5 Tips for Perfect Pastry

5 Tips for Perfect Pastry

There are plenty of dos and don'ts where pastry is concerned, and adhering to these can mean the difference between a soggy bottom and a golden masterpiece. To help you perfect your pastry, here are five tips to keep in mind when baking with shortcrust pastry.

Be Mindful of Flour:
Avoid adding excessive flour to the work surface. While it may seem tempting to generously dust flour, doing so can dry out the pastry. Brush off any excess flour before baking the pastry, or consider rolling it out between two layers of cling film to eliminate the need for flour.

Keep Everything Cool:
Make sure your butter is really cold and chopped up into small pieces before you add it to your flour. Using cutlery knives to start breaking down the butter before you get your hands in the bowl will help control the temperature and keep your ingredients cool.

Allow for Chilling:
Always rest the pastry in the refrigerator after handling to allow the fat to firm up again and the gluten to relax.

Bring to Room Temperature:
If your pastry has been refrigerated, take it out 30–40 minutes before using to allow it to come to room temperature. This will make it easier to work with.

Opt for the Middle Shelf:
Place your tart tin, pie dish, or baking tray on the middle shelf of the oven. This allows the heat to circulate evenly, ensuring thorough cooking of the pastry from both the bottom and the top.

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