Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Rolling Out Your Dough

So you finished that hour mark (or overnight time period) for chilling your dough?
Great! Now it's time to roll it out!

Before you pull your dough out of the fridge, you need to decide how you want to proceed. There are many methods for rolling out dough.

1-Floured surface: This is my personal favorite method because I feel like I can see what is going on with my dough. However, if it's not floured enough, the dough is likely to stick to the counter or to your rolling pin and it can be messy (I'll give a tutorial below).

2-Plastic wrap: you can see what's going on, it's "easier" to put the dough into the pie pan, which is always hard, but Plastic wrap is a little sticky and it folds and creases and that bugs me too much to put up with it. But basically, you stick some plastic wrap to your counter and place a sheet over your dough as well and start rolling out. No flour needed.

3-Waxed paper is probably the best of both worlds. It doesn't move around as much (especially if you put a little water on the counter before you put down  your waxed paper) and it doesn't fold AS MUCH, but you can't really see what you're doing, which bothers me. Again, the basic method includes a sheet of waxed paper on the counter as well as another one over the dough.

For both waxed paper and plastic wrap methods, make sure that you have a large enough sheet on the bottom and top to cover the whole surface of the dough when it's rolled out.

Like I said before, I prefer the floured surface method. I really haven't had many problems with it but it can be a bit tricky, so here's a basic tutorial for rolling it out.

Rolling Out the Dough:
1-Flour your dry, clean, counter with about 1/4 cup flour. Spread it around with your hands.

2-Flour both sides of your dough disc by unwrapping your dough and placing it in the middle of the flour. Flip the disc over and before setting it back on the flour, use the existing flour to cover the place where the dough just sat.

3-Lightly dust your rolling pin in flour.

4-Press down on your dough with the rolling pin and roll it back and forth a few times (only about three or four passes with the rolling pin). If the dough starts to crack when you push down in on it, let it soften for a minute or use your hands to slightly warm the edges. Whatever you do, be gentle and try not to let it crack.

5-When the dough is longer than it is wider (not by much since you are trying to keep it in a circle), pick up the dough and flip it over and also rotate it 90 degrees, so that the dough is now wider instead of taller. This will make it so you can continue to use your rolling pin to move away from you and towards you.

Again, before putting the dough down you want to swipe your hand across the counter to reapply flour to the counter where the dough was just sitting.

6-You should continue this motion (rolling a few times, picking up, turning over, rotating 90 degrees, and re-flouring the counter) until the dough feels too thin to pick up. This may happen after only three or four of these intervals.

7-At this point, the dough should be several inches across and should resemble a circle. Also, you may have some problems areas (i.e. not big enough for pie pan, cracks, thick/thin areas, lopsided), here are some ideas:
  1. Not Wide Enough: Roll dough from the center out circling the dough to continue to enlarge it. 
  2. Cracks: Lightly moisten the edge of the crack with water. Roll dough towards crack on both sides of the crack to build up dough in the crack area. Once the dough has come together, gently roll over the crack. This is really only a temporary solution and the dough should be handled delicately through the rest of this process.
  3. Thick/Thin Areas: You can move dough around with your rolling pin by pressing down extra hard on the thick areas and rolling it towards the thin areas.
  4. Lopsided: Sometimes you can't do much for a lopsided circle. This is something you need to be careful of in the beginning stages of rolling out the dough, however, if it is lopsided, but still large enough to fit in your pie pan with about a one-inch hangover all around, don't worry about it. If it won't you should gather your dough back into a ball, place it back in the refrigerator for 30 minutes and attempt to roll it out again later.
8-Once it is wide enough (you can gauge this by holding your pan over the rolled out dough and looking to see how many inches are visible around the edges) , get ready to transfer the dough.
Transferring the Dough:
Again, there are many ways to do this: Rolling the dough over the rolling pin, picking it up and flipping it over (especially in the case of using wax paper or some other covering for rolling out the dough.

The method that has worked the best for me is to fold the dough into fourths and the put the tip of the fourth in the middle of your pie pan and unfold.
Follow this same process for the bottom crust and the top crust.

Come back tomorrow for more about crusts and a little lattice tutorial.

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