Rolling a pizza dough
Photo by Antoni Shkraba

Pizza. A simple, beloved food that’s become a global sensation. Making homemade pizza is an art, a combination of high-quality ingredients and the right tools. One such essential tool that often gets overlooked is the rolling pin. Today, we’re taking a deep dive into the world of rolling pins to help you find the best one for your pizza dough.

Why a Good Rolling Pin Matters

Have you ever tried to roll out pizza dough, only to have it spring back to its original shape? So annoying right?

That’s a sign of a mediocre rolling pin. A good rolling pin isn’t just a cylinder that flattens dough. It’s an extension of your hands, providing control and precision in transforming a dough ball into a thin-crust pizza. A high-quality rolling pin is one of the most important things in your kitchen tools arsenal when it comes to making pizza, pastry dough, or butter-filled dough. The right rolling pin can be the difference between a good homemade pizza and a great one.

Types of Rolling Pins

There’s a surprising amount of variety when it comes to rolling pins, each with its own merits. Here are a few of the most popular rolling pins.

Classic Pins

classic pins

These rolling pins are the old faithful of the baking world. Often made of moisture-resistant hardwood, classic pins feature wooden handles that rotate around the rolling surface. The good reason they’re still in many kitchens is that they’re great for many types of dough, from pie dough to cookie dough.

French Pins

french rolling pin

Also known as a dowel, this is a straight rolling pin without handles. French pins often have tapered ends that give better control, especially for making pie crusts. Whether it’s a sturdy dough or a delicate puff pastry, a French-style pin can handle it all.

Marble Pins

marble rolling pin

These rolling pins are heavy and cool to the touch, making them great for working with pastry chefs’ favorite: butter-filled doughs. A marble pin, with its smooth surface and hefty weight, helps keep the dough cold as you work it.

Stainless Steel Pins

stainless steel rolling pin

Modern, sleek, and durable. Stainless steel pins are easy to clean, usually featuring a non-stick surface that requires just a little flour. They’re great for all types of dough, from pizza to pie.

In the next section, we’ll help you figure out how to choose the right rolling pin for you. But first, let’s make a quick detour into the world of pizza dough…

How to Choose the Right Rolling Pin for You

Your ideal rolling pin is largely a matter of personal preference. The first thing you’ll want to consider is the type of dough you’ll be working with most often. Are you a pizza enthusiast or do you prefer a pie crust? Do you see yourself rolling out a lot of sugar cookies or puff pastry?

Material matters too. If you love the feel of wood and don’t mind a little maintenance, then a wooden rolling pin made from beech wood or other moisture-resistant hardwoods is a good option. These wooden pins might require occasional treatment with mineral oil or olive oil to keep them in good condition. On the other hand, if you prefer a cool touch and weight, a marble rolling pin could be your best bet.

The length of the pin is another important factor. A longer rolling pin offers a larger roller surface and is great for creating thin-crust pizza or larger pie crusts. However, if space is a concern, you might prefer a smaller pin.

Top Picks for Best Rolling Pins for Pizza Dough

Alright, let’s get to the good stuff, the cream of the crop, top-of-the-line rolling pins for your pizza dough.

Joseph Joseph Adjustable Rolling Pin

joseph joseph adjustable rolling pin

Think of this as the Swiss Army knife of rolling pins. Its detachable rings are like having a built-in measuring tape, so your dough comes out at just the right thickness every single time. It’s all about smart design and simplicity here.

Farberware Classic Wood Rolling Pin

Farberware Classic Wood Rolling Pin

There’s a good reason this bad boy is a classic. Those wooden handles are easy on the hands, and the nylon ball bearings? They make rolling a dream. And that hardwood? It resists moisture like a champ, so this pin is in it for the long haul.

Muso Wood French Rolling Pin

Muso Wood French Rolling Pin

This one’s a home cook’s best friend. Crafted from high-quality beech wood, this French darling brings a little ooh-la-la to your pizza making. With its sleek, tapered design, you’re in control, delivering the perfect roll each time.

KitchenAid Gourmet Rolling Pin

KitchenAid Gourmet Rolling Pin

Sticky dough, meet your match. This rolling pin sports a non-stick coating that means you spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying your pizza. And clean-up? Just a quick rinse with hot water, and you’re done.

J.K. Adams Dowel Rolling Pin

J.K. Adams Dowel Rolling Pin

This one’s all about simplicity and strength. Handcrafted from durable hardwood, it’s a straight-shooter that’s ready to tackle any dough you throw at it. It’s the essential tool every kitchen needs.

Ultra Cuisine French Rolling Pin

Ultra Cuisine French Rolling Pin

This pin is the complete package. Its tapered ends offer superb control, and the non-stick surface means easy rolling, whether it’s pizza dough, pastry dough, or anything in between. Plus, the stainless steel construction makes clean-up a breeze.”

Maintaining and Cleaning Your Rolling Pin

A good rolling pin can last you a lifetime if you treat it well. Cleaning and maintaining your rolling pin depends largely on the material it’s made from.

Wooden Pins: Clean with a damp cloth and dry immediately. To maintain the smooth surface and prevent the wood from drying out, occasionally rub the pin with mineral oil or olive oil.

Marble Pins: Rinse with warm water and dry immediately to prevent water spots. Avoid using harsh cleaning chemicals that could corrode the surface.

Stainless Steel Pins: These can be cleaned with hot water and mild detergent. They’re often dishwasher safe, but always check the manufacturer’s guidelines first.

Non-Stick Pins: Clean with warm soapy water and dry thoroughly. Avoid using abrasive cleaning tools that could scratch the non-stick surface.

Common Mistakes When Using a Rolling Pin

Everyone makes mistakes, especially when using a rolling pin for the first time. Here are some common ones and how to avoid them:

Using Too Much Flour: A dusting of flour prevents the dough from sticking, but too much can make the dough dry. Lightly dust the rolling surface and the rolling pin, adding more as needed.

Pressing Too Hard: Rolling dough is a delicate balance between applying too much pressure and not enough. Practice makes perfect. Start in the center and roll outwards with even pressure.

Not Letting Dough Rest: If your dough keeps springing back, it might need to rest. Letting the dough rest allows the gluten to relax, making it easier to roll.

Creative Twists: Unusual Uses for Your Rolling Pin

Who said rolling pins only had a one-track career in dough rolling? Let’s think outside the box and put your rolling pin to work in some unexpected culinary capers!

Cookie Crumb Chaos

Ever found yourself hankering for a good old-fashioned pie crust made from cookie crumbs? Bag those cookies, seal ’em up tight, and let your rolling pin come out to play. With a bit of pressure and a good rolling action, you’ll have perfectly crushed cookie crumbs in no time.

Mallet-less Meat Mayhem

Who needs a meat mallet when you’ve got a rolling pin? If you’re prepping for dinner and realize you need to tenderize some meat, don’t panic. Your trusty rolling pin is ready for the job. With a few well-placed whacks, you’ll have tender, tasty meat ready for the pan or grill.

Nutcracker Novelties

And just when you thought we were done, your rolling pin has one more trick up its sleeve. If you’re in need of cracking some nuts and don’t have a nutcracker handy, a sturdy wooden or marble rolling pin can save the day. Position those pesky nuts and give them a firm (but careful) smack – and voila, freshly cracked nuts!

Getting Creative with Rolling Pins in Your Recipes

Rolling pins are not just for pie crusts and pizza dough! They can lend a hand (or should we say a roll?) in numerous other recipes. A wine bottle used as a makeshift rolling pin can be a baker’s secret weapon for creating delicate, butter-filled doughs like puff pastry.

A classic pin can be your go-to tool for rolling out cinnamon rolls or flatbread. For the thinner pastry dough, French pins with their tapered ends can provide better control, allowing you to apply pressure exactly where you need it. Your rolling pin can be more than just a tool – it can be an extension of your creativity in the kitchen!

Tips for Using a Rolling Pin

Using a rolling pin might seem like a no-brainer, but there are some important things to keep in mind to achieve the best results.

Maintain Your Pin

First things first, always ensure your rolling pin is in good condition. This is especially true for wooden and marble pins, which may require periodic oiling with mineral oil or olive oil to maintain their smooth surface.

Right Dough Consistency

Depending on the type of dough you’re working with, you may need to adjust your technique. For instance, sugar cookies and pizza dough require different handling. Remember, pastry chefs say, “The dough is the boss”.

Less is More

When it comes to flour, less is more. You should only use just enough flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the pin. Too much flour can make the dough dry.

Even Pressure

Apply even pressure when rolling out your dough. If you press down too hard, you may end up with uneven dough or even holes. A good rolling pin should do most of the work for you, so no need to flex those muscles too much!

Rolling Pins Around the World

The love for rolling pins isn’t restricted to one corner of the globe. In many cultures, these kitchen tools play a crucial role in traditional cooking.

belan indian rolling pin for making thin bread called rotti

In Italy, for instance, a longer rolling pin often comes into play when making pasta by hand. In India, a type of rolling pin called a ‘belan’ is used to roll out thin bread called ‘roti’. The diversity in rolling pin designs and uses around the world is a testament to this tool’s versatility.

The Future of Rolling Pins

As we look to the future, there’s no doubt that rolling pins will continue to be an integral part of our kitchens. We’ve seen innovation in the form of adjustable pins, combo packs with detachable rings, and even pins with nylon ball bearings for an extra smooth roll.

We can expect to see more advancements that marry convenience and efficiency, perhaps with eco-friendly materials, ergonomic designs, or even tech-integrated pins that provide real-time feedback on your dough’s thickness! That would be amazingly ridiculous, right?


Rolling pins are an essential tool in every kitchen, whether you’re a home cook or a professional pastry chef. But not all rolling pins are created equal. Choosing the right rolling pin depends on your personal preferences, what you intend to bake, and how often you bake.

Whether it’s the classic wooden pins like the J.K. Adams Dowel Rolling Pin or the more modern non-stick silicone models like the Ultra Cuisine French Rolling Pin, there’s a pin out there for everyone.

If you love making pizza, the Muso Wood French Rolling Pin, with its tapered design, gives you great control and an even roll, perfect for achieving that thin-crust pizza. The Norpro Wood Pastry/Pizza Roller, on the other hand, offers a more traditional feel with great results for all types of dough.

In the end, finding the right rolling pin is a journey, much like mastering the art of baking itself. So take the plunge, experiment with different types, and you’ll soon discover the joys of baking with the perfect tool in hand.

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