When you need to roll out a pie crust – or any type of dough – the single most important thing to have is a flat surface. A marble slab is often the first choice of serious pie bakers because the stone does not retain heat and the dough you are working will remain cool, with its butter unmelted, as you work. I use a large wooden cutting board, but anything large enough – including most kitchen counters – will work well. To keep your dough from sticking while you work, generously flour the board or line yours with parchment paper. Make sure to flour your rolling pin, too.
The process is much easier than it sounds, although things can get a little floury in the kitchen if you’re not careful. There are a couple of pieces of kitchen equipment designed to make the crust-rolling process easier. A Pie Crust Bag could be just the ticket to streamline the process if you’re uncomfortable with getting your hands (or kitchen) dirty. The bag is built for rolling dough out into circles of up to 14-inches. It zips shut and floured dough can be rolled into a neat crust with little-to-no actual handling.
After this point, the most difficult thing is making sure that your pie crust will fit the pie plate without any gaps from which filling can escape. I tend to eyeball the crust, holding the pie plate upside down over the flattened dough to see if I have left enough of a border to cover the sides of the pie. This can be tricky to do if you haven’t made many pies, which is why rolling mats exist. These mats are nonstick and have circles of different diameters marked right on them – 4 to 14-inches – so you don’t have to “eyeball” your dough and guess whether it will fit in your pan.