While perusing Pinterest looking for something easy to sew, I found a tutorial for a pastry cloth. It looked easy to make. But I had no idea what a pastry cloth is used for.
Turns out, a pastry cloth sounds really useful. You lay it on your working surface when working with dough. Since it is cloth, it cuts down on the amount flour you need to use to keep your dough from sticking to the work surface. It also makes clean up a lot easier – you just take the cloth outside and shake it out. Here and here are two sites that talk about the advantages of pastry cloths. In between uses, you store it in the freezer.
There are a few fabrics that you can use to make a pastry cloth, but the most common fabric is an unbleached drill, which is a utility fabric. I used a coupon to buy the drill fabric, which meant that I paid about $6 for 2 yards at JoAnn. Without a coupon, it would be cheaper for me to buy a pastry cloth from an online store – even William’s Sonoma sells a small one for only $10. Although my cloth is about twice as big, so maybe it’s worth $12.
You have to iron the drill approximately 20 times to get it to look nice.
Then, you cut out two rectangles – size is up to you. I chose to cut mine to be 36″ x 24″. Then, I sewed the two pieces of fabric together, leaving a small opening. Then, I cut the corners of the cloth and turned the cloth right-side-out. Then, I finished sewing around the whole cloth.
Since starting the CSA, the amount I bake has gone down because I’m too busy cooking to bake. I finally used it the other day to roll out a puff pastry to use as a crust for a savory tart. And the cloth worked really well – I didn’t have to add much flour and clean up was really easy.