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10 Ways to Keep Dough from Sticking to a Rolling Pin

10 Ways to Keep Dough from Sticking to a Rolling Pin

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Continuously scraping dough off the rolling pin while trying to create a perfect pie crust can be frustrating. Fortunately, there are several easy solutions to keep dough from sticking that will soon have you rolling perfectly flat dough every time.

There are ten ways to stop dough from sticking to a rolling pin.

  1. Coat it in flour
  2. Chill the dough
  3. Coat in non-stick spray
  4. Cover with wax paper
  5. Use a non-stick cover
  6. Keep the rolling pin clean
  7. Check the condition
  8. Buy a non-stick rolling pin
  9. Use a pastry cloth
  10. Coat dough with oil

Anyone who bakes regularly knows the challenge of having clumps of dough adhering to the rolling pin while flattening dough. Solving this challenge can be pretty simple if you know a few simple tricks, and soon, you will be rolling dough like a pro.

How to Stop Dough from Sticking to a Rolling Pin

Rolling pins are an essential piece of equipment in any kitchen. Many of us have fond memories from our childhood watching meals being lovingly created using a trusty old wooden rolling pin.

Rolling pins can last for generations, and most of the older varieties were made from wood. The once perfectly smooth rolling surface can become rough as the wooden pores and grooves become more exposed.

Old wooden rolling pins often carry the memories of thousands of lovingly cooked meals. The wear and tear on the surface might not be visible to the naked eye, but fine particles in dough adhere to uneven surfaces, which is what causes it to clump and stick to the rolling pin.

Classic wooden rolling pins are usually made from a cylindrical piece of hardwood with two handles attached. Modern rolling pins are made from various materials, and some even feature textured surfaces for tracing designs on dough.

Even if your rolling pin isn’t made of wood, sticky dough can be tricky to work with. Creating a rolling surface that is as smooth and dry as possible will lower the chances of dough sticking to it as it is being rolled.

Many of the methods to prevent dough from sticking to a rolling pin focus on filling the pores on the surface of the rolling pin before the dough is rolled. The other method is to create a physical barrier between the dough and the surface of the rolling pin.

Let’s go through some methods to keep dough from sticking to a rolling pin.

1 – Coat the Rolling Pin in Flour

A Rolling Pin Coated In Flour

The standard go-to method to prevent dough from sticking to a rolling pin is to coat the entire surface in flour. The aim is to fill the tiny pores on the surface of the rolling pin to create a dry, non-stick coating.

While rolling dough, most bakers keep a little flour handy and first coat the surface that they are working on. Then using the palm of the hand, rub flour over the surface of the rolling pin. Repeat whenever you feel like the dough is starting to stick to the rolling pin.

Dusting the rolling pin with flour works well, but it can work even better if you first wipe the surface of the rolling pin with a damp cloth. Then immediately coat the surface with flour.

The moisture from the cloth causes the flour to stick far more readily than when applied to a dry rolling pin. Note, the cloth must only be damp enough to cause the flour to adhere and should not create a wet or sticky surface.

Be cautious not to add so much flour that the dough changes consistency. Cookies that have too much flour are often dry or brittle, so be sure only to coat the surface of the rolling pin and not add too much additional flour to the recipe.

2 – Chill the Dough to Prevent It from Sticking

Most dough becomes sticky as it warms up because the ingredients in the mixture start to dissolve. Of course, that is supposed to happen inside the oven, but keeping the dough as cool as possible while rolling it will prevent it from adhering to the rolling pin.

An excellent trick to keep dough from sticking to the rolling pin is to cut it into smaller bits and work with one piece at a time. While you are rolling each bit, keep the remaining dough chilled in the refrigerator.

If you are using a metal or marble rolling pin, you can chill the rolling pin, which will have the same non-stick effect as cooling the dough. Keep your rolling pin in the refrigerator for a few hours before use to create a rolling surface that room-temperature dough will not readily cling to.

3 – Coat the Rolling Pin in Non-Stick Spray

You can coat your hands, rolling pin, and work surface in a non-stick cooking spray to prevent dough from sticking to things. Non-stick sprays even come in various flavors, so use a sweet spray when baking or a savory, olive oil-based non-stick spray when making pizza dough or pasta.

Using a non-stick spray to coat the outside of your rolling pin works especially well when the dough has been chilled.

4 – Cover the Dough with Wax Paper

A Rolling Pin With Wax Paper

If you want perfectly flat dough that never sticks to the rolling pin, then putting a layer of wax paper between the dough and the rolling pin is a failsafe method. One would usually also need to put a large piece of wax paper below the dough to prevent it from sticking to the surface you are working on.

Simply place a piece of wax paper on top of the dough you need to roll out. The wax paper must be large enough to accommodate the size of the dough as it flattens out.

Fortunately, you can save and reuse the same piece of wax paper a few times. So long as it doesn’t have any crumbs, dough, or debris stuck to it, wax paper can be wiped with a cloth, dried, stored, and used several times.

5 – Use a Non-stick Rolling Pin Cover

Rolling pin covers are available that will instantly transform the surface of your rolling pin so that it glides over various types of dough that you might be rolling.

These handy disposable liners work by sliding over the cylinder of the rolling pin to create a sterile, non-stick covering each time you work.

Rolling pin covers come in various sizes, so choose carefully so that it fits snuggly against the barrel of your rolling pin. Some covers are smooth, while others should be coated with flour to create a pastry cloth effect.

6 – Wash the Rolling Pin Regularly

Rolling pins, especially classic wooden ones, should never be immersed in water for any length of time. Doing so may cause irreparable damage or even crack the surface.

Rolling pins should, however, be thoroughly cleaned after each use. Leaving particles of flour or moisture on the surface can make it sticky, and fresh dough will be more likely to cling to the surface.

To clean a rolling pin after each use, one usually just needs to wipe it with a damp cloth. A rolling pin must be washed in warm, sudsy water every few weeks or whenever it becomes especially coated.

Any small bits of dough that are stuck to the rolling pin must be removed before it is hand-washed, rinsed, and carefully dried. If any dough is difficult to remove, use a plastic scouring pad to clean the surface.

At no time should a rolling pin be placed in a dishwasher or soaked. That will damage the rolling surface, which will cause make dough stick to it more readily.

Once it is clean, the rolling pin must be thoroughly dried before being stored. This will ensure that no mold can develop on the wood, which might cause damage to the smooth-rolling surface.

7 – Check the Condition of the Rolling Pin

A Close Up Of An Old Rolling Pin

Rolling pins are kitchen tools that often hold a lot of sentimental value. The sturdy feel of the wooden roller in our hands fills us with memories of happy times and meals long gone.

Like most things, the quality of the surface of a rolling pin tends to deteriorate with frequent use and age. The once perfectly smooth surface might have developed rough patches.

Dough is more likely to stick to textured surfaces, so protecting your rolling pin from nicks and scrapes will keep it working better for longer. Ensure that it is completely dry before you store it, and never keep it stored up against sharp utensils that might damage it.

Wooden rolling pins that have already developed rough patches can be tricky to repair. However, you can try to season and smooth the surface of a rough rolling pin using a natural food-grade mineral oil.

Once the rolling pin is coated, buff it with a clean cloth to seal all the fine pores on the surface. This method is not always successful, and if you find dough still sticks to the roller often, you should consider using a barrier method or replacing the rolling pin.

Old rolling pins can make great kitchen décor items, so there is no need to throw out an old rolling pin once the surface has become too rough to use. Check out some great display ideas here.

8 – Invest in a Non-stick Rolling Pin

The modern world has brought a lot of innovations, and the humble wooden rolling pin has been no exception. Wooden surfaces tend to be porous, which is easy for dough to adhere to, so new non-stick rolling pins have been created that feature ultra-smooth rolling surfaces.

Rolling pins are available in stainless steel, silicone, Teflon-coated, and even solid marble. These next-generation kitchen tools are easy to clean and are far less likely to stick to dough.

In the case of the marble and steel rolling pins, they can even be stored in the refrigerator before use, so dough is kept cool and non-sticky while it is being rolled.

Although rolling pins made from modern materials will keep dough from sticking to the surface effectively, they tend to be less durable than classic wooden rolling pins. Most come with a guarantee for a few months, but a quality hardwood rolling pin that is properly cared for can last a lifetime.

9 – Use a Pastry Cloth to Create a Non-stick Surface

Pastry cloths are usually made from durable cotton material and intended to create a non-stick surface under various types of dough. Dust them down with a bit of flour, and it will provide a non-stick surface for your dough.

If you have problems with your rolling pin sticking to dough, simply place another lightly floured pastry cloth on top of the dough before rolling it. The cloth will form a barrier between the rolling pin and the dough.

Pastry cloths have the advantage over wax paper in that they are infinitely more reusable. The cloths only need to be dusted or washed after each use.

10 – Coat Dough in Oil Before Rolling

Pouring Vegetable Oil

This tip only applies to pizza or bread dough. If you find that the dough is particularly sticky and is difficult to roll, apply a thin layer of neutral vegetable oil or olive oil to the entire surface of the ball of dough before rolling it out.

Coating dough with oil before kneading and rolling will also prevent it from sticking to your hands and the inside of the bowl.

Final Thoughts

Rolling pins are an essential tool in most kitchens; however, it is sometimes tricky to use them without pulling up pieces of dough. There are several ways to prevent dough from sticking to a rolling pin, most of which include coating the surface to make it smoother or creating a barrier between the dough and the rolling pin.

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Thursday 20th of July 2023

Hi, I'm embarrassed to say I've never even heard of a pastry cloth, let alone seen one. I'm a Brit, maybe we just don't use them. In any event, would it be the same kind of fabric as a linen couche used in bread baking? Thanks for any advice.

Sarah Bridenstine

Thursday 20th of July 2023

Hi Sue!

No need to be embarrassed! There's always something to learn. As far as I know, they are basically the same thing. The difference is really just the type of cloth used. A lot of pastry cloths are made using a cotton canvas type of fabric, while, as I'm sure you know, a linen couche is made with linen. I think they are interchangeable, seeing as you can use a pastry cloth for proofing in bread baking, and you could also get a couche in a fabric other than linen. I hope that helps!