Working with dough can be messy. But a pastry cloth can make the process cleaner and easier.
What is a pastry cloth? Basically it’s a specially treated cloth that doesn’t absorb grease or moisture and is stiff enough to allow you to easily roll out pastry, bread and cookie dough. The benefit to using a pastry cloth is that it keeps the counter cleaner and allows you to use less flour to roll out your dough. It also minimizes the chance of your dough sticking.
A pastry cloth can be used when rolling out bread dough (like the crescent roll recipe from a couple of weeks ago), cookie dough and pie dough. You simply lay out the cloth, sprinkle it with flour, and roll out your dough. When you’re finished, shake the cloth over the sink or trash can to remove excess flour and then fold it up and put it back in your baking drawer. The next time you use it, pull it out and repeat the process.
There’s no hard and fast rule about how often to wash the cloth. If I make something that has cinnamon and/or sugar, I usually wash it afterwards. I don’t want any cinnamon/sugar mixture getting on my French bread! Otherwise, I just wash the cloth when I think it needs it. And washing is simple – just throw it in the laundry with your other washables. When it’s gone through the washer and dryer, fold it up and put it back in the drawer for the next time you need it.
Using a pastry cloth makes working with dough much, much easier. You can order one from Amazon or just pick one up at Target, Walmart or your favorite grocery store. They are usually with the kitchen utensils. The clothes are under $10 and worth every penny.
By the way, most pastry cloths come with a rolling pin cover, too. I don’t use the rolling pin cover but it can be helpful.
So pick up a pastry cloth and try out a great pastry recipe. I promise you’ll wonder how you lived without it.