Know about pastry cloths and rolling pin covers? They’re what my mother and grandmother swore by for rolling out pastry and cookie dough, but Mon Dieu, I never saw them used at cooking school in Paris, nor were they used by anyone in the Gourmet test kitchens. No, marble was the mantra for pastry, because it stays cool for those finicky French butter-rich doughs.
I’m tickled whenever something old-fashioned is new again, and pastry cloths with rolling pin covers—my mother called them rolling pin socks, and that’s exactly what they look like—are back in vogue. I see them for sale not only in cookware shops, but in the baking aisle of my local supermarket, which says a lot because Manhattan supermarkets are notoriously small and cramped with limited shelf space.
I couldn’t be happier about this development, because pastry cloths and rolling pin covers work like a charm. You rub a little flour into the cloth and the sock-like cover (once it’s on the rolling pin), then start rolling. The cloth and the cover hold the flour, creating non-stick surfaces, which helps keep the dough from absorbing it. The less flour a dough absorbs, the better the outcome. Continue reading