Pastry chefs are typically identifiable by two things: their fluffy toque hats and rolling pins covered in patches of flour. But FYI: The pins aren’t props. Rolling pins are to bakers as magic wands are to magicians. They are key tools of the trade that can take a sad clump of dough and turn it into a pie or pizza crust. Rolling pins smooth dough out on flour-sprinkled surfaces for easy cookie cutting and shaping pasta noodles. All of which can hypothetically be done by hand, sure, but you need those free for when your child needs you.
Rolling pins are one of those kitchen necessities that you might not think twice about, but believe it or not, not all rolling pins are created equally. There are wooden rolling pins, and rolling pins made from marble and stainless steel. There are rolling pins with handles and others that are simple cylinders with nothing but solid weight to assist you in your flattening endeavors. When it comes to shopping for the best rolling pins, the deciding factor will ultimately come down to the details — no matter how minute — that sets them apart from the rest.
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1. JK Adams Dowell Rolling Pin
This rolling pin might look like an oversized block, but we can assure you this rolling pin is no children’s toy. Rather, this maple rolling pin is actually both an artisan baker favorite and a beginner-friendly tool. Manufactured in Vermont, the pin might be lightweight in your hands, but its solid construction is very durable with a smooth surface that won’t scratch or splinter against rough surfaces.
2. Fox Run White Marble Rolling Pin
This pick might be the most beautiful rolling pin we’ve ever seen. It measures 18 inches in total (10 inches without the handle), and save for the wooden hand grips and resting base, is made from 100 percent marble. But aside from its elegant aesthetic, the cool stone pin also features natural non-stick properties that make rolling back and forth across sticky piles of dough so much easier. It’s also designed with nylon ball bearings for smooth rolling.
3. Joseph Joseph Adjustable Rolling Pin
This rolling pin is all about the details, so if you’re type-A in the kitchen (and, you know, life) this is the pick for you. Think about it: Cookies and fruit tart dough shouldn’t have the same thickness, but you might not have an eye for these things if you’re a novice baker. To assist, this solid beech wood rolling pin features four sets of pin rings to raise the rolling surface by either 2, 4, 6 or 10 millimeters to ensure pastries are rolled to their intended thickness.
4. Ultra Cuisine Professional Stainless Steel Rolling Pin
Judging by the picture you might mistake this rolling pin for a roll of plastic wrap, but this helpful baking tool is heavy duty in a different way. Made from stainless steel, this French rod was designed for avid bakers whose specialities go beyond gingerbread men and the occasional flat bread pizza. Rather, it’s a premium bakeware tool that comes slightly tapered, making it easier for the baker to identify the thickness of the dough as they work on it. The bronze matte finish doesn’t take on odors like wood rolling pins tend to do, and if you stick it in the freezer before use, the cool texture of the rod will prevent the dough from sticking to it.
5. GoodCook Classic Rolling Pin
Maybe you’re more of an occasional baker. Nothing too fancy, you just like whipping up some chocolate chip cookies here and there. In that case, you’re probably looking for something a little less complicated and a little more classic — after all, you’re just trying to indulge a little, not compete on The Great British Bake Off. This pick is what childhood nostalgia of baking with mom is made of. It’s a one-piece barrel made from hardwood and featuring nylon bearings. You could say it’s old fashioned, but in the best kind of way: lightweight, sturdy and all around a functional tool to have in your kitchen.
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