Pastry mats are absolutely necessary if you are tasked with making baked goods that require you to stretch and mold raw dough.
Stretching and molding raw dough requires you to do two things: First, it requires the dough to stay in place as much as possible while you are molding it, and it also requires you to measure the dough as well as other things that you might need to measure.
This is best done with a pastry mat.
As simple as they may be in their purpose, different kinds of pastry mats contain different kinds of features and dimensions that you should be aware of.
Top Picks : 5 Best Pastry Mat
Five Featured Pastry Mats
1. 36’’ by 24’’ non-slip silicone pastry mat by Folksy Super Kitchen
While it is an industry standard that pastry mats contain measurements, most pastry mats only contain one or two different measurements. They’ll usually contain measurements for the dough on the mat but that’s about it. Rolling and molding dough often requires you to take note of other measurements and you do not see this in most pastry mats.
You’ll be able to quickly measure other things with Folksy Super Kitchen’s pastry mat, as it contains gram to cup conversions on the side of it. This is incredibly useful as you usually need certain amounts of flour in order to roll, knead, and mold dough properly. You’ll be able to know exactly how much flour you need using the conversions on Folksy Super Kitchen’s pastry mat and this is incredibly useful.
Another incredibly useful thing about Folksy Super Kitchen’s pastry mat is that it can be used on many different surfaces. It can be used on tables without compromising how the table looks and the silicone surface will allow you to also place it in an oven without any real penalty. This saves a lot more time than you might think.
Folksy Super Kitchen’s pastry mat is extremely thick, and this can be a little problematic. Folding it up after using it can take a lot more work than with most other pastry mats. It can also be a little difficult to view the measurements on the mat where you make the dough.
2. Pastry mat with several measurements by Sili Bake
Common pastry mats do not contain a lot of measurements. They may contain the main measurement for your dough and maybe one or two other measurement conversions on the side but oftentimes, that is all you get. This makes things incredibly difficult for anybody who is new to baking and kneading dough.
Sili Bake’s pastry mat is your answer to these measurement issues. It contains all kinds of measurement conversions that you can take advantage of. It contains weight conversions, oven temperature conversions, and liquid measure conversions. You’ll be able to measure anything that is needed to make dough perfectly with Sili Bake’s pastry mat because of how detailed these conversions are.
You also get directions for making sugar cookies and pie dough right on the mat, which is really useful if you are using Sili Bake’s pastry mat to make pastry based desserts. Sugar cookies and pie dough represent the most common foundations for dessert items so it is very useful that Sili Bake’s pastry mat contains directions for these specific items.
These instructions and measurement conversions crowd Sili Bake’s pastry mat, however. This limits the amount of dough you can roll and knead with it. The diameter of the mat is only 10 inches and this is much smaller than the average pastry mat.
3. Extra thick non-stick fondant mat with dimension marks by Greenrain
Those who use pastry mats are typically faced with two common issues. The first of these is measurements. While nearly all pastry mats contain measurements, these measurements are usually only for the pastry that you are tasked with rolling and nothing else. Another issue is in the bottom of the mat, which can usually slip.
Greenrain’s pastry mat solves both of these issues. The bottom of the mat is highly adhesive and it will stick to any surface. This is very useful if you are using it in a crowded kitchen where a lot of dough and flour is present. Greenrain’s pastry mat also contains some specific measurements that other pastry mats do not have. One of these are dimension marks, which can really help when you are tasked with rolling out multiple pastry products.
Another thing that contributes to Greenrain’s effectiveness in a crowded kitchen is the thickness of the mat. Being twice as thick as the average pastry mat, it will not wrinkle or slide around while using it.
The thickness of Greenrain’s pastry mat can be somewhat problematic. While it does prevent a lot of sticking and sliding around, you’ll probably have a little more trouble than you might want when carrying it around. It seems like it is designed to be used in one area and one area only because of this.
4. Non-stick silicone pastry mat by Limnuo
Very few pastry mats are flexible. It is very difficult to carry the majority of them around and this is especially true if the pastry mat is especially thick. This is extremely problematic if you need to take your pastry mat over to different kitchens, which is more common than you might think.
Something that sets Limnuo’s pastry mat apart from all other pastry mats is that it is much easier to carry around than almost any other pastry mat. You can roll it up very easily and it is flexible enough to where it will be restored no matter what happens to it. Again, this is extremely useful if you need to carry it around a lot.
Most pastry mats claim to be easy to clean, but these claims tend to exaggerate. Most of the time, it is really difficult to clean off the dough and flour off of these mats. Fortunately, Limuno’s pastry mat is made of silicone which makes the surface very easy to clean.
Unfortunately, there is nothing really special about Limuno’s pastry mat as far as measurements are concerned. You get the main measurements for the dough you need to roll as well as measurements on the side for measuring different pieces of fondant or pastries but that is all you get. You’ll need to either have conversions memorized or have a different chart alongside you when using Limnuo’s mat.
5. Silicone pastry mat with multiple measurements by Kitzini
The common pastry mat lacks measurements to the point where you will often need conversions for certain measurements either memorized or at your side. This can crowd counter space that you know that you need when working with dough.
Kitzini’s pastry mat goes above and beyond things when it comes to containing measurements and other guidelines for making any kind of pastry or fondue kind of food item. It contains not only a complete conversion chart on the upper right of the mat, but it also contains baking pan substitutions on the bottom left of the mat.
You also get a temperature chart if you need a pastry mat to make food items that contain caramel or any other kind of fondant that you need to make. This is something that you certainly do not see in any given pastry mat and it is very nice that Kitzini’s pastry mat contains these. Again, they are very useful for creating fondants, which are temperature sensitive.
You’ll probably want a different pastry mat if you need to make very large pastries as the main mat only measures 12 inches in diameter. This is a little less than compared to other pastry mats. The massive amounts of measurements can also make Kitzini’s pastry mat a little overwhelming to use.
Pastry Mats – A Buying Guide
Even though the concept of them seems similar, not all pastry mats are the same.
There are a few things that you should consider before buying one this way you’ll have the right one in your hands when you take on your baking projects.
How familiar are you with measurements?
While a lot of pastry mats contain measurements and conversions, some of them may not contain the measurements and conversions that you might need in your baking projects.
This might not be an issue if you have these measurements and conversions memorized, but it will definitely be an issue if you need certain measurements and conversions for different things.
Do you need to make pastries, fondants, or both?
While pastry mats are obviously designed for making pastries, they are also used for making fondants.
This consideration is related to the previous consideration in that different measurements are needed for pastries and fondants.
The surface of the mat also affects this. Some surfaces are better for pastries and some of them are better for fondants.
How often will you be using your pastry mat?
You’ll need pastry mats with certain surfaces and thickness levels depending on how often you use them.
While nearly all pastry mats are made of silicone which makes them easy to clean, certain ones are easier to clean than others and certain ones stick and slide a lot less than others.
It’s up to you to decide on matching up a pastry mat with how often you will use it.
Will you need to carry your pastry mat around often?
Some pastry mats are extremely thick and can stay on your counter without sliding. While very few things stick to these pastry mats, they are often really difficult to carry around because they are so thick.
Being able to carry around a pastry mat is necessary if you need to use the mat in different places or in different kitchens. This is definitely common if you are using one for an establishment that has different stations in their kitchen.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do you need to flour a silicone pastry mat?
A: Since most silicone pastry mats are designed to where nothing sticks to it, it is still a good idea to place a little bit of flour on your pastry mat to prevent the dough from sticking even more. However, if you put too much flour on your mat, the dough could also slide which is just as problematic as it is if it sticks.
Q: Are silicone baking mats worth it?
A: Silicone baking mats are not only worth it but they are necessary if you make raw dough for baking projects regularly. They prevent dough from sticking, most of the mats do not slide as you roll and form dough on top of them, and they often contain useful measurements that can help you in your projects.
Q: What is the best surface for kneading dough?
A: When you knead dough, the main thing you need to be concerned about is whether the surface can stick. When the surface sticks, you won’t be able to shape the dough as well as you could and this can get very problematic. You also don’t want to knead dough on a surface that slides a lot, either. The perfect surface prevents both as much as possible.
Q: How do you use a pastry mat?
A: Using a pastry mat entails a lot more than just placing dough on it and then working with said dough. There are a few other things that it entails. Don’t forget that pastry mats are designed for preparation, so you should gather other things that you need to prepare your pastry or fondue dish, such as flour and other things.
Q: Can you cut on a silicone pastry mat?
A: Silicone pastry mats are not made of the toughest materials, and although it is safe to cut on a mat, you need to be really careful about doing this. Cut into the dough too deep, and you’ll risk cutting right through the mat. If you absolutely need to cut on a silicone pastry mat, be sure to use a knife that is not terribly sharp. This should not be difficult to do considering that dough is not difficult to cut through.
Q: How do you clean a pastry mat?
A: Cleaning a pastry mat is like cleaning any other given pastry mat, only there is a different thing that you should consider when doing so. Clean them with water and dish detergent like you would with any given mat, then wipe it down with a dry cloth immediately as much as possible. You need to do this because flour and other materials on the mat has a tendency to dry up and soak into the mat after cleaning it. After drying the mat, hang it out to dry somewhere
A pastry mat is a necessity if you are tasked with regular baking projects.
Using a pastry mat will keep the space that you are kneading dough on clean and much more easy to manage than not using a pastry mat.
Don’t forget that not all pastry mats are the same and different ones are designed for different baking situations.
Do all you can to explore everything that pastry mats have to offer and choose one that is best for you based on what baking projects you are faced with.