Wondering what advice anyone might have to offer on the best type of rolling pin. I was thinking about getting my mom a marble one for Christmas. Is there a type you like better?
It's really a matter of what each person prefers. The only person who can really tell you if a marble rolling pin is right for your mother is.... your mother.
Me? I prefer the simple French type--that's basically one solid piece of wood--sort of looks like a tapered broomstick handle. They're inexpensive, and work better for me than any other kind. I don't care for the pins where you can hold the handles still while the pin spins--be they wood or marble. Truthfully, if you gave me a marble rolling pin, I'd admire it, and maybe find a place to display it decoratively in the kitchen, but I wouldn't ever use it for rolling dough or pasta.
But, as I said, everyone has their own personal preferences--no right or wrong. Can you ask your mom? or maybe start a general discussion of rolling pins to see if you can get her to commit to something she's always wanted?
Azzalea, it would be interesting to know specifically what you don't like about the spinning pin kind and the marble ones. I have the kind you like, and it's fine, but I haven't made a survey of the various types.
I have 3 or 4 rolling pins. I use each for different reasons for different doughs. Think of the different materials they're made of...
Wood holds the heat transfered from your hands and the friction of the rolling, with some doughs that's not a problem. I have both the broom handle type and the spinning pin type which I use interchangably as fits my mood.
Marble is colder and heavier so it's better for dough with cream cheese or the like. I find with the extra weight, I don't have to roll as often letting me handle the dough less which keeps it from getting tough.
I have one of those plastic tupperware ones that you fill with water and ice to keep the dough cool, too. And that actually works when rolling cookie dough on a hot hot summer day here in Texas!
I think it's all in what you're used to. I like the control you have with the French pins. Also, they're usually longer than the spinning ones so you can roll out larger pieces of dough at one time. There are no moving parts to break, no crevices to worry whether they've gotten adequately cleaned (and with using rolling pins on doughs that may have raw eggs in them, that's a big consideration to me). I'd rather have a lighter pin, and use my own strength for rolling.
Perhaps the foods we use them for makes a difference? I generally use my rolling pin for pasta or bread doughs. Occasionally for cookies. Rarely for pie crust.
But, I will repeat what I said above--it's a personal choice, each has their own favorites. My point was just that the original poster needs to know if a marble pin is something her mother would use, rather than if we would use it.
Ditto what Azzalea said. I've used the French tapered type for the last twenty years and it handles all kinds of jobs just fine. I always had trouble with the spinning ones not being long enough or eventually the spinning gears breaking.
Also, how old is your mother and does she have the physical strength needed for a marble pin?
I've always found that the French style provides much better control than the side-handle rolling type.
Never used a marble one, so have no opinion one way or the other.
Sur La Table has a great french pin.
I always thought that the marble ones were for delicate pastry - fancier than the stuff I make. I think they're too heavy for me.
I grew up using a regular spinning wooden rolling pin, but now I prefer to use my grandma's old one - it's a french pin. I just feel like I have more control with it and don't see any benefit to a spinning one.
If you don't have a great deal of space on your counter, french pins can be a pain. I use a regular old ball bearing pin that I like a lot. I have a marble pin that I don't use. A friend gave it to me--she said she didn't use it. For me it's too heavy and putting it in the freezer doesn't make the dough stick any less.
Only use the French style one. Never went back to the larger style after trying this one.