I'm looking at getting a French rolling pin but I want to make sure that I get a good one. I've seen them made from various woods such as oak, cherry, maple, and bamboo. I'd imagine that a harder less porous wood would work better but I'm not certain what wood would work best. So, what's the best wood for a french rolling pin?
I am not a wood expert, but I have done a fair bit of carpentry as well as cookery. I agree that the key is having nice hard wood with fine grain; you don't want to damage a delicate dough or provide places to stick. Bamboo "wood" is usually a composite material, with the thickness built with layers glued together and then carved/lathed down to shape; so, I imagine it would have little lines that might open over time with use. Oak seems too heavily grained for this application. My french pin is maple. It came from a wood turner who does primarily pens and pencils. He makes pens from a variety of wood but the rolling pins are all maple.
Any fine grained hardwood will do and if it is a solid block that is better than glued up but many are glue ups as well. I would not use walnut personally but maple and white oak--not red-- or ash or hickory are good choices. Poplar if you want to have a slightly less hard wood to turn would work as well.