Saturday, May 06, 2006

Basics: Shortcrust Pastry

Shortcrust Pastry is a vital ingredient when making savoury pies. This recipe produces a wonderful melt in your mouth crust - and it's quite resilient, it will handle the heaviest meat pie filling yet be perfect for a delicate quiche.

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Shortcrust Pastry

250g flour
150g butter, cut into small cubes
2 (or more) tablespoons iced water

The technique is the same as for Sweet Shortcrust Pastry.

I make this in a food processor - there's no difference that I can see from the one made in the processor to the one made by hand. Time is a valuable commodity so when you can save some, take it.

What's more important is what you do after you make the pastry - you must let it rest to allow the gluten to relax - leaving it overnight would be best. When you've rolled it and moulded it around you tin - you must let it rest again, to stop shrinkage.

The iced water is very important as this keeps the mixture cold and helps retard gluten development. I place water in a metal bowl and fill it with ice cubes - this ensures the coldest water possible.

To make the pastry add the flour and butter into the processor bowl. Using pulse, process until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Taking 1 tablespoon of iced water at a time add it to the mixture, process briefly after each. This batch needed 4 tablespoons of water before it started to form a ball. Each batch will be different.

Once it forms a ball, take it out and place on a very lightly floured board. Knead briefly and pat into shape - this has been formed into a rectangle as it's the shape of the tin I'll be using.

Wrap in baking paper and store in the fridge.

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5 comments:

  1. i think this website is fantastic. it has really shown me how to do my pastries with a little more success. THANK YOU. to who ever this website is from.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Anon - happy to know that my site has helped you.

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  3. You could make the water colder by adding salt to the ice.

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  4. Hi Anon - that is the trick to cool a bottle of wine quicker but it's not necessary in this case and I don't really want to add salty water to the dough.

    ReplyDelete

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