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Rolling in the Dough: Tips for Rolling Out the Perfect Pie Crust

Pie Recipes by Nathalie Duprees
Pies by Nathalie Dupree. Photo by Helene Dujardin

Rolling out dough seems so elementary, unless you have done it unsuccessfully. The dough can stick to the rolling pin and countertop, or some parts of the dough could be too thin while other parts too thick. But with just a few tips, rolling out your next batch of sugar cookies or pie dough will be a cinch.

Use chilled dough.

Pie Crust
Chill dough for at least 30 minutes. Photo by Helene Dujardin

Always allow the dough to chill for at least 30 minutes. This helps keep the dough from sticking to the rolling pin and work surface. If dough is too firm, knead a few times to warm it up. This will also help keep the edges from cracking.

Make sure your work surface,
rolling pin, and dough are well floured.

Pie Crust Whisking and Baking
Flour Everything! Photo by Helene Dujardin

Seems obvious right? And it is, but it can also spell disaster if not done. A silicone mat can also keep the dough from sticking and has a guide to help you roll out dough to the perfect dimension for different sizes of pies and tarts.

Rotate the dough throughout the process.

Rotate the dough a ¼ turn with every few rolls. Also, re-flour the surface after rotating to keep the dough from sticking.

Roll from the center.

Place the rolling pin in the center of the dough and roll to the edges. This helps roll the dough to the uniform thickness. Decrease the pressure on the rolling pin at the edge of the dough to prevent the edges from becoming too thin. Rolling pin strips are thin strips of wood, metal or silicone that act like training wheels for your rolling pin.  Place them on the edges of the dough like a frame; the rolling pin will roll on the frame to ensure even rolling.

Dust the dough with a pastry brush.

Brushing Pie Crust with Tiny Leaves
Dust the dough with a pastry brush to remove extra flour. Photo by Helene Dujardin

Dust the dough with a pastry brush to remove extra flour from it before baking. Look for a natural bristle brush, and dedicate it to this purpose. Try not to let it double as a basting brush.

Pies for the Fourth

Very Beginner’s Pie Crust
Framish Pie: French Coconut and Amish Buttermilk Hybrid
Sweet Surrender Sweet Potato Pie
Pecan Streusel Pie with Chocolate Ice Cream

Apple-Bacon Pie