When making fresh pasta dough, just like in any other dough, a rolling pin may play a crucial part, while you can’t really go wrong with a rolling pin, there are certainly ways you can get better when you use the right one.
I already have a food process – I don’t need a rolling pin.
Even if you are using a food processor to make your dough, you still need to work it out for a few min with a rolling pin (or by hand), this will inject more air into your dough and will give your pasta a lighter feel, rather than a condensed and heavier texture which you normally get with mass produced pasta.
Size does matter
Actually size is prob’ the only thing that matter when it comes to rolling pins, the rest is up to you to do the work. most rolling pins range between 10″-14″, I recommend getting one that will fit to your surface (if you are making fresh pasta that means you should have a large surface) or at least a 12″ rolling pin, this will give you the flexibility to work the dough in many directions and angles, creating pressure on the parts of the dough you want to to push more. a larger rolling pin will make your work easier when it comes to working out dough, the reason is with the length – size of the pin, with a bigger pin you can apply more pressure with less effort.
French VS. the world (again)
As in most matters the french has their own way of rolling, and so is true to rolling pins, the french rolling pins shaped differently from the standard rolling pin we know, it has more of an oval shape and no handles, so that the whole pin is longer, but with different pressure points, at the beginning I thought that when you work with a french rolling pin you get less space to interface with the dough, but I learned to appreciate it more and more, it actually gives you more space and length, as french rolling pins runs up to 20″ long, which is a huge advantage on the standard rolling pin.
Ravioli Rolling Pin
This is one of my favorit pasta gadgets, the ravioli rolling pin, unlike the standard rolling pin, the ravioli pin, will help you shape your ravioli cuts with much less effort, note that this rolling pin is not a replacement for the pin you’ll have to work your dough with, but a nice add-on to make your ravioli more unified.
Recommended rolling pins
As I mentioned earlier you can’t really go wrong with rolling pin, since most rolling pins are very accessible, I tend to go for the highest quality, since I don’t see myself getting a new rolling pin very often, I rather get one that I’ll like and that would last for many years, for a standard rolling pin, I’ll most likely get a stainless steel pin, while if you are interested in a french rolling pin, I’ll recommend looking into a higher end maple rolling pin.
From the stainless steal category, I find the OXO Good Grips Rolling Pin and the Norpro Professional Weight Stainless Steel Rolling Pin to be dominating the category, both are stainless steel rolling pins, with a bit of a heavier feel and very high quality.
For a wooden rolling pin, my first choice will be the J.K. Adams GRP-2 Gourmet Rolling Pin, made of high quality maple wood, this rolling pin is ideal for any type of dough.
Though there are some flat french rolling pins out there, I prefer the one with more of an oval shape, I think that it gives more flexibility when working on the dough to attack it form many different angles, I really like the Vic Firth Maple Rolling Pins for this exact reason
hope you enjoy this post and that you feel ready to start rolling, remember there is no wrong way to roll when you deal with a dough, the best way to know which rolling pin is the best for you is simply to roll with it.