For most cooks, there’s no need to have a true rolling pin. There are plenty of substitutes that you can use that you probably already have.
Most of us simply don’t use a rolling pin often enough to justify the space and weight that one takes up. I usually make drop biscuits and cookies, so don’t need one for those. Once or twice a year, I’ll make a pie and need to roll out the crust. And another time or two I’ll want to crush something. I’ve discovered there are plenty of “rolling pins” around — whether at home, on the boat or out camping!
For rolling dough:
- Wine bottle
- Drinking glass as Kelley on Sailing Chance did in the photo at top (read her blog here)
- Piece of PVC
- Thermos if it has smooth sides (my 34-ounce Thermos Nissan does pretty well)
- Soft drink can — it’s easier if it’s full; empty ones can collapse
- Water bottle (most have grooves in the sides, which will leave ridges that you can flatten with your fingers)
- Piece of dowel (1″ diameter or larger)
- Anything else that’s cylindrical with smooth sides!
Just be sure to wash the “rolling pin” off before using it. Despite the photo here, I usually put the food to be rolled between two sheets of waxed paper, with a little flour between the dough and the waxed paper. That way, I know the food is staying clean!
To crush things (such as making cracker crumbs):
- Put the food in a sealed, heavy-duty plastic bag and gently tap it with a hammer. Every boat has a hammer on board, doesn’t it?
- If you can’t find the hammer, or the “person in charge of authorizing hammer use” objects, you can use any of the above or any canned food.
Any other ideas? Please add them in the comments below.