Baking Pastry

Popular Pastry Recipes


Nothing beats homemade pastry. It’s time to master this skill and use it in your home-baking. Whether you want to make a savory quiche or sweet and sugary tarts, you can adapt these recipes to suit you.

Puff Pastry

The trickiest of all pastries to master, puff pastry consists of very thin layers of buttery pastry that separate and puff up when steamed. You can always get ready-made puff pastry from the shops but shop-bought pastry is usually made using margarine rather than butter, and nothing beats buttery pastry.

Ingredients Equipment from
225g Plain Flour, Plus Extra for Rolling Out Measuring Jug
1/4 Teaspoon Fine Salt Rolling Pin
175g Unsalted Butter Baking Paper
150ml Cold Water Small Palette Knife
Clingfilm

TIP: Before you get started, make sure you're working in a cool environment to stop the butter melting and merging with the pastry

Method

1. Blend the flour and salt in a food processor and slowly add the cold water until the mixture combines into a crumbly dough. Be careful not to overwork it, you only want to combine the ingredients into a knead-able mixture.

2.Use your hands to work the pastry into a ball, cover with clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

3. Cut two sheets of baking paper into large squares and place the butter between them. Soften the butter by pressing down with your rolling pin until it’s flat.

4. Cut the butter in half, place one half on top of the other and repeat the process until it becomes a pliable rectangle.

5. Place the pastry onto a lightly floured surface and roll it into a flat circle large enough to put the rectangle of butter in the centre.

6. Fold the sides of the pastry over the butter, leaving the top and bottom open, and gently roll out a little.

7. Use a small palette knife to mark the dough into thirds from top to bottom and fold the bottom and top thirds into the middle. This will fully enclose the butter in the pastry and leave you with layers of pastry ready to roll again.

8. Turn the dough 90° and seal the edges by pressing down very gently with your rolling pin, then roll out the pastry until you get a long rectangle.

9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 twice more.

10. Cover with clingfilm and chill for 20 minutes until the dough is firm and cold.

11. Roll and fold twice more and chill again for 1 hour before using.

TIP: Puff pastry freezes very well. Save yourself the laborious task of making it from scratch each time by making more than you need and storing it in the freezer for up to a month.

Shortcrust Pastry

Shortcrust Pastry is incredibly versatile as it can be used for both sweet and savoury dishes but it’s most commonly used for the base of quiches and tarts. It’s quicker to make shortcrust pastry with a food processor, but if you don’t have a food processor or just want to get stuck in with your hands then run them under cold water before and dry them thoroughly to stop the butter from melting.

TIP: Shortcrust pastry is usually blind baked to stop any liquid filling from seeping out of the bottom. To blind bake a pastry case you need to score the base, layer it with a sheet of baking parchment then fill it with baking beans to prevent the pastry from rising.

Ingredients Equipment from
400g Plain Flour, Plus Extra for Rolling Out Measuring Jug
1/4 Teaspoon Fine Salt Sieve
200g Unsalted Butter Baking Paper
95ml Cold Water Clingfilm

Method

1. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the salt.

2. Using cold hands, tear the butter into the mixing bowl and use your thumb and forefingers to rub the butter into the flour for a few minutes.

TIP: You can always use a food processor to save time, just pulse the flour and butter together until the flour changes colour.

3. The flour will change from a chalky-white to a golden colour and will look like breadcrumbs.

4. Make a well in the middle of the mixture and add 2/3 of the cold water. Use your hand to twist the mixture as if you’re mopping up the butter and flour together.

5. Add the final part of your water and continue twisting until the mixture sticks together.

6. Lightly flour a surface and use your hands to push and pack the dough together until it becomes a ball. Gently knead the dough until the pastry is soft in texture with streaks of butter throughout.

7. Cover with clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes before using.


TIP: Why not add cheese? Stick to the rule of half fat and half flour - halve the amount of butter and add Cheddar cheese to make up the ratio.

TIP: Make sure it’s the correct amount of water – too much and the pastry will be tough and chewy, too little and the pastry will be difficult to roll.

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