Uses for Rolling Pins

The humble rolling pin is much more than a device for turning out pastry. It can do so much more! I thought I’d roll out the red carpet for this powerful tool.

The Pin As Physio

Labor coaches give rolling-pin massages to moms-to-be while the birthing process is in progress. Gentle pressure along the spine and along the upper legs, and the relief is incredible!

Rolling pins also bring relief aching muscles in general. They stimulate pressure points along the spine and lower back, warming the muscle and making it more flexible. This helps work out cramps and improve blood flow.

Pins that can be filled with water or ice can play ice or heat backs for bad backs!

Smart tip: keep a rolling pin under your bed. Before you turn in for the night, smooth the stress away by using the pin as a massager. In the morning, roll your feet up and down its length to stimulate circulation.

Pin Plays Papermate

Apply a steady pressure to paper as you roll a rolling pin over a textured surface. The pressure will give the paper an embossed effect as it takes on the texture of the surface it is being pressed against.

Pop Your Pie on a Pin

Pie dough delicate with butter and sugar can be tricky to transfer to the pie dish. Solution: carefully wrap the dough around an extra long rolling pin that has been dusted with flour. No rip, no tear—your pie is in the pan!

Get A Crush!

Your rolling pin can play a crushing role, too. Just take whole cookies or crackers in a bag and seal it. Gently apply pressure while rolling the rolling pin over the bag until the crackers are crushed into small granules.

Next: More tips for using rolling pins

Sticky Issues

For thin sheets of dough, use heavy rolling pins. Metal, marble or a larger wooden one are among the heaviest. Smart tip: chill your pin before use, so that they do not stick to the dough. If your pastry is very delicate, place it on a marble board for an even smoother experience.

Enthusiastic cooks and bakers sometimes stitch a simple cotton ‘sleeve’ for their rolling pins to keep dough from sticking.

If using a silicone rolling pin, you can relax: it simple does not stick.

Model Rolls

Rule of thumb: the richer or more buttery your pastry dough, the cooler your rolling pin should be. Metal and marble are ideal for this.

An unusual pin to use in a pinch: a clean empty wine bottle! I’ve tried it to roll out perfect rounds of chapati!

Change Your Pin

Do you fret over the way your pastry or chapati never comes out quite right–either too tough or too tender? Maybe you need to change your rolling pin.

Size Matters

The bigger the pie or pizza, the longer your rolling pin needs to be. Basically, make sure it is always longer than the area to be covered by the rolled-out dough.

A big diameter means fewer revolutions, but some cooks prefer a thinner pin as it allows more control.

A pin with handles makes light work of heavy dough. A 28-30cm barrel is the most useful size.

Your rolling pin should be hefty enough to do its job without too much pressure from you.

More Pin Tips

Always dust your pin with flour to prevent sticking and make sure you scrape off any bits of stuck-on pastry while working to avoid lumpy pastry. One trick: don’t use too much flour when you are rolling dough.

Wooden pins should be scrubbed clean then dried after use to prevent warping and cracking. Non-wooden pins are usually dishwasher-proof, but check the manufacturer’s instructions first.

Press to Impress

Check out the step-by-step instructions for rolling out the perfect pastry. Click on


Nimue Pendragon

I thought of that, Teresa, you can really give someone a good whack with a rolling pin! :)

Sonia Minwer-Barakat Requ

Helpful tips.Thanks for sharing

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W5 years ago

What about self-defense?

Lydia Weissmuller Price

We used to use one on paper when my children did crafts...the effects ARE beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

Care member
Care member5 years ago


Val M.
Val M5 years ago


Michele Wilkinson

Thank you

Dale O.

Interesting tips!

Lika S.
Lika P6 years ago

Thanks, great tips! Though I do need to learn some finesse while using it...

sandra m.
Past Member 6 years ago