Thursday, November 11, 2010

The best basic pastry shell dough

It’s just the best tasting, best in flavor and the easiest to work with dough I have ever made. The recipe is not mine. I’ve found it accidentally on  . It works and it’s flavourful without adding any artificial shortenings, no eggs and a little work involved.

Then best about pastry dough that You can double the amount, and keep the rest into freezer up to several months, and up to a week in a fridge.

The main rules while making pastry dough are:
1) All the ingredients should be cold before mixing. You can even place  in a fridge your bowls and pastry blender that You are going use.
2) Mix all the dry ingredients first, stir well then add diced butter.
Pre-cut butter into cubes! Do not through the whole lump in. It’s better to refrigerate butter cubes for a while after dicing (15 min should be enough).

3) Work fast not to let Your ingredients to warm up. If You work with hands, you can cool Your hands under cold running water just before You start.
4) Do not overwork the dough. Tiny visible pieces of butter in the dough is ok. They make the crust tender and the dough flaky.
5) If You make the dough in food processor, use impulse function. Flick by flick, and watch the consistency. Do not forget about tiny butter pieces:-). You may start it food processor, then end in a cold bowl, assembling the dough together with Your hands. 

Though: I must admit, after many trials, I prefer to make my dough with hand pastry blender, not in food processor. The result is much better.
6) Refrigerate dough for 1-2 hours before using. Overnight is even better!

So here is the recipe:

Makes 2 open pie 23 cm shells or you can roll it into 1 closed 28 cm pie. 

320 gram flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
225 gram butter, diced 1 cm dice
125 ml ice cold water

1) In a bowl mix sifted flour, sugar and salt. Mix well and add butter.

2) Work butter into the flour with pastry blender or hands. (You can also make it in food processor by impulse blending)
3) Add ice water to bind the dough. Add half first and then another half. Working the dough with Your hands and form a ball. 

Press dough down to make a disc and wrap with food foil. Place into fridge for 1-2 hours or even overnight.

4) After resting, roll out the dough.

Carefully transfer rolled dough into the tart baking mould. Rest it for 1 hour more in fridge to prevent it from shrinking.

 And follow the recipe…

You can fill the shell according to the recipe or blind bake the shell first if the recipe calls for it. I will write separately about blind baking.

P.S. If You want to make special sweet pastry dough for fruit tarts, add 16 grams of vanilla sugar and 2 tbsp of caster sugar to the main dough.

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