I’m a novice baker, but still enjoy making some English muffins now and then. I’m currently renting and the only bench space I have to work on is a really awful grout tiled counter and my wooden chopping board. I’m finding my chopping board just too small to really be able to knead dough (plus I seem to need a lot of extra flour) so I’m thinking about purchasing some sort of baking mat to place on the bench.
I’d like to use it to knead and roll out dough, pastry, tortillas, make spring rolls with rice paper, and of course make my dad’s dumplings. I’d like to be able to cut out shapes with a cookie cutter without damaging the mat for scones and English muffins. Are those circles that show how big a pie dish your dough will cover really necessary? Or is that something you just learn the feel of in time? I’ve also read a couple of reviews about some silicone pastry mats not laying flat and always having a permanent crease from being folded.
Finally even if I end up will a Silpat or something similar I’m not interested in using them in the oven instead of parchment paper.
Any thoughts on the baking’s mats below?
Silpat 18X26 (some reviews say the size is actually 16X24 though)
Mario Batali 16X24
Is this something where basic is best or is a more solid construction going to be easier to use?