General how to's & recipes, Patisserie / Pastry

Perfect Pastry – Cold Hands Are Cool & Other Hot Tips

It turns out that cold hands have an upside… they’re perfect for pastry!

Pastry dough prefers all things chilled, from working surfaces to air temperature to the butter that goes into the making of it.  It thrives if you rest it in the fridge for 15 minutes before you use it.

Some tips on pastry making:

Approach:  Keep it cool – remember to chill pastry dough before you roll it.  Relaxing the pastry this way prevents it from shrinking

Feel: Keep it light – don’t overwork it as this toughens the dough

Rolling: Short pastry must be thin – roll it out so until it is almost transparent.  Sweet pastry can be rolled thicker & shouldn’t be transparant

Timing & temperature: don’t over cook it or over heat it as this will result in a bitter tasting pastry

Tools:  The basic requirements are a palette knife, pastry brush, scraper, rolling pin, measuring scales & metal tins (tin is best for heat transference – glass & ceramic tart dishes don’t quite hit the hot spot).  Use tins with removable bases

To bake blind or not to bake blind? Blind baking means baking the pastry seperately before filling it.  You can skip this step, depending on the dish – but make sure the temperature and your rolling technique is (C!)orrect

The problem with making Pefect Pastry is that it takes practice, even if you’re blessed with the coldest of hands.

The reward at the end of the day – you’re going to warm some hearts.