the dough out by hand, layering it with sweet butter, leaning into it, but not too much, as the dough formed.
On my first day as a pastry chef, I was assigned to make Linzer tortes in a hot, steamy kitchen as a kind of test. I was the only woman in the kitchen, and the line cooks kept peeking over their shoulders at me, probably wondering as to whether I’d succeed in creating the latticework top. It wasn’t easy, and it’s true that at times I wanted to cry, but instead, I became determined to do it, and I did. Thank you, rolling pin.
Basically, what I’m saying is that rolling pins are important. They’re indispensable to making pastries and have long been a symbol of the well-run home kitchen, along with the apron. They are simply amazing tools.
Ahead, the best rolling pins that you can find for your kitchen.
Best Overall: Fox Run Polished Marble Rolling Pin with Wooden Cradle
What We Love: Solid construction, easy to use, wooden resting stand
What We Don’t Love: Can be difficult to fit in small refrigerators
Marble rolling pins are ideal for flaky, buttery doughs since marble can be prechilled in a fridge or freezer, keeping your dough cold during the rolling. This type of pin usually has excellent heft, and this one from Fox Run is no exception. But in this case, it’s been designed and built to be used by anyone with average strength.
Nylon ball bearings and sturdy 4-inch wooden handles create an overall excellent balance, so you can use the weight as you wish. It’s a beautiful piece of kitchen equipment. The polished 10-inch marble barrel has a soft sheen, the wooden handles give the piece an old-fashioned charm, and the matching wooden stand is both useful and decorative. Since wood can split from the high heat of a dishwasher, this should be washed by hand.
Material: Marble and wood | Length: 18 inches | Weight: 4.6 pounds
Best Budget: Luxtrip Wood Rolling Pin
What We Love: Inexpensive, easy for kids to learn on
What We Don’t Love: Lacks the looks of higher quality options
A rolling pin can be quite basic and still do the job well, as this wooden 16-inch rolling pin demonstrates.
This type of rolling pin is called a dowel rolling pin or Shaker rolling pin. Its smooth surface offers a comfortable grip, while the 1.2-inch diameter of the barrel is wide enough to feel right when working with doughs and applying pressure with the palm of your hand. Made from beech, it’s also excellent for kids to work or play with, with its easy-to-handle shape and weight.
Material: Beechwood | Length: 16 inches | Weight: 1 pound
Best French: Williams Sonoma French Tapered Olivewood Rolling Pin
What We Love: Sustainable, works well with many pastry doughs
What We Don’t Love: Expensive
Sometimes called a French pastry pin, this gorgeous rolling pin has a tapered rod shape made from sustainably sourced olivewood. Made exclusively for Williams Sonoma, this lightweight rolling pin is hand-finished, and the balance feels excellent.
The simplicity of this kitchen tool is deceptive, as this skillful design offers the potential for fantastic control when making your pastries. The proportions, including the 1.5-inch middle diameter, make this easy to hold and position your dough. With handwashing and light maintenance, this will last you a lifetime.
Material: Olivewood | Length: 20 inches | Weight: 1 pound
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Best Wood: Ateco Professional Barrel Rolling Pin
What We Love: Works well with many pastry doughs, durable, fair heft
What We Don’t Love: Expensive, not the longest barrel
This traditional baker’s rolling pin is built for the barrel to spin around the handles smoothly on rust-proof steel bearings. Both the 12-inch barrel and 4.5-inch handles are made of hard maple. Those handles are sized well and shaped into a comfortable grip that reduces hand strain.
This wooden rolling pin is a fairly heavy option with a fair amount of adaptability to different types of pastry work. Though it’s solid, it also has a sleek look, and the wood is beautiful.
Material: Wood | Length: 22 inches | Weight: 1.3 pounds
Best with Guides: Joseph Joseph Adjustable Rolling Pin with Removable Rings
What We Love: Excellent tool for learning, easy-to-use, long barrel
What We Don’t Love: Relies on fitted rings for rolling
Rolling pins with guides, also called adjustable rolling pins, are a relatively new idea, and they’ve become quite popular. The design concept consists of a dowel-type rolling pin with fitted plastic rings that are placed over the barrel on the ends to assure the production of an overall one-level thickness of pastry.
This model from Joseph Joseph has the rings screw onto the ends, which makes it easy to store. The 16.5-inch beechwood barrel is embossed with measurements and includes four (two-piece) sets of removable disks of common crust sizes in different bright colors for easy identification. Though this is deemed dishwasher safe, it's best to wash it by hand, especially since you'll need to dust it with flour.
"Even though I've worked as a baker and have baked since I was a child, I'm pretty terrible at feeling out a crust's thickness and when it's wide enough. I often take out my Joseph Joseph rolling pin for a quick measurement and, if needed, roll out the dough more." — Siobhan Wallace, Commerce Editor
Material: Beechwood and plastic | Length: 16.5 inches | Weight: 1.2 pounds
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Best Patterned: Pottery Avenue Embossed Rolling Pin
What We Love: Excellent quality, lovely designs, can become an heirloom
What We Don’t Love: Expensive
Specialty rolling pins with patterns embossed on the barrel of the rolling pin are used in many cultures to create designs on cookies, pie doughs, or other pastries.
This collection offers five different decorative patterns along the 10-inch barrels. These laser-cut design beechwood pins are made in Poland as a continuation of traditional folkloric foodways but can certainly be re-imagined for innovative or traditional modern pastry-making by inspired cooks! Prior to your first use, you should lightly brush it with oil and be sure to clean it thoroughly.
Material: Beechwood | Length: 17 inches
If you’re looking for an all-purpose, very flexible rolling pin that can cover a lot of ground while looking attractive, the Fox Run Brands Marble Rolling Pin (view at Amazon) is a sure bet. The Williams Sonoma French Tapered Olivewood Rolling Pin (view at Williams Sonoma) is the ideal addition to your kitchen if you seek your first French rolling pin or if you’re ready for an upgrade.
What to Look for When Buying a Rolling Pin
Rolling pins can be made from a lot of different materials including wood, marble, stone, metal, plastic, silicone, nylon, ceramic, and glass. The ones most commonly used in the U.S. are made of wood or marble. The wood used for a quality rolling pin must be one of the hardwood varieties with higher quality pins crafted in one piece. Wood rolling pins are ideal for all-purpose use but don’t perform as well as marble rolling pins on puff-style laminated pastries. Marble rolling pins have the advantage of being able to be placed in the refrigerator until the marble is chilled, which helps prevent the butter from melting in the dough while being worked.
American vs. French
The American-style rolling pin has a barrel mounted on handles with or without ball bearings inside that would allow it to spin separately from the handles. The handles can be dowel-shaped or shaped to fit the hand for a better grip.
The French-style rolling pin resembles a baton. There is no separate barrel. Instead, one piece of wood or metal is shaped to provide the ability to roll doughs with differing pressures of weight by pressing in the central larger part of the rolling pin or shifting the pressure to the more narrow ends.
The first rule is don’t put your rolling pin in the dishwasher. The wood can be damaged if you do, and the rolling pin won’t ever work right again! The second rule is to clean your rolling pin immediately after using it. This prevents the dough from drying and becoming stuck to the pin.
If the rolling pin has a lot of dough left on it (it shouldn’t, but it can happen), scrape it off with a bench scraper. Then use a dampened kitchen towel or soft (not harsh) scrubbing sponge to clean off anything left, quickly, under running lukewarm water (not hot water, you don’t want the wood to expand), and then dry it thoroughly. Some wood rolling pins may benefit from being oiled occasionally, and some marble rolling pins can be polished with a baking soda and water mix to bring out the shine of the marble. Be sure to read the informational booklets included with your new rolling pin.
How do you keep dough from sticking to a rolling pin?
There are a number of things you can do to keep the dough from sticking to your rolling pin. The first is to make sure your rolling pin is being cleaned properly and stored in a cool place. Pastry dough should be chilled before rolling out, but the time depends on the dough. If you have a marble rolling pin, it should be chilled in the refrigerator for at least an hour before use. With a wood rolling pin, you can dust the barrel with flour to lightly coat as well as lightly dusting your pastry with flour. Try not to use a lot of flour because too much flour taken into the dough by this method could toughen it, changing its final texture. You can also use a nonstick pastry cloth and rolling pin cover to prevent dough from sticking, and in some situations, if nothing else works, you can roll the dough out between wax paper or plastic wrap.
What is best for rolling out cookie dough?
Any type of rolling pin can be used to roll out cookie dough. There’s not really one that’s better than the other, though certain cooks will find specific rolling pins they like best. The important thing to remember with cookie dough isn’t what rolling pin to use. It’s to remember that it must be well chilled before you roll it out, or trouble will probably arrive pretty quickly!
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Karen Resta is an NYC-based writer specializing in food culture and history, cooking, pastries, and restaurants. A former executive chef who began her professional journey as a pastry chef, she travels around the globe as a photographer and writer, always finding the best authentic food and pastries along the way. The first rolling pin she owned was part of a toy kitchen set, and she used it to make a pretend apple pie for her Mickey Mouse doll, which he shared with her at a tea party. She spends a lot of her free time in her kitchen and is passionate about finding quality within your given budget. Having the right tools and knowing how to use them makes all the difference in baking, cooking, and eating and she curated this list with that in mind.
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