One thing to never do to your rolling pin!

(Care and feeding of your rolling pin.)

One thing to never do to your rolling pin!

And that would be…?  Your rolling pin is your pie dough’s best friend (followed by the cold surface on which you roll the dough out).  If you want that wooden rolling pin to stay your “best friend forever,” then there is one thing you should never do.

Never put it in soapy water and wash it.  As tempting as that might be, please resist!  The oils that build up on the pin over years of use help keep it slick – just the way you want it.*   Washing your rolling pin with soapy water would remove those oils.  And beyond that, even water without soap can soak into your rolling pin, causing the grain to expand slightly, making the wood less smooth.

Keep it simple and wipe the rolling pin clean with a paper towel as soon as you’re through with it.  That keeps the oils intact while wiping away any bits of dough that have stuck to it. 

And if your pin isn’t nice and slick from years of rolling?  Feel free to use a paper towel or soft cloth to work in some canola (or other flavorless oil, not olive oil).  Actually, I keep my rolling pin for pies separate from the other one, which might be used for cookies or pasta.  I’m willing to rinse the second one under water (no soap) once in a while as needed.

And there is one more rolling pin lesson I learned the hard way.  I loaned out my pie pastry rolling pin to a friend who was enthusiastically learning to make pie. She followed my request and didn’t wash the pin.  Ahem.  She didn’t even wipe it off.  It came back encrusted with bits of dough that had turned to rock.  I had to wrap that pin in a towel soaked with cooking oil in order to soften those chunks enough to get them off!  And now it’s fine again. 

Roll on!

Your Pie Pal, Rebecca

*You want it that way so that you can use a minimum of additional flour to accomplish rolling out the dough, thus keeping the flour/water/fat proportions of the recipe. 

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