Apologies if this is a bit of a newbie question!

I have no problem with making, chilling, and rolling my pastry, but for the life of me I can never manage to pick up my pastry without it breaking either due to it's own weight, or getting stuck on the surface I've rolled it on.

I've tried floured worktops, baking paper, floured baking paper, using a slice to help support the pastry as it lifts etc.

What is the best method of picking up my pastry and placing it into my pie dish without it breaking?


If the pastry is sticking to the rolling surface regardless of how well floured it is, it is possible that you are pressing down overly hard and not keeping the board floured throughout the process.

These are the stages I use in rolling out pastry:

  • Shape the ball of pastry into a thick disc or rectangle using my hands, to make it easier to get the rolling started.
  • Flour the surface well and make a pass in one direction with the rolling pin make a quarter turn with the pastry and slide it about a bit in the process to make sure there is still flour underneath. (While your pastry is still quite thick it is easy to lift it a little to scatter a little more flour under)
  • Repeat this process until the pastry is getting too big to more about, but don't try to achieve a lot of thinning with each pass, much better to make more passes which thin the pastry a little each time than a few passes which thin it a lot.

If your pastry feels as it it is sticking once it has got a bit larger, use your rolling pin to pick it up to add flour. Place your rolling pin near the edge of the pastry furthest from you and slip the fingers of one hand under the edge of it to hold it eh pastry against the rolling pin, then supporting the pastry with your hand roll the pin back towards you so that the weight of the pastry is spread across the pin and lift from the board. if it is sticking you can use a palette knife to ease it free. Add more flour to your surface and roll the pastry back down.

  • Use this same technique of rolling the pastry onto the pin to transfer the finished sheet to the pie-dish.
  • 3
    Turning the pastry rather than rolling side-to-side makes a huge difference. That alone would be worth a vote, but the rest is good too.
    – Chris H
    Aug 30 '18 at 16:26

Take a look at this pie crust video on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ddyVpkXCY4 Starting at about 5 min 15 sec, the video demonstrates a fairly common technique of gently wrapping the crust around a rolling pin, lifting it to the pie plate then unrolling it. This is how I accomplish this too. I'm confident there are many other vids on the web demonstrating this. Perhaps there's another way which might be shown too.

  • 1
    I always use my rolling pin,. but I did recently see a method of gathering up the edges of the pastry so that you make a 'bag' of it and, supporting the base with one hand, transfer it to your pit dish. Apparently this makes it less likely to tear as you push the pastry into the corners of the pie dish, but I'm not sure i've ever made pastry that was robust enough to gather up by the edges.
    – Spagirl
    Aug 30 '18 at 10:49

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