I Tried the $16 Gadget That’s Supposed to Make It Incredibly Easy (and Less Messy!) to Roll Out Pie Crust
Pie crust is so simple: just butter, flour, water, and salt. So why do so many home cooks shy away from making it from scratch? When I’ve asked people what exactly pulls them to the frozen aisle for pre-made pie shells, it’s never that the grocery store version is just so delicious. The pull usually stems from either not knowing how to make dough in the first place, or having the knowledge but feeling overwhelmed by dough-related messiness and the havoc it can wreak.
I would like to address the latter today. I’ve tried a bunch of different rolling hacks to simplify the process and prevent the flour-plus-butter shellac from coating every kitchen work surface. My favorite pie-making assistant is the dough rolling bag. There are a few different types of rolling bags on the market, but recently, I picked up this OXO Good Grips Silicone Dough Rolling Bag and I’m happy to report that it’s incredibly easy to use and really does eliminate countertop messes!
Here’s how it works. Once you’ve made your dough and divided it into two pieces (dough recipes are usually big enough for both a bottom and top crust), you wrap the dough pieces up and chill them to get the butter cold again and the flour fully hydrated. Then, instead of sprinkling flour all over your counter, you lightly dust the inside of the open rolling bag on both sides. Put a piece of dough down in the center of the bag, zip it up, and roll.
There’s no need to flour your rolling pin (or scrape it clean later!) or fret about the butter melting and the dough sticking to your counter. It’s all contained in the bag! Even if it takes you a really long time to roll, or you start the process and get called away by life in the middle of the task, the bag offers forgiveness. If you sense the butter is melting, or if you try to unzip it and the silicone sticks to the dough, simply pop the whole package (dough in bag) into the fridge to chill until it’s ready to work with you again.
This particular bag has helpful markings on the outside, which serve as guides to roll out a perfect 6-, 8-, 9-, 10-, 11-, or 12-inch circle. You don’t even need a ruler. When you unzip the bag to release the dough, the silicone is both strong and flexible so you can transfer the dough with confidence to a pie plate or baking sheet or wherever you need it to go. Then, you just sponge the bag clean or put it straight into the dishwasher. There’s no mess on your counter or rolling pin (or floor or walls or who-knows-where).
And you can use the bag for other things beyond pie. I tried it out with my sugar cookies this fall, and found it to be super helpful for rolling the cookie dough out thin and evenly. The bag enabled me to easily transfer the flat dough to the fridge before cutting out my shapes. Eliminating the need to incorporate lots of extra bench flour into my dough, using the rolling bag resulted in super-tender cookies … and zero dough-rolling frustration.
If you’ve been using store-bought dough or just want something to make your current pie baking process a little easier, I highly suggest this little guy.
Do you have any tools you love for pie baking? Tell us in the comments below!