Wine Bottles Are Your Best Bet For Rolling Out Pastry Without A Pin

It happens to the best of us — a craving hits, accompanied by a wave of culinary ambition, and you start a cooking project only to discover you do not have all of the necessary ingredients or tools in your kitchen. In most cases, however, there is a workaround, and when it comes to rolling out dough without a rolling pin, there's a simple solution: Use a wine bottle.

If you are not in the habit of baking often or if you have limited storage space, it is understandable that you might not have a rolling pin on hand. Chances are, however, that you have some kind of bottle — whether it's wine, tequila, or sparkling apple cider — that is more or less the same size and shape. Ideally, the bottle should be made of glass, which has a heavy weight and smooth surface, so your dough rolls out in a thin, even layer.

Elevating your wine bottle pastries

Using a wine bottle to roll out pastry dough might require a little more finesse than using a rolling pin since it is asymmetrical and does not have handles, but it's fairly easy. First, get your pastry dough ready — whether that means picking it up pre-made at a local grocery store or bakery, or making it from scratch. Sprinkle a generous amount of flour on top to keep the wine bottle from sticking to it. 

Then, rather than gripping either side of the pin, place your hands on top of the bottle and carefully roll it over the dough like you would with a French rolling pin. Just as you would freeze your rolling pin for superior pastry dough, you can pop your bottle in the freezer before using it, which helps keep the butter in the dough cold, resulting in a super flaky pastry.

If you want to level up the style of your dough with cut-outs or polka-dot decorations, you can also use the top of the bottle or (in the case of a screw-on cap) its lid to stamp out circles in the dough.

Using the wine bottle (inside and out) for better desserts

You can use the wine bottle technique to roll out just about any kind of pastry dough, savory or sweet, from a classic buttery flaky all-purpose pie crust to laminated doughs for croissants or biscuits. In any event, you probably want to grab a bottle that has been emptied and washed for this method, especially if you plan to chill the bottle before use since the temperature change and movement may alter the contents of the bottle. (This is particularly important for carbonated liquids, like sparkling wine, which could explode if shaken up too much).

If you don't have any empty bottles on hand, consider baking your wine straight into the dessert itself. One delicious option is to poach pears in wine to serve as a filling for an impressive pie or tart. Alternatively, you can decant the wine into another container and set it aside to enjoy along with your sweet treat for a special occasion.