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Question about rolling pins

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I have a ball-bearing wooden rolling pin that's about 12 years old. I've noticed the dough's no longer uniform- that is, I'm getting thin spots when I roll dough (pie dough or rugelach dough).

I'm thinking of getting a French rolling pin- well, the plain wood one. But I'm not sure if I should get the one with tapered ends or ones that are uniform diameter.

Advice please?
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post #2 of 21
>>>Advice please?

unless the bearings are gummed up and not allowing the pin to rotate....

it ain't the pin at fault.

technique?
post #3 of 21
I like the tapered ends because I have smaller hands. You can't roll the full length of the pin, but the control is better.
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
It's possible, Dillbert. But it's gotten worse over time, not better (presumably with practice).

I have my grandmother's tapered pin. It's only about 1" diameter on the ends and maybe 1-3/4" in the center. Is that thick enough? (She used it for almost 50 years.)
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post #5 of 21
Coming in at you from a tangent but the most beautiful rolling pin I ever saw was offered at Sur La Table. It was made of boxwood with a very close grain and very weighty. Also its color was that of Tung or resembled stained with dilute nitric acid, very deeply yellow.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Kokopuffs, that sounds worth exploring. I get e-mailings from King Arthur Flour, and so I searched their site. They have a silicone-coated, heavy metal pin: Blue Pastry Pin

Sur la Table also has the silicone/metal pin (except for some reason theirs is red). They have one with tapered ends (it's purple). I found the boxwood one, but the price is pretty steep. Its weight may be more than I can manage, too.

Any thoughts on the silicone-covered pins? I'm learning a lot about the world of rolling pins!
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post #7 of 21

Time for a new rolling pin! (or a bunch!!!)

I love the heavy maple.

https://www.atecousa.net/Merchant2/m...ory_Code=rpins


I don't go for fancy, just the maple professional series, for dough, for fondant, for everything!

I keep a dowel stick with tapered ends for little stuff-individual items.


Stone ones break, metal leaves an off color, silicone ones-why? your not baking on it! and the plastic for fondant is fine but I love the maple. heavy and true. :crazy:
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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post #8 of 21
ref the worse with time, that "fits" the gummy bearings scenario. you should be able to hold the handle and spin the roller freely...

I use one from my mother law, an old glass one with a cap - you fill it with water, chill it in the fridge... neat but it's definitely a "do not drop" thing <g>

on the thick / thin issue - some bakers I know love the thin lightweight ones - even when working with a huge dough ball - they literally beat the daylights out the dough to 'flatten' it when starting the roll out. another fellow I know has a wooden one, must be four inches in diameter and I swear he had it hollowed out and filled with lead... must weigh 25 pounds!

I think it's a personal preference thing - the little ones are not that expensive so I'd give it a go and see if you like them. I'd recommend the tapered ends.

oops, you have one - go for it!
post #9 of 21
My father was an amateur inventor - he made all kinds of things, including our house, from scratch and all by himself - a huge house - and he was a business man on weekdays! But one of my favorite inventions of his was a rolling pin he made from some leftover pvc water pipe he used in the plumbing of the house - it was just a little thicker in diameter by a tiny bit - and he just cut a piece and sanded off the corners where it was cut. It goes in the dishwasher, it doesn;t warp or crack, leaves no lines on the food, and has a perfect heft for me. While i fully understand the joy of wood, its feel, it's texture, and all, still, this was cheap and works beautifully.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #10 of 21
Heavy maple for me; with bearings.
post #11 of 21
I use a straight, French pin and have for years. They give maximum feedback and are very eloquent in telling you when you're rolling unevenly. They also allow complete flexibility in how gently you choose to apply pressure. On the other hand, they don't give you much help. The weight of the pin isn't going to do much of the work and you'll have to teach yourself to use even and appropriate pressure. It does take some learning. I have big hands and a fair amount of strength -- rolling pins are finger tip operations for me. All of these things are typical of the tools I like -- so no surprises.

I don't much like the ball bearing pins, because they lack "feel." On the other hand, their weight and balance is supposed to make even rolling easier -- and with fewer passes over the dough.

The tapered pins don't do anything for me, except when doing very small work like dumpling skins.

The silicone covered pins are way cool -- especially if you work in a warm kitchen and flouring your pin as needed is too complicated.

If you liked a ball bearing pin, there's no reason you shouldn't get another.

You bake enough that whatever you choose will soon either end up being totally wrong or a great friend. They're cheap enough that if you make a "mistake" in your choice you can easily fix it by buying another.

Heck, why not get two now?
BDL
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
I'm hearing very interesting feeldback here- once again, Chef Talk members come through!

I'm leaning toward a French untapered pin in maple. I'd rather buy it here and drag it home than pay a fortune for shipping from a supplier, so I'll make a trip to my local source and see what I come up with. I looked at a silicone pin this weekend in a retail kitchen goods store. It's not for me. Michele, https://www.atecousa.net/Merchant2/m...ory_Code=rpins appears to be broken. Is there another source? I thought I'd take a good look at them, but no luck.

I have fairly small hands and short fingers; I don't have the strength I used to any longer, so a heavy pin is out. My grandmother's pin is rather small diameter, maybe 1-1/2 inches. (When I got it, it still had some dried dough stuck to it. Made me cry. ) It's quite long too; her board is about 2 feet wide.

Thanks, everyone! More ideas are always welcome.
Mezz
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post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
What do you think of this one? It's from Fantes in Philadelphia.
20-1/2" long,
1-7/8" diameter,
Natural light polish-wax finish,
Birch or maple, (What are the virtues of each?)
Made in USA
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post #14 of 21
birch would be a bit lighter than maple.

but for the volume of wood involved, the difference is weight is also going to be relatively slight.

maple is popular because it has very tight straight grain. the birch is similar but a tad more porous - you might need to wax/oil/coat it three x / yr vs two x i - i.e. it is not a major difference.
post #15 of 21

Tutove pin

I have several rolling pins, that I like to use.
one a long slim straight pin, knob at one end,
another a large very heavy pin that has bearings in it great for rolling almond paste/ marzipan etc.
another is a Tutove pin, I bought it as a plain straight pin at Disney some years ago. I brought it home and showed a friend that was a carpenter and told him what I wanted and he grooved it for me, now it is a great Tutove pin
that cost me $10 US, and a Tutove pin would cost me about $200 US.
Another pin cuts/marks noodles.
Also have a Pyrex pin, can't see the point of that...... qahtan
post #16 of 21
Mezz, it sounds as if you need to get your hands dirty for nothing compares to the actual feel of the instrument/utensil itself!

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply
post #17 of 21
One good reason to get a ball-bearing pin is if you have arthritis. It can be extremely painful to roll your hands over a rolling pin if there are any sensitive spots. Otherwise i think it's much easier to put pressure directly on the pin. Also with a regular cylinder, you can decide how far out you want to put your hands - with the one with handles, you have less leeway.
I never really understood the point of a tapered pin - wouldn;t you get dough that's thinner in the middle? why would you want that?
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #18 of 21
>>wouldn;t you get dough that's thinner in the middle? why would you want that?

true, but the other half of the statement is dough that is thicker around the edges....
that's the story I've always heard - the taper prevents the edges - particularly of a flaky pastry dough - from inadvertent thinning & cracking / splitting while being rolled out to the desired size. then, once close to size, the cook can use more focused care in rolling the edges.
post #19 of 21
It doesn't make dough thinner in the middle -- or at least most tapered, French pins don't have a taper that extreme. Rather, a tapered pin turns easily while still on the dough. The extra maneuveraability helps make it easy to keep small dough circles round. You simply increase the speed of one hand to get the pin to aim for an area that needs to be pushed out more. You can also put a little tilt on the pin to concentrate extra pressure to the exact point it's needed.

It's more a pastry maker's tool than the straight French pin we bread makers like. Worth having one, if you do a lot of pie and tart making.

BDL
post #20 of 21
thanks d and bdl
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the great conversation! Now that I've begun shopping, I realize they're not that expensive; I can afford to buy both styles of pins.

After all that, I may find out that the problem lies with the pastry-maker (moi!) and not with the pin at all.
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