For the Love of Rolling Pins
I hadn't really thought to count my pins until I discovered a wonderful rolling pin company in my beloved state of Vermont. It was in Vermont where I rolled my first pie crust and now I have two new fantastic rolling pins from Vermont Rolling Pins. I fell in love with the walnut beehive pin and enjoy the feel of the spiral handles.
I also love the walnut column for its long barrel, especially when I'm rolling large dough rounds as for a galette. The also come in maple but I love the look of walnut and also it is the hardest wood. I also had my eye on the large heavy duty Shaker rolling pin.....
Different types of rolling pins have different purposes but no one needs as many pins as are in my collection, in fact, in a pinch one can roll out pie dough with a smooth bottle. But how much more lovely a feeling to use a treasured pin, especially one made of wood that takes on a patina from the dough after years of use. Also, what better kitchen decoration?!
Note, there are some applications that require a heavy pin for quick even rolling and others that require a gentle touch for softer doughs or marizpan with a lighter pin. For sticky doughs I use a pastry sleeve on the pin but usually a light dusting of flour is all that's necessary with some of the better pins.
Herewith a description of some of my favorite pins and their uses:
Stainless steel pin My dad gave me this for rolling nougatine where you need a very heavy pin or great strength to roll quickly before the nougatine cools and hardens. It weighs close to 9 pounds so could not be used as a weapon unless I lifted it with both hands! Years ago, when he had his wood working shop in the Bronx, there was a metal working shop on the floor below where he acquired the piece of steel.
Swiss plastic long pin with detachable circles that determine many different thicknesses of dough.
Textured hard grey plastic pins to make designs in marzipan.
Miniature rolling pins and breyer for small pieces of dough.
French solid white silicone column
Commercial size pin with ball bearings This used to be my favorite pin because its size and weight rolled the dough so quickly it never softened but the problem is I never have enough room on my counter to use such a long pin!
French wood pin with tapered ends designed by baker Marcy Goldman and given to me by her. I often reach for it out of sentiment and also for the beautiful feel of the smooth wood that barely sticks to the dough.
Long pasta rolling pin There was a time I actually used this long thin wooden pin to roll pasta by hand but now I use a machine.
French puff pastry rolling pin with ridges which incorporate the sheets of butter without breaking through the dough.
Green bottle glass pin was too beautiful to pass up but is not even so would not work well to use as a rolling pin.
Clear glass pin which can hold ice cubes. I just had to try this out but the condensation that formed was undesirable.
Heavy marble pin that can be chilled and will keep the chill for rolling dough on warmer days.
A bridge pin that I found almost 50 years ago in Washington Crossing Pa, that was made from wood from a bridge that had washed down during a flood.
And most special of all: the one I grew up with--the one my dad made for my mother many years ago.
Confession: I've just added yet another pin to my collection: Who could resist an adorable vintage red bakelite rolling pin button I found on line!