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Rolling pin [Moved from Home Cooking]

Monica Sep 24, 2007 01:15 PM

wow, never knew picking a rolling pin would be this hard.
I am a beginner and I just want a good rolling pin that rolls well. LOL
Do I get the one with handles or do I just get a solid wooden rod? They make non sticky metal ones these days too. I wonder how they are.
Any recommended brand?

  1. flourgirl Sep 24, 2007 01:26 PM

    I think the issue of choosing a pin with or without handles is really a matter of personal preference. I don't know that one is more right than the other, just what you like better (I know, not much help.) Me personally, I had pins with handles in the past, but find that I much prefer the wood pins I have now, without handles. I find that I have more control over them. I have both a straight and a tapered, and I use them for different things. I also have a nylon pin which is great for really sticky stuff (like fondant.) It's perfectly smooth and doesn't need to constantly be re-floured if I'm rolling out a sticky dough. I don't have any experience with the metal ones, sorry. :)

    1. monavano Sep 24, 2007 01:31 PM

      America's Test Kitchen rated Fante's tapered pin with tapered ends and Fante's handled maple rolling pin best and runner up respectively.


      1. JasmineG Sep 24, 2007 01:58 PM

        I've had both, and I prefer the solid rod far over the one with handles. I also think it's good to have a wood one over one of a different material. I got a rolling pin cover as well (as a gift) and it has really been useful.

        1. Candy Sep 24, 2007 02:07 PM

          i have 4-5 pins and use them for different items, a French tapered pin is excellent for a first. I love my Banton ball bearing loaded pin. It is solid maple heavy and rolls beautifully. The weight of the pin does a lot of the work for me. I have an antique chestnut pin, hand made, it has handles carved into the ends, is about 1.5" in diameter and I love it for noodles and pasta, I also have a pasta machine but when i want something a little more rustic that pin comes out. I have a marble pin I can chill for high fat doughs and then I have a little pin that has a handle in the middle of it and a very small roller on one end and a little larger one on the other end. Great for tart doughs that require that they be formed in the tin.

          I just got a pastry bag for rolling out doughs from King Arthur. It is circular, about 14" in diameter and zips closed. I've not tried it out yet but I think I'm going to love it.

          1. Will Owen Sep 24, 2007 04:08 PM

            I find a tapered solid pin is easier to control for things like piecrust and noodles, and a handled cylindrical one is easier for rolling out biscuits, because you can hold it up at just the height you want. They're all so cheap (I do think that the fancy ball-bearing jobs are simply silly) that there's no good reason not to have both.

            1. tsfirefly Sep 24, 2007 08:53 PM

              Professional baker here, and to be honest, I use three -- for EVERYTHING that needs to be rolled to a diameter smaller than 6", I use the remains of a marble pin that was broken in half during the Northridge earthquake in 1994...:) Sentimental, I guess. For everything else, I use either a non-tapered, non-handled wooden pin, or (and this is a little embarrassing to admit, but don't knock it 'til you've tried it) a very heavy gauge piece of PVC. I've cut it to a disgustingly long length, which is great for rolling out very, very large diameters of fondant. I love the control.

              For a beginner, stay away from gimmicks, like the "fill with ice water" pins and the like. They're useless. Stick to something simple -- either a HEAVY handled pin, or a nice wooden pin without handles. You'll learn to love both!

              2 Replies
              1. re: tsfirefly
                flourgirl Sep 25, 2007 04:06 AM

                Actually, you aren't the first person to post on CH regarding the use of heavy gauge PVC - I think I WILL try it. :)

                1. re: tsfirefly
                  yayadave Sep 25, 2007 06:14 AM

                  Curious. What outside diameter are your straight pin and pvc? I understand heavy gauge is wall thickness.

                2. Sam Fujisaka Sep 24, 2007 09:06 PM

                  Two pins: long wooden cylinder and a flat-sided wine bottle: 50-50 in terms of use.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                    Kagey Sep 25, 2007 04:27 AM

                    Yeah, wine bottles are very useful as rolling pins!

                    I have the no-handle straight wood one myself, and it's all I use.

                  2. r
                    ricepad Sep 25, 2007 10:11 AM

                    I don't use my rolling pin much, but when I do, it's pretty basic. I mean, you can't get much more basic than a 24" length of plain ol' wooden closet rod. Mrs. ricepad brought a fancy (and HEAVY) marble rolling pin into the relationship, and so far, I've found that it's good for one thing, at least...turning toenails black. (Don't ask...you can probably figure it out for yourself.)

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