Best surface for rolling out dough?


When this house was built I had a choice in many things, counter tops among them. I choose granite tile. That was a lot cheaper than a solid slab. I did not bake anything at all at that time, so had no clue I would come to regret that choice.

So now I want something about 24 x 36 inches that I can leave on the counter. Marble, granite, wood ? Wood covered with something metal?

Do you guys have any ideas ?

badge posted by: omaria on May 28, 2012 at 7:24 pm in General discussions
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reply by: OldSoul on May 28, 2012 at 8:14 pm

I recently bought a marble pastry board that I just LOVE. Initially, I was worried that it wouldn't be big enough, but so far I've been able to roll out pie crusts, etc. with no problem. And it's a GREAT value at $40.
Here's the link.

Now, Williams Sonoma also has one, and it is a bit bigger. But it is $130--and I checked them out in person, and both were chipped, and the surface wasn't as smooth. But here's the link to that one, if you are interested.
(edited because the link didn't work. But if you go to their website, and type in "marble" it will come up). =)

reply by: swirth on May 28, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Omaria...RandyD uses a marble slab to roll out his pie crusts on and maybe other things, as well. He puts it in the fridge to get it cooled out before using it sometimes, I think. You might check with him on the details but he really likes using it.

reply by: Mike Nolan on May 28, 2012 at 8:42 pm
Mike Nolan

We have a marble surface table in the kitchen and both granite and butcher block counter tops. At times I have longed for an area that had a stainless steel surface, because it is easy to sanitize after cutting meat or poultry. Most of the time I do roll-outs on the butcher block. Sometimes I do them on silpats, especially pie crusts.

IMHO, you want a piece of marble that's at least 18 x 24 inches and an inch or more thick. Bigger is better and so is thicker, especially if you want to use it for pouring candies. (A professional confectioner's marble is at least 3 inches thick.)

If there is a marble counter top supplier in your area, check with them, they may have broken pieces in the yard too small to be used for a counter top that they'll cut and polish for you fairly cheaply. Marble and granite are fairly heavy, so you may want to think about a place where you can put it more or less permanently.

reply by: hickeyja on May 28, 2012 at 9:07 pm

I have marble countertops. They work very well for roll outs. The thing that poses the biggest problem about using them is that I am short and the counters are a bit taller than I would like for rolling. It is a bit of a strain if I have a lot of rolling to do.

I do like a chilled marble surface for pie crusts and laminated dough. To make my marble counter top chilled, I have several freezer sheets that I just lay out on the counter top under a heavy towel about 15 minutes before rolling out the dough. Jan

reply by: omaria on May 28, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Thanks Traci and Swirth for your suggestions. I do want something bigger, like 24 x36 minimum It will be permanently on my kitchen island, so it can be nice and heavy. My island is 5 ft by 6 ft. We were talking about maybe replacing 1/2 the island with a solid slab of granite. Luckily it is a very common pattern, so we could match it pretty well, but then I thought about just a piece of "something" that can stay on top of the tile. Mike, so for baking you use the butcherblock most ? I want something heavy, that does not slide around when I am rolling out dough. It would only be used for baking. No meat or vegetable cutting.
I think there might be places where they sell marble so we can check for some odd pieces.

reply by: omaria on May 28, 2012 at 9:27 pm

Jan, you posted when I was still typing.,, so did not see your post till just now. I know you are a shorty, I am not much taller and that did go through my mind, that I would make the counter higher by probably 2 inches or so. I like that my granite tiles are so cool to the touch. But I would copy your method to get them ice cold.

reply by: OldSoul on May 28, 2012 at 9:42 pm

I would definitely go for something that is a solid surface. I bought a rustic wood island, thinking that it would be able to handle lots of abuse, and be easy to care for. Well, it just never felt "clean" to me. So I ended up putting a laminate countertop on top of it, and then my marble slab on top of that, and I'm much happier (even though it looks quirky). The marble is nice because it is inherently cool to the touch.

reply by: Mike Nolan on May 28, 2012 at 10:10 pm
Mike Nolan

The butcher block is not loose, and it it in what is now the 'baking corner' of the kitchen, an L-shaped area that is 30" deep and 4 foot by 6 foot on the front edge. Our marble table is actually a slab of architectural marble that we bought at a garage sale years ago and had cut down to fit a 4 foot butcher block table we already had.

Sometimes I wish our counter tops were 3-5 inches higher than they are, but my wife is several inches shorter than I am and we based the height of the counter tops on her height, since she was doing most of the cooking when we built our house in 1996.

PJ wrote a post a while back about how high work surfaces should be for baking, I suspect most people build them significantly lower than what she recommended.

reply by: omaria on May 29, 2012 at 12:33 am

Thank you Oldsoul, so you are happy with the marble slap too. I just looked at some video from Ciril Hirtz (?) he has something on his table, that I cannot figure out. I have the time to look and get what I really want.

reply by: sandra Alicante on May 29, 2012 at 12:42 am
sandra Alicante

If like Hickeyja you have a problem being too short, it is worth either getting a small child's step to stand on or a strong wooden pallet that will give you a couple of extra inches when needed.
It really makes a difference to rolling dough.

BTW, I have some sort of granite type surface and that is fine for rolling. Whatever you buy, check to see if it needs sealing.

reply by: OldSoul on May 29, 2012 at 12:45 am

Oh I am glad you mentioned him! I just googled him, and it looks like a new and fun bread site to visit. Thanks!

(although I didn't see a link to the video you mentioned, so I can't help you with what's on his table). Maybe you can post a link here?

reply by: pammyowl on May 29, 2012 at 3:49 am

OldSoul, it looks to me to be a faux granite counter top. I have a friend who works at a factory that makes them, and he keeps the scraps, you know, like the cut outs when they are cutting them for a sink, for instance. He finishes the edges, and sells them as cutting boards. He owes me one, come to think of it!

reply by: RonB on May 29, 2012 at 6:21 am

If you go to a granite or marble shop, check for sink cutouts. Some places sell them cheaply. The problem will be finding the size you need ~ Ron

reply by: pammyowl on May 29, 2012 at 7:31 am

Has anyone tried a marble rolling pin? I bought one years ago and hated it! I would like a marble slab though.

reply by: sandra Alicante on May 29, 2012 at 8:44 am
sandra Alicante

I couldn't get to grips with a marble pin either. These days I have a chunky plastic one and a set of different length modified broom handle ones!

reply by: OldSoul on May 29, 2012 at 11:47 am

Hi Pammy! Some of those laminates are getting really REAL looking these days, especially with the waterfall edges that they can do now. They have one that looks like marble, which is quite nice looking. It doesn't have the properties of marble, of course, but I find it looks pretty. As for the marble rolling pin...I don't like how heavy it is. Right now I'm using a Teflon coated rolling pin, and it does the job. I got it to replace the French rolling pin that i have-- I have a weird aversion to the feel of raw wood. It's like nails on a chalkboard to me.