Thursday, July 23, 2009
Wooden rolling pins have been around for decades. They are used for flattening piecrust dough, cookies, wafers, biscuits, and crackers. Rolling pins of varied types and materials provide benefits over another, because they are utilized for a variety of tasks in cooking and baking. Many rolling pins include inlays of dark woods, such as cherry, mahogany, applewood, beech, pine, sycamore, or walnut.
Types of rolling pins include:
Rod- Thin rods usually carved out of wood at around 2-3 cm in diameter. They are used by rolling the rod over the dough using the palm. The pins can be tapered at one or both sides for additional pivot control in specific tasks such as making pie shells.
Roller- Made of a thick heavy roller composed of a range of materials around 7-10 cm in diameter with slimmer handles that run through the inside of the roller. They are used by grabbing the handles and driving the pin over the dough.
We are most familiar with rolling pins that have two handles with a weighty wooden cylinder that rolls independently between them using ball bearings. This pin has an easy action which makes it easy to make dough of level thickness.
Rolling pins come in a range of sizes, shapes and materials including wood, stainless steel, plastic, marble and glass. A few are hollow and can be filled with cold or warm water to better roll a preferred food. Marble rolling pins are frequently cooled in a refrigerator for keeping a cold dough for making puff pastry.
Wooden rolling pins have been in use the longest and are the most familiar, many being no more than cylinders of wood. But, knob-ended rolling pins came before those with the handles shaped in a single piece with the roller. These utensils were typically home-produced until they began to be factory made in the mid-19th century. Extravagant wooden rolling pins were attractively shaped or carved and many were produced by Shakers.
Cooks frequently special ordered rolling pins with distinct ends for particular requirements. Distinctive rolling pins had flourishes which were usually in the shapes of hearts, circles, or diamonds. Sailors at sea shaped distinguishing rolling pins of lignum vitae decorated with pegs of whale bone to give to their love interests.
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