Is a Pastry Board the Same as a Cutting Board?

Despite being used interchangeably, pastry boards aren’t the same as cutting boards.

The former has a smooth and nonstick surface that is designed to ease the work with pastry. The latter tend to be sturdier and are intended to be used for chopping, slicing, and dicing different types of food ingredients.

Pastry boards are awesome surfaces for kneading, rolling out, and mixing dough and pastries. These nonstick surfaces offer great smoothness and enable you to roll even the thinnest of dough sheets.

Although pastry boards are ideal when working with dough, many home cooks and professional chefs use cutting boards, mostly wooden ones, for this.

They’re a suitable surface to work on, but will require extra flour so that the dough doesn’t stick.

Whichever board you end up choosing, each one has its pros and cons. We’ll discuss some of the major ones in this article!

What Is a Pastry Board & Why Do You Need It?

When working with dough, it’s important to do it on the right surface. Doing it on kitchen countertops that aren’t marble, granite or wood can be challenging and time-consuming.

Considering this, home bakers and professionals benefit from adding a pastry board to their kit.  These boards are made from different materials, including wood, plastic, marble, granite, stone, and silicone.

Marble is a popular option for a pastry board because it’s soothing and eases the work with dough. It’s also a cool and sturdy surface that’s recommendable for dough.

Hardwood is another preferred option. It’s attractive and natural and offers optimal smoothness to ease the kneading and rolling out of dough.

Both marble and wooden pastry boards are excellent surfaces to knead and roll out pastry. However, wood is said to be better at “catching” the flour when you’re dusting it onto the surface for optimal coverage.

On the other hand, sprinkling it onto marble tends to create piles of flour that streak the dough. To ensure maximum preparation of the dough, always cool the board in the fridge. You can roll the dough so much better on cooler surfaces!

Which Is the Best Material for Pastry Boards?

Pastry boards can be made of several materials. Here are the most common ones:

  • Plastic

Pastry boards are usually made of BPA-free type of plastic and enriched with a non-stick feature.

This is durable plastic which eases the work with dough. It’s also less expensive than some other options such as wood.

  • Silicone

Pastry boards made of silicone are increasingly popular. Silicone mats are also frequently used.

Whether it’s dough or fondant, silicone boards and mats are great for it. You can find them in different sizes and shapes and they’re affordable.

  • Wood

Wooden pastry boards are one of the preferred options for dough. They can be made of ample, acacia, etc. There are also bamboo options.

You can find them in various sizes, shapes, and colors. Most of them make great serving, cutting, and pastry boards. 

This makes them practical. When caring for wooden and bamboo pastry boards, do it the right way, i.e., wash them in the sink and oil them on a regular basis.

  • Marble

Available in numerous patterns and color variations, marble is a popular pastry board material. The smooth surface may not be the best option for sharp knives, but it’s ideal for working with dough.

The dough won’t stick to it and the board is easy to clean. What’s more, marble tends to be naturally cooler which is ideal to roll, knead, and prepping various types of dough.

What Is a Cutting Board?

Although cutting boards are designed sturdier and to be used for cutting, chopping, and dicing, many of them make great pastry boards too. They can come in handy, especially the wooden and marble ones.

Many would say that you don’t need an actual board for dough since you can do it on the countertop; however, this isn’t always a brilliant idea. Many users, depending on the countertop material and condition, are frustrated when working with dough.

This preparation can leave a sticky mess and make it difficult to scrub away the sticky dough.

If you want to prevent this, a cutting board or a pastry board are the best options. This surface allows you to work on the dough, without worrying about making a bigger mess.

Of course, all the water and flour will still make a glue-like substance that will be harder to clean, but these are smaller working surfaces that are designed with this use in mind. Sprinkle flour on the board and rolling pin in advance and ease the process.

If you use your cutting board for dough, use the smoother side for pastry and keep the other one for chopping, slicing, and dicing.

Pastry vs. Cutting Board for Dough Work

If the surface is suitable, it can be used to work with dough.

The ideal surface is smooth and big enough. Ideally, it’s a pastry board, but other awesome alternatives like cutting boards and countertops make great surfaces too.

The best materials for dough work are marble or a smooth type of wood. However, other options like glass and granite are also acceptable. If you’re not sure if the surface is good enough, always powder it with flour and flour the rolling pin as well.

Pastry boards and cutting boards are easy to use and can be of aid in the process of dough prep. With a floured and proper surface, you can work faster and tidier.

Many pastry boards are designed with side lips that help keep the board in place and prevent flour and dough from escaping and causing a mess. Everything is kept inside the board. Regular cutting boards aren’t usually designed with this feature.

Cleaning both your pastry and cutting board isn’t demanding. It usually depends on the type of material, but nothing beats the sink and a good scrub with soap and warm water.

Final Thoughts

Pastry boards and cutting boards aren’t the same, but they’re often used interchangeably. In fact, many pastry boards are used as cutting boards and vice versa.

However, they do differ in design and purpose. Pastry boards are often made smoother than cutting boards. They also have features like measurement instructions and side lips that you don’t usually encounter with cutting boards.

The most popular materials for pastry boards are definitely wood and marble. If you’re someone who does a lot of pastry and works with dough, having a pastry board will ease this process a lot.

If you work with dough on occasion, a cutting board may be a good replacement that will keep your countertops mess-free.

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