Pastry

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Pastry is ‘temperamental’…but not hard…

if you know a few secrets

if you’re not willing to take on the challenge of the MOST FLAKIEST PASTRY EVER!! then please don’t waste my time by reading further.

just sayin…

All ingredients MUST be cold…

Chill your shortening, bowl, utensils and have a spot ready in the fridge to put your pastry..

Here’s the ingredient list:

  • 6 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 lb lard (or veg shortening)
  • 1 cup very cold water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar

Whisk together the egg, water and vinegar. chill.

Wisk up the flour and salt to distribute evenly.

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Add the block of shortening…I use a potato masher to break it up..

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Then I switch to the pastry blender for a few minutes….or less…

about the consistency of small peas…DSCF5285

If necessary, put back into the fridge to chill again (can’t emphasise the importance of COLD while making pastry.., just 1 of the many ‘tricks’,…that all add up in the end…)

Add the egg/water mixture, trying to distribute evenly….use just 1/2 the liquid, then toss lightly to mix into the dry mixture,,,slowly sprinkle the remainder of the liquid onto the dry mixture and toss/mix with a fork until evenly distributed. Do not over mix!..in fact: undermix…

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  • Scoop up the dough and form it into a loose ball.
  • Tightly wrap the dough and put in the fridge for 30 minutes- 24 hours.

If you’re lucky enough to own a marble pastry board and pin…chill them well..

Cut the dough in 4ths and form a ball with 1 section of the dough.  Return the remaining dough to the fridge.

You’re gonna say to me…” this dough is so loose and dry it’s impossible to form a ball with this!!

sprinkle a thin layer of flour over the board..lay the ball of dough on it and knead gently 6 or 8 times.

At this point you will ‘feel’ the dough tighten up a bit.

  • Be very gentle with it at first
  • Don’t over-play with your dough
  • The dough will continue to bind a bit on it’s own while it ‘rests’ in the fridge…

Allow your dough to rest in the fridge for about 20 minutes

……..or more, depending on your schedule!

…..(this is the point where I choose whether to use the pastry or freeze it for later…it keeps well in the fridge for 3 days or frozen for 3 months

Flour your board

(unlike other types of dough, you don’t need to worry about ‘over-flouring’ the board)

Place 1/4 of the dough onto the board. (yes, it will be loose and crumbly still…but amazing how much it bound together on it’s own..)

Form the dough into a ball and press down.

..and please stop whining about how this stupid dough is just …un-workable!….

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Flour the top and the chilled rolling pin and gently press the pin into the ball, then cross the pin and press.

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Even by this point you will feel the dough start to bind (..gluten formation…)

And as much as you cursed me earlier for being a total Failure-of -a-crust…this is what you want…suddenly it holds together!…if not, knead it 1 more time.

(sometimes kneading just means forming it into a ball, then pushing gently, and again..)

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Gently roll out the dough, if it sticks AT ALL stop and lift the dough and flour it underneath.  Make sure the rolling pin is floured well. Don’t EVER stretch the dough.

…(sometimes fat will stick to your roller, just scrape it off and continue)

Wheat dough will never forgive you for stretching it…

You’re fighting a lost cause..

You’re developing Gluten which makes your dough tough,…we want to avoid this…

REST is very important to wheat flour, don’t rush the process…

Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick.

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