There’s no denying it: Piecrusts are one of the hardest things for a home cook to master. When it comes to rolling them out, experience counts for a lot, but good techniques are crucial, too. Here are some of our best pointers for rolling out lovely, even rounds of dough.
Start with dough at the right temperature
If it’s too warm and soft, it’ll stick like crazy to the rolling pin and the work surface, forcing you to add too much flour as you work it. Dough that’s too cold and hard resists rolling and cracks if you try to force it. Press the dough lightly to check its rolling readiness— your fingertips should leave an imprint but shouldn’t easily sink into the dough.
Roll around the clock
Start with the rolling pin in the center of your dough disk. Roll toward 12 o’clock, easing up on the pressure as you near the edge (this keeps the edge from getting too thin). Pick up the pin and return it to center. Roll toward 6 o’clock, as shown at right. Repeat this motion toward 3 and then 9 o’clock, always easing up the pressure near the edges and then picking up the pin rather than rolling it back to center. Continue to roll around the clock, aiming for different “times” (like 1, 7, 4, 10) on each round.