In an episode of The French Chef, Julia Child famously called American rolling pins "toys" and tossed one to the back of the set. She proceeded to introduce her audience to real French rolling pins. Favored by pasty chefs for their precise control and ease of applying even pressure, French rolling pins have no handles and are tapered on the ends. The tapered shape allows you to easily pivot the pin to create a nearly perfect round shape.
Available in a variety of hardwoods, French rolling pins are not something you need to hide. Like Julia, you can store these display-worthy pins out in the open (hers were kept in a copper stock pot on top of a counter). Here are a few of our favorites:
Above: Furniture maker Michael Robbins offers a collection of rolling pins that he makes by hand in an old barn in the Hudson Valley. Available in a range of hardwoods including cherry, ash, white oak, black walnut, sycamore, and maple, the Michael Robbins Small Tapered Pin is 18 inches long and 1.25 inches in diameter. The Michael Robbins Large Tapered Pin is 20 inches long and 1.75 inches in diameter; $62 and $72 respectively.
Above: Crafted in their studio in Burlington, Vermont, the Vermont Farm Table French Taper Rolling Pin is 19 inches long and 1.75 inches diameter in the center. Available in maple, cherry (as shown), walnut, and tiger maple, the solid wood pin is dipped in food-grade mineral oil; $30 to $40 depending on wood.
Above: From the Canadian father-daughter woodworking team of Herriott Grace, the hand-turned Oak Fine Rolling Pin has slightly tapered ends and is $80.
Above: Hand crafted of kiln-dried maple wood, grown and milled 10 miles from the Indiana factory where the pins are made, the Whetstone Woodenware French Rolling Pin is a generous 22 inches long and 1.75 inches in diameter; $23.95.
Above: Designed and crafted by Jordon Tomnuk out of his Edmonton, Alberta, shop, the Tomnuk French Rolling Pin is available in FSC-certified walnut or maple, and features a brass tube insert for hanging; CAD$84 at On Our Table (ships to Canada, the US, and international destinations).
Above: Made in Maine of rock maple, the long and slender Williams Sonoma Tapered Rolling Pin measures 20 inches long and 1.25 inches in diameter; $14.95.
For more display-worthy wooden kitchen tools, see Alexa's Favorite Wooden Spoons.