It can be frustrating when your cookie dough is uneven. You can imagine when you have one edge higher than the other, how difficult it’ll be to pipe on a uniform cute design, plus packaging them will be annoying as well.
Without reading up on how to properly roll out cookie dough, it can take a while before you get the hang of it. This article will show you that it is not actually that hard – all you need is a flat surface to form and sandwich your dough and a good rolling pin.
I’m Angie, and I’m a self-taught baker. I’ve been making rolled cookies since god knows when. Every Christmas I’m put on cookie duty, on top of all the cookies I already bake for my clients. I know how tricky it is to roll out cookie dough evenly, and I’m going to teach you some hacks for rolling cookie dough.
Rolling in 3, 2, 1.
- Tip 1 – Find a Flat Surface
- Tip 2 – Form Your Dough
- Tip 3 – Sandwich Your Dough
- Tip 4 – Roll Away
- Tip 5 – Smooth out Unevenness
- Tip 6 – Chill the dough
- Final Thoughts
Tip 1 – Find a Flat Surface
Before you even get into the rolling, you’ve got to find a flat surface. Trust me, this is an obvious but easily overlooked factor. Sure you might be rolling your dough out on a table, but if that table has any cracks or crevices, your dough will go straight into it and end up uneven.
You also want to make sure that there isn’t anything lying on your table. That could be crumbs, a clear folder, or whatever you might have on it that you might not have noticed.
Point is, just make sure you completely clear out the surface you’re working on and make sure it is completely flat before you start rolling your dough.
Tip 2 – Form Your Dough
A bit more preparation work before actually rolling will make the process so much easier. Some recipes will tell you to chill your dough before rolling it out.
This is so that the dough gets firmer and less easy to tear. Once you take it out of the fridge, you might find that your dough is just a little too tough.
Rolling it at this point will not only result in unevenness in your dough but you might also get really sore. It’ll take ages before your dough becomes flat.
What you want to do instead is to take your dough out on the surface, shape it with your hands, flattening it by pressing your rolling pin into it until it flattens out to the shape you’re looking for.
This step does not have to be precise, it is only to make it easier to roll out the dough in your desired shape later on.
If your dough does not require chilling, simply form it into a ball and flatten it to a square or rectangle for easier rolling.
Tip 3 – Sandwich Your Dough
Most recipes will tell you to dust your working surface with flour to prevent your dough from sticking to the surface. Although this does work just fine most of the time, it is not the most ideal method because the longer you roll your dough the more flour has to be used, which can toughen your cookie dough.
The better way to do this is if you sandwich your cookie dough between two sheets of nonstick paper. This could be wax paper, parchment paper, silicone pads, or even plastic wrap though I don’t recommend this as much because plastic wrap can easily wrinkle and create crevices and uneven edges on your dough.
You can dust a little bit of flour on your dough so it’s even less likely to stick. Once your dough is between the two sheets, you can place your rolling pin on top and start rolling away. This way, there’s guaranteed no sticking, and your dough will be less likely to tear and be uneven.
Tip 4 – Roll Away
The actual rolling can make all the difference in determining whether you can get an even dough. We all know that to create an even surface, we must apply even pressure. But even experienced chefs can struggle to apply uniform pressure for an extended amount of time.
That’s where tools come in handy! The following are three that can really help.
Ball bearings on rolling pins allow for free rotation which makes your rolling smoother and takes up less of your strength. Manually applying pressure as we do with rolling pins without ball bearings can lead to unevenness in the dough because it’s hard to control how much pressure we are putting on it.
Adjustable Rolling Pin
Adjustable rolling pins are the best way to ensure your dough is even. They are made specifically for this purpose and are available in many baking supply stores.
Adjustable rolling pins come with four to five removable disks and a measuring guide on the pin itself. The rings are in different sizes, and you can choose a pair according to how thick you want your cookie dough to be.
The Joseph Adjustable Rolling Pin with Removable Rings is one of the most popular ones on the market. I have one and I highly recommend you get one too!
If you already have a rolling pin and don’t feel like investing in a new one, you can invest in some wooden dowels instead. You can choose the thickness of the wooden dowels according to how thick you want your dough to be.
The idea is the same, you are using objects that will elevate your rolling pin to exactly the thickness you’d like to achieve. With wooden dowels, you’ll need to place them on the sides of your dough, parallel to the other and perpendicular to your rolling pin.
Place your rolling pin above your dough and wooden dowels and begin rolling. The dowels will prevent you from applying excessive pressure to your dough.
Tip 5 – Smooth out Unevenness
If you’re still finding some unevenness after rolling out your dough, grab yourself a dough scraper. Holding your dough scraper at a 45-degree angle, smoothen any parts that you’re still not satisfied with.
You can do this on top of the sheet of nonstick paper so that you won’t create an indent on your dough. Use light pressure the same way you would apply and flatten buttercream on a cake.
Tip 6 – Chill the dough
Now it isn’t the chilling of the dough that will help you achieve evenness, but the fact that you must chill your dough after it’s flattened.
Chilling your dough once it’s flattened ensures that your dough is firm enough that it won’t dip or slide when you cut through it. You also won’t have to roll it again as you would if you chilled it in its dough ball shape.
Still got more questions about cookie dough? I’ve answered a few commonly asked ones below.
Cookie dough is sticky, especially when it’s not chilled. If your rolling pin isn’t made with a non-stick material, it’s inevitable that your cookie dough will stick to the rolling pin. Chilling your cookie dough and lightly dusting your rolling pin with flour will help prevent this from happening.
The best surface to roll out cookie dough (and really any dough) is a marble surface. This can be a marble countertop or a marble pastry board. Marble is cool to the touch and very smooth when polished for kitchen use, but it can be pricy. If you’re not ready to invest that much you can always find pastry boards made of other materials too.
Adding a little bit of fat or wet ingredients can help your cookie dough soften. I like to rub my hands with a little bit of butter and keep kneading the dough. You can also do the same with a light egg wash or milk.
As I said, rolling out cookie dough can be a little tricky at first, but with these tips, I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it in no time.
Do you have any special tips and tricks for rolling out cookie dough evenly? If so, please let us know in the comments below!About Angie