Last Updated on February 15, 2023
Dough can be extremely challenging to work with! Luckily, we’ve created the ultimate guide to help you how to roll dough perfectly every time!
Today, we will explore the many ways to prevent dough from sticking to your surfaces, and how you can roll even layers consistently. And, we have also included a tutorial on how to roll the perfect square, rectangle, and circle.
What Exactly Is A Dough?
Before looking at the ins and outs of how to roll dough, you first need to understand exactly what dough is. Dough is a relatively thick elastic paste that is pliable (or malleable). The most basic dough can consist of only flour, water, and salt. However, generally, they also contain leavening agents, fats, and flavoring ingredients.
Regardless, the consistency should be thick. Think about cookie dough, bread dough, or pastry dough. All of these can be worked while they still keep their shape. A dough shouldn’t be confused with a batter.
So, as you may know, some types of dough have to be rolled. This technique is used to help shape the dough. You can roll cookie dough into sheets to make beautifully flat cookies. You can also roll bread dough to make all kinds of flatbreads. And, you can even roll pasta dough to make linguini or lasagna sheets. There are an infinite amount of reasons to roll, so let’s have a look at how to roll dough.
How To Roll Dough Without It Sticking To The Surface?
The first thing you should take into consideration before starting the rolling process is how you are going to prevent the dough from sticking. Unfortunately, some doughs are wet and will stick to the surface.
1. Dust the surface with flour
The best way to prevent them from sticking is to dust the surface with flour. Always use the same flour for dusting as you used to make the dough. You should also dust your rolling pin!
2. Roll between wax paper
Some doughs can be rolled between wax paper. You can also use non-stick baking paper. Simply add the dough between two layers and gently roll. You will probably have to lift the sheets every now and then. This is simply to help roll even layers.
3. Roll on non-stick surfaces
If you don’t need to roll the dough into super-thin layers, you can simply roll the dough onto a non-stick surface. This includes marble, some types of plastics, and even most stick-on surfaces. Even a silicone sheet will help prevent the dough from sticking.
How To Roll Dough Into Even Layers
This is the second problem many people struggle with – how to roll dough into even layers. Well, luckily there are also a few techniques you can try.
1. Apply even pressure
Now many people like to hear this, but sometimes it is as simple as applying even pressure. Work slowly and constantly check the thickness of your dough. You can even use a ruler to check your progress.
2. Use dough strips
You may have heard about these bars before. These strips are often extremely long and vary in thickness. You simply place them on each side of your dough and keep rolling.
Once the dough is thin enough, you should be able to roll the rolling pin over the bars to create even layers. You can choose varying thicknesses depending on how thick you want your layer to be.
Set of 3-100% Silicone Measuring Dough Strips/Perfection Sticks/Rolling Pin Guides/Dough Guides
3. Rolling pin bands
These are another easy and cheap option to use. These bands go over each edge of your rolling pin. They also come in various thicknesses. Then, simply roll continuously until your dough is even.
Just make sure that your rolling pin fits tightly into the band. Otherwise, this gadget won’t work.
GreenOlive Rolling Pin Guide Ring Spacer Bands (8 Piece Set)
How To Roll Dough Into Specific Shapes
Now that we have covered exactly how to roll dough without it sticking and in even layers, let’s have a look at how to roll dough into different shapes.
This is something a lot of people struggle with, especially with shapes like a circle. But, it is an essential skill to have. And, mastering this skill will help give your baked goods that professional touch!
How to roll dough into a square or rectangle
This is one of the easier shapes to make. Now, keep in mind that with rolling dough, you will never be able to get perfectly straight lines and sharp corners. But, getting the general shape first will help prevent wasting dough when you cut away the rough edges.
Here’s how we roll dough into a square or rectangle.
1. First, map out the size of your square or rectangle. If it needs to be precise, you can measure and cut out the shape on a piece of non-stick baking paper. This will act as your template. Alternatively, you can measure the size with a ruler after every couple of rolls.
2. Shape the dough into a rough square and flatten it with your hands. This shape doesn’t have to be perfect. It will simply be your starting point.
3. Start rolling the dough back and forth. Rotate the dough 90 degrees after a couple of rolls. Roll again in that direction. The dough should keep its square or rectangular shape all the time. You can use a ruler or your template to check the shape and size.
4. Continue this technique until you have the perfect thickness and size.
5. If you will need perfectly straight sides and sharp corners, you can use a knife and ruler to cut your square or rectangle.
Rolling dough into a circle
Rolling dough into a circle, and not an amoeba, can be quite difficult. In fact, it’s the shape most people struggle with.
1. To roll dough into a circle, start by roughly shaping your dough ball into a disc and flattening it.
2. Roll back and forth over the dish to form a small oval. Always make sure the dough is evenly rolled.
3. Then, turn the oval 90 degrees and roll back and forth in the other direction. Continue rolling and turning until you have your desired size and thickness.
Wrapping It Up – How To Roll Dough
As you can see, rolling dough doesn’t have to be as scary! You just need to know the best techniques and practices for doing so! If you still have any questions, feel free to ask us in the comments below. And, make sure to share this article with your fellow bakers!
How do you roll dough evenly?
There are a couple of techniques you can use. The first (which doesn't require special tools) is to simple roll and measure the thickness with a ruler after every couple of rolls. Alternatively, you can invest in rolling bars or rolling pin bands. Both of these have varying sizes (thicknesses) which helps you roll even layers every time.
How do you roll dough into circles?
To roll a dough into a circle, start by shaping the ball into a flat disc. Then, roll back and forth for a couple of times until you have a small oval. Turn the dough 90 degrees and roll back and forth again. Keep rolling and turning while maintaining a circular shape.
How do you roll dough without sticking?
The best way to prevent dough from sticking to the surface and your rolling pin is to dust everything with flour. You can also roll the dough between two sheets of wax or baking paper. Or, for thick layers, you can simply roll them on a non-stick surface, like marble.
What tool do you use to roll dough?
You should always use a rolling pin to roll dough. We like plastic rolling pins as they don't have any indents and are easy to clean. Wooden ones also work. If you don't have a rolling pin, you can use a PVC (plastic) tube or pipe. Otherwise, even a circular container (like a Pringles tube) or canister works. As long as it has a smooth surface.
Lindy Van Schalkwyk is a culinary specialist with a background in Advanced Cooking, Advanced Pâtisserie, Media Communications and Nutrition. She has gained invaluable experience in the culinary industry having worked in some of the top restaurants in Africa in 2016 and 2017. Her expertise in nutrition has enabled her to develop recipes for special dietary needs. In 2018, Lindy began working in the Food Media industry, focusing on recipe development, recipe writing, food writing and food styling.