Thursday, December 18, 2008

Silicone Baking Mat


Peggy Ehrhart is the author of Sweet Man Is Gone, a blues mystery featuring a blues-singer sleuth and a dead guitar player. She also bakes a blues-themed pie every month and posts a photo and recipe on her website: www.PeggyEhrhart.com .

It’s called a baking mat and it can be used to line cookie sheets so the cookies don’t stick. But its other use is the one that makes me love it: it’s the perfect surface for rolling out pie dough. Any surface can be used for rolling dough if you have a mat--you don’t need to clear off space on your kitchen counter. And you can sprinkle as much flour as you want without worrying about cleanup.

I had a similar mat, but made of flexible plastic, long ago. I got it at the one and only Tupperware party I ever attended. It served me well for a few decades but finally developed huge cracks and I had to throw it out. Then for years I relied on a pastry cloth, searching for a replacement mat and complaining all the while.

So one day my sweet husband turned up a “KitchenAid Silicone Bakeware Baking Mat” at HomeGoods. It works just as well as my Tupperware mat, maybe even better, because it clings to whatever surface I put it on and doesn’t shift around as I roll out dough. It can be washed in the sink and it’s also dishwasher-safe. Then it rolls up and goes back into its box for storage.

HomeGoods doesn’t have an online store, and stock varies from season to season and location to location--but if you Google “Silicone Baking Mat,” many online sources will come up. Just make sure you choose one that’s at least ten inches in both directions—you’ll need that size to accommodate a pie crust. (The mats are sold in smaller sizes for people who just want them to line cookie sheets.) Mine is 15.5” by 23.5” and it’s perfect.

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