So finally, rolling out pastry dough. I am rolling out the pie dough that I made, but this same process would work for other doughs like sugar cookies, etc.
Start with your dough, which I made here, flour, rolling pin, and a smooth surface. I am using a pastry cloth to roll my dough out on. I also like using non-stick baking Silpats. They work amazingly for rolling out dough. You could use any flat, clean surface though.
Start by flouring your surface....
....and your rolling pin. You will need a good amount of flour so that your dough doesn't stick.
Just a bit more flour on the top of your dough for good measure.
Time to start rolling.
You will want to apply even pressure to the dough starting from the middle and rolling outwards. As my grandmother said, "Don't be a steamroller." You want to use slightly firm pressure, but not too much or you will end up with uneven, tough dough.
Turn the pin different directions as you roll.
To ensure you roll each area evenly and to help keep the dough from sticking, you can rotate the dough. I usually do this once or twice throughout the process. If you are having a problem with sticking, add a bit more flour.
Keep on rollin'
If your dough separates, use a bit of water and to piece it back together with your fingers.
Here is the almost finished product. I needed squares of dough, so I went for more of a rectangular shape. If you are going to use the dough for a pie, you will want to roll into a circular shape that is a few inches wider than your pie dish.
The dough should be about 1/4 of an inch thick depending on the use.
If you need help rolling your dough evenly, there are rubber bands available that you can put on each end of your rolling pin to act as a spacers. Clever! You could also rig something up with chopsticks or any other thin item by laying them on either side of the dough and rolling over them.
From this point I cut my dough into a square and then four smaller squares.
Time to troubleshoot. As you can see I have a decent size corner missing from one of the pieces.
Use a bit of water...
...and some spare pieces from your trimmings to mend any holes.
That's just about all there is too it. Brush off any excess flour before using.
I guess the only thing I missed is actually prepping a pie shell. A few tips....
To help you move your dough, start from one end and roll the pastry onto the rolling pin, then unroll over your pie plate.
If you are looking for a decorative edge for a pie, this site has lots of helpful pictures and steps.
If you are going to blind bake your crust (bake without anything in the shell) remember to poke lots of holes in the shell with a fork or weigh it down with dry beans on wax paper.