When this heavy silicone rolling pin was given to us as a gift, we were skeptical. We already had two - a traditional wooden one, and a tapered dowel - what could we possibly want with a third?
We intended to find a friend to bestow this heavy, 3 1/2 pound pink pin upon, but busyness begot inactivity. It lay forgotten in the giveaway bin. Then a few weeks ago, with friends coming over to bake hamantaschen, we pulled it out. We were still skeptical. Its silicone covered surface seemed appealing, but slightly space age. We're generally more old fashioned than innovative when it comes to baking and new materials. Plus, our favorite baking dame, Dorie Greenspan, had years ago cautioned
against being seduced by heft. 4-pound rolling pins were like "mack trucks" that would "ride roughshod over cookies," she said.
And yet we were quickly seduced by the way it glided over the dough. The pin still needed some flour, but less so than when using the wooden pins. Its metal handles are a pleasure to hold onto, slightly cold, and large enough for our hands to comfortably grip. We may not be as attuned to the delicacies of doughs as Dorie is, but to us, it didn't seem to mistreat the cookies at all.
Since that baking date, we've used our silicone rolling pin for a number of other uses. It handled pie crust beautifully, and rolling out yeast dough for cinnamon rolls was a snap.
Some user reviews say these are good for arthritic hands - the extra weight means that you don't have to push as hard to flatten the dough. We're just anticipating holiday baking, and being able to glide through all those batches of cookies and pie crusts more easily.
We have this silicone rolling pin from Williams Sonoma. The $49.95 price tag is almost as hefty as the pin itself. You can buy good quality wooden rolling pins for $10 - $20. If we hadn't received this as a gift, we probably never would have bought it for ourselves. Since we did, it's here to stay.
We'll probably hold on to our tapered dowel - it makes you feel more connected to the dough, and able to respond. But as for the traditional wooden rolling pin? Sometimes innovation trumps tradition.
More baking goodies and tools
• "Made in England" imprint rolling pin
• Five Essential Baking Tools: Prep
• Hot or Not: Pie Crust Bag
• Recipe: Best Cut-Out Sugar Cookies