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The light, crispness of short crust pastry depends very largely on how it is made and baked. Coolness of ingredients and very light handling with the fingertips are necessary for good results. The fat must be rubbed in until no lumps remain and the flour looks like fine breadcrumbs. The hands should lift the flour up well above the mixing bowl so that air is incorporated into the mixture. The addition of the liquid is very important. It should be added all at once and mixed in very quickly with a table knife or palette knife. The gradual addition of water will give an uneven textured pastry. In rich short crust pastry or biscuit pastry where egg yolk is added, the egg yolk should be mixed with water before adding to the flour, otherwise it will not mix evenly and this will result in hard streaks in the pastry. Pastry dough should hold together loosely and leave the bowl clean. It should be turned out and very lightly kneaded. This is done by folding the edges into the center very lightly, using only the fingertips, to get a smooth, even dough. The dough should then be rolled with short, light strokes. Poor rolling will give hard pastry. Very little flour is needed for dredging the pastry board and rolling pin to prevent sticking. If too much flour is used for dredging, the proportion of fat to flour will be altered and this will cause the pastry to be dry and hard. Always roll with straight forward strokes, rolling straight away from you and straight towards you. To keep the pastry a good shape and also to prevent sticking, lift the pastry on the rolling pin and turn it a quarter ways round, i.e. turn the pastry so that the sides become the top and bottom. Never turn pastry upside down to roll it on both sides. This will make the pastry tough. Pastry can be cut with a sharp, floured knife, cutting with clean strokes without dragging the pastry, or with floured cutters. Use plain cutters for savories and fluted cutters for sweet dishes. After cutting and shaping, let the pastry relax for at least 10 minutes in a cool place before cooking it. This allows the gluten which has been stretched in the making and rolling of the pastry to relax. If this is not done, the stretched pastry will shrink badly during cooking. Bake pastry in ungreased trays. Greasing is unnecessary as pastry is firm dough containing a fair amount of fat which will prevent sticking. Pastry to be baked should be glazed with beaten egg or beaten egg mixed with water or milk. Glaze only the top part of pastry, never the cut edges. Bake in the top part of a hot oven (425ºF for 15 minutes) to allow the pastry to set. The temperature is then reduced to 375ºF so that the pastry will cook thoroughly without over browning. Pastry to be fried should be rolled thinner than pastry to be used for baking. The frying must be done slowly in lightly smoking oil so that the pastry will cook thoroughly. Quick cooking of pastry will cause the pastry to brown too quickly before the pastry is cooked thoroughly.

Reason for Unsuccessful Pastry: 1.Tough and hard pastry (a)The fat was melted while rubbing in. (b)The pastry had too much water added to it with the result that more flour had to be added, so the proportion of fat to flour was upset. (c)The pastry was kneaded and handled too much. (d)The rolling was too heavily done. (e)The pastry was rolled on both sides. (f)The pastry was cooked for too long in an oven that was not hot enough. 2.Crumbly pastry (a)The pastry was made with the wrong proportion of fat to flour. Too much fat was used, resulting in a pastry that is too rich. (b)The pastry was mixed with insufficient water to bind it well. (c)The pastry was over handled and had oiled. (d)The pastry was rolled out with too much flour used for dredging. 3.Blistered pastry (a)The fat was not well rubbed in. (b)The water was added too gradually. (c)The pastry was not kneaded sufficiently to blend the ingredients sufficiently and to distribute the air evenly. (d)The pastry was cooked too near the top of the oven which was too hot. (e)The pastry was fried in oil which was too hot. 4.Shrunken and badly shaped pastry (a)The pastry dough was too soft. (b)The pastry was stretched during rolling. (c)The pastry was stretched during shaping or lining. (d)The pastry was badly handled and poorly shaped. (e)The pastry was not left to relax before cooking.

Daphnie is a food lover who has been involved in food industry for 10 years. She learned the easy and simple way cooking style from her mother and grandmother. She prefer to have the home make cooking style instead of outside food. She knew how much housewives will appreciate the recipes. Special thought has been given to the speed and ease of preparation to streamline cooking chores whenever possible to the minimum. Not only are these dishes attractive, they really are simple and speedy to make. Test and try out any of these dishes and you will agree that as well as being entirely successful, they all live up to our claim that they are not only delicious but quick and easy to prepare. You can visit my website at

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Short Crust Pastry and Biscuits  

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