Friday, March 25, 2016

Best Pastry Mat with Measurements

Last Thanksgiving I FINALLY found the best pastry mat for rolling out my pie dough and it includes measurements right on the surface to keep me on track.

For years now, I've made anywhere from four to six pies for the holidays and that doesn't count anything else I might do for the rest of the year.

I get a kick out of making them...except for when it comes to rolling out the crusts.

Those things fight me every time - they stick to my counter, the dough gets everywhere the longer I fiddle with it, and by the time I go to move them into the pie plate they are falling apart.

I'd tried everything.  I'd used waxed paper on the counter and taped it down.  I'd used parchment paper, saran wrap, double layers of saran wrap - you name it, I'd given it a shot.

There's a video I watch every year on how to handle the crusts and the woman doing the demonstration makes it look so simple.  She just rolls her dough out on the counter, picks it up perfectly and places it so gently into the plate.  Every year I set out with determination to do it just the way she does.  Every year, I spend the night before Thanksgiving screaming at my crusts.

Not this time, though!  After much research I bought a silicone pastry mat - but it wasn't easy to choose.  I really thought I'd just go to Amazon, pick one and be done.  Instead, I puzzled over the huge number of choices and differing review comments for three days before I finally settled and I'm glad I did.

Now, I want to save you the same hassle!

Best Silicone Pastry Rolling Mat with Measurements

Best Silicone Pastry Mat with Measurements
(Click Image for Best Price & Buying Info)

Doesn't look like a pastry mat all rolled up like that, does it?  However, being able to roll it up is one of the features that I love the most.

I read a ton of reviews before choosing and there was stuff happening in those reviews that made me suspicious.  A ton of listings showed that the person had received their product at a discount (or for free) in exchange for them writing something about the product.  I always worry when I see that - how likely is it that someone will not feel some pleasure at getting the discount and end up folding that into their rating?

Then there was this one sitting further down the list of bestsellers but with seemingly more reliable comments.  Because of that AND because I didn't want something that didn't roll up and store easily, I took a chance.

It's been through many pies now and I swear I'll never make another without it.

Once you lay it on the counter, it doesn't slip.  I have Corian and I initially tested it out by just putting it down and trying to push it around but it wouldn't budge.

The only time it began to slip is if I let flour get under the mat.  As long as I wipe the counter down before using the mat, it stays in place each time.

It's also amazingly flexible so once I've rolled out a crust I can pick up the mat, fold it over, and then unroll the pie into the plate.  Perfect!

Here it is rolled out showing the measurements for centimeters, inches, and pie plate dimensions:

Pastry Mat Showing Measurements

The markings range from 0-54 cm on the top edge, from 0-21 inches on the bottom edge, and the center shows circles ranging in diameter from 5-12 inches and from 12.5-30cm so you're covered for either measurement system.  

I had read a review comment that someone said they didn't like this one and that it tore when they went to use it.  I assure you, I threw this thing around, have used it multiple times and washed it in the sink repeatedly and I can't see how it would rip unless you snagged it on something seriously sharp.

Here's the thickness (and you can see how pliable it is - which makes washing it very easy):

silicone pie mat thickness

It's called the Joseph Joseph Roll-up Non-Slip Silicone Pastry Mat.   It comes in Green or Putty (which I have).

The alternatives are mostly flat mats that don't have a closure tab built in so you can roll it up and keep it that way.  Although my kitchen has a good deal of storage, I still don't really have a place I could put a flat mat and I didn't want to have to deal with rubber bands.

This pastry mat has a tab on one end that secures to a little button on the other end so it absolutely stays rolled up when I put it away and it takes less space.

Roll Up Pastry Mat Tab

For me, this is the best investment I've ever made in my pie making equipment.  Though I bought an apple peeler/corer AND a marble rolling pin at the same time it's this pastry mat that removed all the stress from my annual holiday baking.  It passed all my tests for ease of use, non-slip performance, and storage.

You'll have all the measurements you need, you can easily store it away, it can be washed by hand in any size sink, and it has no problem sticking to the counter so you can roll to your heart's content.

Four Holiday Pies

Norpro Silicone Pastry Mat with Measurements

I do have to make mention of the Norpro Silicone pastry mat, though, for two reasons.  It also has measurements - and I can't tell you how handy those are for knowing when you can stop rolling and if your crust is headed into a shape that will fill your pie plate - but it's also about half the price of the one I chose.

norpro silicone pastry mat with measurements
(Click for Price & Buying Info)

It has cute pastry related graphics printed in the blank spaces whereas the Joseph Joseph isn't quite as "pretty" but the Norpro is also slightly smaller and doesn't come with a way to keep it rolled up.  You'd have to come up with your own method.

The printed measurements on the mat are in inches on two sides and for the plate diameters in the center.  The centimeter rulers run along the other two sides.

Both can be washed in the dishwasher, too (although I haven't tried that).  This means choosing between the two comes down to price first (go with Norpro if you want to save $8 or so), then the closure tab because while I think that's very handy it's probably not a must-have, and then look at the slight size difference.  If you know you want to go with something larger to have more work space for rolling, go with the Joseph Joseph mat. 

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