10 Secrets to Rolling Out Dough Evenly

Rolling out dough: it's what deters people from making their own pie crust or homemade cutout sugar cookies. Sure, it seems simple enough: just use a rolling pin to glide the dough to and fro until it reaches paper-thin consistency. But before you know it, the dough often transforms into a lopsided splat, and cookies and pie end up undercooked on one side and burnt on the other.

Follow these tricks and you'll be ready to flatten picturesque sheets of dough in no time.

How to Roll Out Dough Evenly

  1. Choose the right rolling pin: A handle-less rolling pin allows for more control than a pin with handles. Roll out circle shapes for tart and pie dough with a curved, tapered pin. Otherwise, for cookie dough, use a straight rolling pin, which is designed to roll the dough out to a consistent width.
  2. Work on a flat, cold surface: Marble is the most ideal work surface, because it keeps the dough firm and cold, thus preventing it from becoming sticky. However, any flat countertop (like a wooden table) will do.
  3. Use parchment paper: In order to easily rotate the dough (without pulling and stretching it with your hands), place the dough on parchment paper or a silicone rolling mat.
  4. Keep everything well-floured: Sprinkle the work surface with flour before placing the ball of dough on top. Be sure to sprinkle the dough on top as well as coat the rolling pin.
  5. Roll the dough into a perfect ball: Before rolling, make sure the dough is rolled tightly and evenly.
  6. Start in the middle: Many people make the mistake of starting at one end of the dough and rolling. Instead, start by placing the pin in the middle of the dough.
  7. Roll halfway away and halfway toward you: Rather than rolling the pin back and forth, each roll should begin in the center, then pressing the dough firmly, roll away from your body. Return back to the center, and roll the pin toward yourself. Continue in this pattern.
  8. Evenly press the dough as you roll: Maintain the same amount of pressure while pushing down and rolling out with each stroke.
  9. Don't let the pin hit the work surface: When you reach the edge of the dough, do not press down until the rolling pin hits the work surface. Instead, imagine rolling out, so the rolling pin simply rolls off the dough and into the air. This ensures the edges are the same width as the rest of the dough.
  10. Rotate the dough, not you: While it's tempting to contort your body in various ways to roll the dough to and fro, you run the risk of back injury and uneven dough. Rather, if using a parchment paper or silicone mat, turn the paper 90 degrees and begin rolling in the same pattern as before (starting in the center and rolling away then back in the center and rolling toward you).