Do you use a pastry cloth? Though little more than a canvas cloth, this old-fashioned kitchen tool is charming in its simplicity and usefulness. Usually made of durable cotton canvas, a pastry cloth makes an excellent work surface for rolling out pie crusts, biscuits, cookies, and other doughs. Rubbing a little flour into the cloth prevents sticking without adding excess flour to the dough, keeping the pastry light and flaky.
After using the pastry cloth, shake it out to remove excess flour and crumbs. You may also wish to clean it with soap and water to remove any fats or oils that could turn rancid, and then hang it up to dry. The cloth is easy to fold up for storage (we keep it in the freezer) and unlike parchment or wax paper, it's reusable. We've had ours for years and imagine it could last for decades.
Emily Ho is a writer, recipe developer, and educator. She lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches classes on food preservation, wild food, and herbalism. Emily is a Master Food Preserver and founder of LA Food Swap and the international Food Swap Network.
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