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Top Tools for Rolling Dough

Tired of sticky dough, flour covered counters, and frustration when rolling out pastry, bread or rolled sugar cookies dough? If so, here are some handy dandy solutions to make dough rolling a breeze. Treat yourself to the perfect solution that will work best for you and your kitchen needs.

What does rolling dough in baking mean?

Recipes like pie pastry, pizza crust, cinnamon buns, rolled sugar cookies, and Mexican shortbread cookies call for the dough to be rolled. “Rolling dough” means that the dough is stretched out on a surface and flattened with a rolling pin to acheive a uniform desired thickness.

A stack of rolled sugar cookies with a rolling pin and pastry cover in the background.
Recipes like rolled sugar cookies require rolling dough to a uniform thickness. (You can see my antique rolling pin and pastry cloth in the background.)

Common Problems when Rolling out Dough

I recently shared a reel on Instagram of my family favorite rolled sugar cookie recipe, and promptly received a whole bunch of the same question,

“What are you rolling your dough out on?”

In answering the question, I discovered many people have lots of dough rolling problems and concerns. Here are some of them:

  • The idea of rolling dough directly on countertops doesn’t seem sanitary enough for some people. (no judging here!)
  • “Flour all over the counter is nothing short of a mess”, one lady commented.
  • Tile countertops don’t provide a flat enough surface for rolling dough.
  • Tiny kitchen countertops aren’t big enough to roll dough on.
  • Dough tends to want to stick to whatever surface it is being worked on.

Tools for Dough Rolling to make it easier

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links for your shopping. convenience

I found a facebook post recently with over 600 answers to what to roll dough on. Honestly, I learned a lot of things reading through those answers.

Below are some of the items I discovered that would make excellent dough rolling tools.

Pastry Cloth and Rolling Pin Cover Set

A pastry cloth and rolling pin cover is hands down my favorite rolling dough tool. I own 2 sets. One was my Grandma’s, and one was my Mom’s. Clearly, they are antiques now, and I just couldn’t live without them. The good news is, you can still buy pastry cloth sets on Amazon. (Here is a pastry cloth set similar to mine.)

What is a pastry cloth set? A pastry cloth is a thick, canvas-like cloth that is set on the counter or table top. Flour is worked into the cloth by sprinkling it on the top and rubbing it in with your hand. It provides a non stick surface for any type of dough. It comes with a rolling pin cover that is a soft flexible fabric that slips over a rolling pin (I have my Mom’s wooden rolling pin). The rolling pin cover, too, is prepped by rubbing flour into it, so dough doesn’t stick as you roll.

How do you wash/ store a pastry cloth set? A pastry cloth set is washable. However if there is no dough stuck on it, there is no need to wash it after every use. It can be shaken out, folded and stored in a ziplock bag the fridge or freezer (to prevent bacterial growth) between uses. I don’t wash mine until 3-4 uses.

For more helpful information on pastry cloth, here is a resource you might be interested in:

Video of using a pastry cloth

I compiled some clips I did for a sugar cookie class on my Instagram into a video. You can watch how I use a pastry cloth for rolling out sugar cookie dough here:

The same basic method would work for rolling out all types of dough – like pastry dough, pizza dough, and bread dough for cinnamon rolls.

More Rolling Dough Tools

In addition to the pastry cloth set that I use, there are also other options to help make your rolling dough step so much easier. Here are some you might want to consider.

General Tips for Rolling Dough Smoothly

No matter what type of surface you choose to roll dough on, you will first need to sprinkle it lightly with flour before placing the dough on it.

Throughout the rolling process you may need to sprinkle on more flour under and on top of the dough, ensuring it doesn’t start to stick to either the surface you’re rolling on or the rolling pin.

You can refer to the video above to watch how I roll out sugar cookie dough. (Sidenote, I roll my sugar cookie dough with flour, but some people prefer to use powdered sugar since it is a sweet dough.)

Other dough rolling tools, tips, & tricks

Do you have a favorite dough rolling tool that I haven’t mentioned? If so, please list it in the comments below. We all love to learn new tried and true kitchen tips and tricks!

Woman rolling dough on a counter with text overlayed that says, "What do you roll dough on? - Tools to make rolling dough easy"

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  1. I usually roll dough on my counter with flour, however because of you I just ordered a pastry cloth!! Can’t wait to try it!

    1. Hi Rachel, Oh, I’m so excited you’re going to try the pastry cloth for rolling dough! I hope you love it as much as I do!!

  2. On my floured counter! Clean it well first, sprinkle lightly with flour (your gonna use flour somewhere, might as well be on your counter) roll out, cut out, place on pan, bake, repeat. Easy peesy!

    1. Hi Robin, My friend was just telling me today about Tupperware’s amazing silicone baking mats for rolling dough. I’ve never heard of them, but they sound great!

  3. I roll mine on my breakfast bar worktop, floured and easily rolled. Hi be never heard of a cloth to roll before but it looks brilliant. Thank you Rita

  4. If I am making a pie crust that requires lifting & moving, I sprinkle a little water on the counter then a piece of waxed paper. If I am making smaller things like cookies, I just roll directly on the counter.

    1. Hi Chris, Sprinkling water on the counter to hold the waxed paper in place before rolling dough on it is a brilliant idea. Thanks for sharing that dough rolling tip with us!

  5. I haven’t rolled dough in years, but I always used a piece of wax paper sprinkled with flour and a wooden rolling pin, which I rubbed flour over before starting. Sometimes had to add flour on the wax paper and/or the rolling pin during the process. The rolling cloth and pin cover were a revelation to me. If I roll dough again, I think I’ll try those.

  6. I roll my dough on a silicone pastry mat. Also, to keep my cookies consistent, I place a stack of index cards in ziplock bags, under each side of my rolling pin. I know, I can buy a rolling pin that would measure for me, I like to use what I have 🙂.

    1. Well, Janet, your rolling dough hack of placing stacked index cards in ziplock bags under each side of the rolling pin is genius! What a great way to measure the perfect thickness for dough rolling. Thank you for sharing that tip with us.

    1. Hi Beverly, I’ve heard so many people love silicone baking mats for rolling dough. They sound like a great solution.

  7. I need help with rolling gluten free dough! I’ve tried a couple of times but it’s too sticky or crumbly so now I’m a chicken!

    1. Oh Carla, I’ve never tried rolling gluten free dough, so I don’t have any tips for that! Maybe someone else reading the comments can chime in with great solutions for rolling out gluten free dough??

  8. I roll my cookie & pie dough between Saran Wrap. For pie crust you can just zip off the top one off & lift the crust & flip it over into the pan & take the bottom Saran Wrap off. Win/ Win. No floury mess. No torn up crust.

    1. Hi Elaine, I remember watching you work your dough rolling magic when I was a little girl. Rolling dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap is such a clever idea! Thanks so much for sharing it with everyone.

  9. I roll my sugar cookie dough out on a floured feed sack that has been hemmed and lives it daily life as a dish towel. I flour the rolling pin just enough nod the dough doesn’t stick. Been doing it this way for almost 50 years and our sons always pick up the cookies to make sure they are thin enough to see through.

    1. Oh, my goodness, Durelle, thank you so much for sharing your dough rolling method with us. I have never heard of rolling dough on a floured feed sack dish towel. What a great 50 year tradition!

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