You can use a dough roller for various purposes, from pasta and pizza dough to cookies and pie crusts. However, rolling dough evenly and neatly can be a challenge. Generally, professional bakers get the hang of it only after lots of practice and messing up their dough. In this article, you’ll find some techniques and tools that will help simplify the process of rolling dough evenly.
Here are six steps to roll dough to the perfect thickness and texture.
1. Find a Flat Surface
This is the first step towards making the perfect cinnamon rolls, pizzas and other treats. If you have chosen a table as your rolling surface, make sure it has no bumps or cracks. Your pizza dough may get into the cracks and become uneven, plus you’ll waste time trying to get it out of the table.
There should be no obstructions on the table either. Clean your surface thoroughly to make sure there are no crumbs, clear folders, or any unnecessary objects lying around. This may look like an obvious tip, but it is essential to follow it religiously because it can have a more significant effect than you can imagine.
2. Form the Dough
To make the whole process easier, a bit of preparation is necessary. A good and thorough dough recipe will ask you to let the dough rest or sit for a while in the refrigerator before rolling. Chilling the dough ensures that it is firm and is less likely to tear. However, you must be cautious that it doesn’t get too hard once you get it out of the fridge. If you roll it then, it will become uneven and take longer to flatten.
Take your dough out of the refrigerator to your rolling board or surface, shape it with your hand, and press it with a dough roller in order to flatten it into your desired shape. Precision is not vital in this step, since your aim is to form the pizza dough into a consistency that will be easier to roll later on.
If your dough recipe does not require the dough to be chilled, you can simply flatten it into a square or form a ball to roll it easily.
3. Sandwich the Dough
You’ll need to create some sort of “sandwich”, placing the dough between two sheets of non-stick paper. You can also use silicone pads, parchment paper, or wax paper instead. We advise you to avoid plastic wrap since it easily crinkles and may create uneven edges and curves on your dough.
To make the whole process less sticky, sprinkle some flour on your dough. Place your dough roller and start rolling once you have you dough between the sheets. Not only will the process be significantly less sticky, but your dough will have no chance of becoming uneven or torn.
4. Use Rolling Pin Substitutes
Rolling can make all the difference when trying to achieve the perfectly even dough. Even pressure can only be achieved by having an even surface to an even surface; however, even top chefs struggle to apply uniform pressure for extended periods of time. Don’t be disheartened, though. This is exactly why baking tools exist. Here are some rolling pin substitutes that will help.
Ball bearings allow free rotation, thus making the process of rolling dough smoother. You also need less stamina when using ball bearings with your rolling pin. Applying pressure manually can result in unevenness so, all in all, it’s a win-win situation.
Adjustable Rolling Pin
These come in 4 to 5 disks which are removable along with a measuring guide. You can decide on the size depending on the desired thickness of your dough recipe. You can find these tools at most baking supply stores.
You need to place the dowels on the sides of your dough, parallel to each other and perpendicular to the rolling pin. Once you begin rolling your pin, the wooden dowels will prevent the application of excessive pressure. You can choose the right type of wooden dowels according to your dough thickness or the result you want to get.
5. Smooth out Unevenness
Is there still unevenness after following these instructions and taking precautions? Reach out for a dough scraper. Smoothen any parts that seem unsatisfactory by holding your dough scraper at a 45-degree angle. To prevent creating an indent on your dough, you may do this on top of some non-stick sheet paper. To figure out how much pressure to apply, compare it with flattening buttercream while frosting cakes, you can apply the same amount of pressure.
6. Chill the Dough
Chilling the dough won’t help you achieve evenness or get you perfect cinnamon rolls. However, it is an essential step after you have flattened it. This ensures that your dough is firm enough and will not move around when you try to cut it. You won’t need to roll it again either if you chill the dough ball and flatten it into a square shape before anything else.
If you follow our dough rolling guide, there is very little chance of ending with unevenly, sticky, and overall ruined rolled dough. Remember, practice makes perfect. Once you get the hang of it, the whole process of rolling your dough will go by in a breeze and you’ll be able to make pasta, cinnamon rolls, and hundreds of dishes from scratch.