18

Is there any reason that a marble rolling pin would perform 'worse' than a wood rolling pin?

My roommates recently bought a visually appealing marble rolling pin; however, I've noticed a few problems, specifically that the marble doesn't seem to 'hold' flour and is thus much sticker when rolling. I can't tell if this is a problem with my approach or if marble rolling pins are known to have this issue.

Does anyone have any insight on this issue?

35

Yes, in my experience it is almost impossible to coat a marble rolling pin with flour. However, like flour many doughs tend to stick less to the very smooth surface, and because a marble rolling pin can stay colder for a longer time than a wooden one, some doughs get much less sticky, e.g. if they contain lots of butter.

If you have problems with dough sticking to your rolling pin, try dusting the dough with a thin layer of flour instead of the rolling pin.

  • 4
    Also for pastry, it's nice to chill the pin for the same reason - cold water, chilled lard/shortening, cold pin; everything stays cold. The fat rolls to sheets rather than melting and being absorbed into the flour and the pastry stays flaky. That said, wood is a pretty good insulator, so it's not like it will really inject any significant amount of heat either, especially if you chill it first as you would do with marble. – J... Oct 30 '19 at 13:33
  • 2
    A couple advantages of the marble, being less porous, no staining and no holding contaminants, at least no easily, as wood can and clean up very easy and the added weight is sometimes nice. They certainly have some down sides and need some getting used to but there are some trade offs. – dlb Oct 30 '19 at 17:05
  • Marble rolling pins are for pastry, which doesn't get dusted with flour at all. – FuzzyChef Nov 1 '19 at 16:49
  • @FuzzyChef They can also be used for other things, in which case dusting the dough with flour (or covering with parchment paper) solves any sticking problems – Tinuviel Nov 2 '19 at 8:33
15

Marble has a very slick surface, so flour will not stick to it as well as wood, a much more porous material. You need to dust the dough with flour instead of the pin, or use parchment paper between the pin and the dough.

Marble pins conducts heat away from the dough quicker than wood, and work better when butter is incorporated into the dough (like puff pastry, since laminated dough is better when worked cold). And because it's a dense material it stays cold for longer.

4

I'm with you, I don't like marble pins (maybe for a cold lamination, but that's fairly specialised).

One thing I've found with marble pins is that they're often a 'two part' design, where the handle rotates independently from the rolling surface. This means your hands just grip the handles, and the friction from the dough is what causes the 'roller' to roll. Of course, when the roller is low-friction, like marble, this doesn't always work well. I've used two-piece silicon rolling pins and they don't have this problem because of the 'stickiness' of the silicon.

This might just be a personal preference, but I much prefer a single-piece rolling pin (a plain wooden cylinder with a slight taper to the ends), so I can make the roller roll with my palms. I think you get a much better 'feel' for what the dough is doing. Even better, get one that comes with 'spacer rings' of varying thicknesses to attach to the ends to control the minimum thickness you can roll to.

4

Marble rolling pins are for laminated pastry, which is high in butter and kept fridge cold (the idea is to chill the rolling pin as well), so you need not flour the rolling pin or the dough. They are not for other types of dough.

Marble rolling pins are for the aesthetically aware and the laminated dough enthusiasts. These rolling pins are rather heavy in weight but it can be chilled before rolling, making it a great tool for cool-sensitive doughs like puff pastry.

So if you're rolling out biscuits, cookies, or pretty much anything other than pastry dough with one, you're using it wrong. This is why you're having so much trouble with it.

Get a heavy wooden rolling pin.

  • 1
    I disagree that "you're using it wrong" when using a marble rolling pin for anything other than laminated pastry. It may be the best tool for laminated pastry and you might prefer a wooden one for other things, but in my experience the marble rolling pin works perfectly fine for cookies and basically everything else I've ever had to use a rolling pin for. – Tinuviel Nov 2 '19 at 8:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.