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Old 01-06-2007, 03:22 PM   #1
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Need advice for pastry


I'm glad I read some of these threads before I started to make my apple pie today -- at least I won't be too surprised when it sags in the middle.

My question is this. I'm trying to teach myself how to make pastry and I used a pie pastry recipe from Joy of Cooking. The instructions said to bind the flour/lard mixture with 6-7 tbsps of ice water, until the dough just held together. So when I put it into the fridge to rest, there were 'cracks' in the balls of dough, kind of looking like a cauliflower or brain, without quite that many ridges.

All of the pictures I've found on the internet show a very smooth ball of dough. Have I wrecked my pastry dough already?

Any advice would be great!!



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Old 01-06-2007, 03:58 PM   #2
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I don't do too much baking, but I do have a question for you..When you put the dough into chill, did you put in uncovered? If so, then the dough most likely started to dry out..Hopefully some of our members who bake often will come to your rescue.


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Old 01-06-2007, 04:43 PM   #3
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Nope, I wrapped it in saran wrap and then placed it in the fridge... oh well, here goes. I'm going to see how it comes out.

No better way to learn than by doing!

(But all you bakers out there can still give me advice -- especially if I'm crying in my pie 3 hours from now! ha ha).

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Old 01-06-2007, 11:01 PM   #4
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MimiCooks - what you want to keep in mind for a flaky crust is that you want to absolutely keep the shortening from getting worked into the pastry. if you were to knead it and knead it until it was a homogenous mass, your pie would be encased in something like cardboard. when you go to roll it out, you should still have easily identified pieces of shortening appearing. the 2 main rules of thumb for pastry are 1) keep everything chilled & 2) work it as little as possible.

after you've thoroughly chilled the dough, it's ok to work it very gently to get it into a nice ball shape. kneading it like a bread dough is a no-no. just try to get it pliable by shifting a little weight onto it as you turn the ball around, getting the outside a little more rounded.

i suggest patting it out between your hands somewhat (think "pattycake, pattycake, bakers' man...") using your thumb to keep the outside edge from cracking. then, on the table, use the base of your palm to flatten out and extend the edge, leaving a little mound at the center. press that out flat and then start rolling.

when you roll, instead of rolling straight across from one side to the other, roll out from the center in a spiral. this way you can roll out a perfect circle without any cracks on the edge.

good luck
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Old 01-20-2007, 08:14 PM   #5
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I've used the same pie crust recipe for years and haven't had a single problem. It is super easy and always comes out flakey! ( I would say you used too much water! )
1 1/2 c flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 c shortening, and 5 TBS. cold water
I cut the shortening in with a pastry cutter and gently stir in the water with a fork. I only knead it a little--just until ingredients are combined. Bake at 425* for about 10 minutes. Good luck!
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Old 03-12-2007, 07:47 AM   #6
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will the above work with self raising floor?

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Old 03-12-2007, 08:03 AM   #7
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even though you do not need the leavening agent in the flour, if that is all you have, I would try it. Don't add anymore salt. Do you have a recipe for a pat in the pan crust? These are much easier to manage than crusts that are rolled out.
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Old 03-12-2007, 08:12 AM   #8
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well I`ve tried to copy the above, the 3:2:1 method, only I didn`t have shortening, so I used beef fat coursely mashed with a little flour instead (it`s for a beef pie anyway so it should be ok).

I struggled to find a suitable pie tin (I made too much filling), so I`m using the glass lid from my large pyrex caserole dish, it`s the perfect size and depth too :)

I`ve never tried push in the tin mixes before, I`ve always rolled the stuff out, the only time I employ anything like that is when I pop a hole in the pastry and patch it up :)
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Old 03-12-2007, 11:29 AM   #9
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Basic Pie Crust:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup shortening
3 tbsp cold water

Mix flour & salt. Cut shortening into flour until it resembles coarse pea size crumbs. (use pastry blender or two knives-one in each hand)

At this point you can press the crust into your baking pan (like Graham cracker crust method).

For rolling method, sprinkle one tbsp water at a time and mix with pastry blender or knives. Sprinkle a tbsp of water & mix until dough ball starts to form. (you can use a water spray bottle...one shot at a time)

If you do not have a flour board, you can open a large brown paper bag then you put a light layer of flour on it. When you are done, just throw the bag away.

Some roll dough between two layers of plastic. It works but makes a tougher ply dough and does not flake when it bakes.

(when adding liquid to your dough, you can add flavoring (vanilla, almond, lemon but it should be deluded so one drop to a tbsp; same applies to liquid sweeteners)

There are different weight flours which require different measurements such as pecan (being light) and wheat (being heavier).

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