Pastry forms the basis of many kinds of dishes, the same rules will apply. Always keep your savory or tools, work surface, and hands cool, whether your food is hot or cold.
Whatever the type of pastry you are making, handle the pastry lightly and as little as possible.
• Cooling hands: If your hands are warm, hold your wrists under cold water for a few minutes before handling pastry.
• Enriching pastry: To make a rich, light-textured pastry, add an egg yolk with the water.
• Letting pastry rest: Cover shortcrust pastry with plastic wrap, and place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before rolling out to prevent it from shrinking when baked.
• Making quick pastry: To mix a quick dough, sift 1 cup (100 g) flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl. Stir in 2M tbsp (40 ml) oil, 1 tbsp (15 ml) iced water, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Mix to a dough with a fork.
Making a pastry topping: Coarsely grate frozen pastry over fruits as a topping, then bake until golden. Wrap leftover pastry trimmings in a freezer bag, and freeze so that they can be used in the future for this purpose.
A Good Tip
Adding fiber: Instead of using all-purpose flour to roll out pastry dough, sprinkle the countertop with rolled oats, wheat germ, or bran. Roll out as usual for a finished pastry that lias added texture and contains beneficial dietary fiber.
Helping Pastry Rise
Using water: Before using a cookie sheet for baking choux, flaky, or puff pastry dough, sprinkle it lightly with water instead of greasing it. The water will evaporate in the heat of the oven, and the steam will help the pastry rise.
Using Frozen Pastry
• Preparing: Make and shape puff pastry ready for use. Freeze it until needed, then thaw before baking.
• Thawing: Thaw frozen pastry by placing it in a microwave on Defrost; 7 oz (200 g) of pastry will need 2)4-3 minutes.
Making Sweet Pastry
• Adding sugar and egg: Mix a sweet shortcrust pastry for fruit pies by adding cup (50 g) of sugar and one egg yolk to every 1 cup (100 g) of flour. Bake at a lower temperature (about 375°F/190°C) than ordinary shortcrust pastry.
Avoiding Soggy Pastry
• Using a cookie sheet: Bake a pie on a cookie sheet, the heal of which will help cook the pastry base. Preheat the cookie sheet in the oven while the oven heats up.
• Using metal tins: Use a metal pie tin for baking a pie or tart. Metal will conduct heat to the pastry quickly.
• Sealing with egg white: Brush the base of a pie shell with egg white to seal it and prevent leakage before adding a liquid filling.
• Ensuring an even rise: Brush only the top surface of puff or flaky pastry when glazing with beaten egg or milk, avoiding any cut or fluted edges. The pastry will then rise evenly.
• Avoiding leakage: When adding a filling with beaten eggs to a ready-made pie shell, heat the case in the oven first, so that the filling starts to set as soon as it touches the pastry.
• Preventing overbrowning: When baking a fruit pie, allow the pastry to brown and rise first, then reduce the oven temperature to finish cooking.
Making Sweet Pastry
Adding sugar and egg: Mix a sweet shortcrust pastry for fruit pies by adding cup (50 g) of sugar and one egg yolk to every 1 cup (100 g) of flour. Bake at a lower temperature (about 375°F/190°C) than ordinary shortcrust pastry.
To add flavor and texture to shortcrust or puff pastry, stir finely chopped nuts such as walnuts or ground almonds into the flour. Alternatively, add spices or finely chopped’herbs.