Pastry Recipes With Tips

Making your own pastry may seem like a slow and intensive process, but that’s the joy of it. Comfort food isn’t just about the way something feels or tastes when you eat it, it’s also about how you make it and what goes into it.

Sometimes baking pastry recipes can present problems, but we have solutions to the most commonly asked questions.

General tips for working with pastry

Once you have the right ingredients there are lots of ways you can take pastry depending on what you want to achieve. The ingredients may be similar but the results are all completely different, from big buttery shortcrust for meat pies, to delicate puff recipes for mille feuille. Whichever you’re after, here are the key things you need to know.

1. Bring to room temperature

If your pastry has been resting in the fridge, remove it 30–40 minutes before using to allow it to come to room temperature as it will be easier to work with. Having said this . . .

2. Keep cool

Your kitchen, worktop and hands should all be cool when handling the pastry so that the fat in the dough doesn’t become too soft.

3. Watch the flour

Don’t add too much flour to the work surface. It’s tempting to coat the surfaces and pastry with a generous dusting of flour because it makes it easier to handle but adding too much flour can cause the pastry to dry out. Always brush off excess flour before folding or baking the pastry or roll it out between two layers of cling film to avoid using flour at all.

4. Chill

Always rest the pastry in the fridge after handling it to allow the fat to firm up again.

5. Chill fillings too

Make sure your fillings are cold before pouring into tart cases, covering with pie lids or wrapping in filo otherwise the heat will cause the fat to melt and lead to soggy pastry.

6. Glaze

To add a lovely shine or deeper colour to your pastry, glaze the top before cooking. Different glazes create different effects: use egg whites for a very shiny finish, beaten eggs or egg yolks for a deeply coloured shine and milk or cream for a matt golden colour. For filo pastry, glaze with melted butter or a neutral oil.

7. Preheat the oven

Cooking pastry at the right temperature is vitally important; too cool and the butter will melt before the pastry becomes firm causing it to collapse, too hot and the pastry may burn before the filling is cooked.

8. Use the middle shelf

Placing the tart tin, pie dish or baking tray in the middle of the oven will allow the heat to circulate cooking the pastry evenly on the bottom and the top.

Strawberry Pastry Diamond
Ingredients
  • 1 sheet thawed puff pastry
  • 5 strawberries halved with stems removed
  • 9 tablespoons Cream Cheese Filling recipe above
  • powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Cut the puff pastry into 9 equal squares.
  3. Taking one of the squares, fold one of the edges to the opposite edge.
  4. Leaving a ½ centimeter border, cut about ¾ of the way from the bottom of the triangle to the tip on both sides, making sure the cuts do not touch.
  5. Unfold the square.
  6. Taking the top flap, fold it towards the 2 cuts near the bottom.
  7. Take the bottom flap and fold it towards the top edge.
  8. Place about a tablespoon of the cream cheese filling in the middle, then place a strawberry half on top.
  9. Repeat with the remaining pastry squares.
  10. Bake for 15-20 minutes until pastry is golden brown and puffed.
  11. Serve with a sprinkle of powdered sugar!

Puff pastry, also known as pâte feuilletée, is a flaky light pastry containing several layers of butter and dough. The gaps that form between dough layers, left by the melting butter and steam during the baking process. In this video, we are showing the recipe of puff pastry dough as well as many ideas for making sweets and savories using this magical dough. Palmiers Cheese twists Chocolate Croissants Puff pastry Cannoli Spinach pinwheels Chicken and cheese pastries Cashew bites Beef mince turnovers Peach pastries Potato pastries Peach tartlets

DOUGH BALL BUTTER BLOCK
Ingredients
DOUGH BALL
  • All-purpose flour 3 cups
  • salt 1/2 Tsp
  • butter unsalted 3 tbs
  • lemon juice 2 Tsp
  • ice cold water just enough to make a soft dough
BUTTER BLOCK
  • butter unsalted & cold 300g
  • all-purpose flour 2 tbs

Blueberry Pastry Pinwheel
Ingredients
  • 1 sheet thawed puff pastry
  • 36 blueberries
  • 9 tablespoons Cream Cheese Filling recipe above
  • Powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Cut the puff pastry into 9 equal squares.
  3. Make 4 cuts on each square, with each cut starting from the outside corners of the square and stopping just short of the center.
  4. Take one of the flaps and fold it towards the center. Fold every other flap towards the center until you have created a pinwheel shape.
  5. Place about a tablespoon of the cream cheese filling in the middle, then place 4 blueberries on top.
  6. Repeat with the remaining pastry squares.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes until pastry is golden brown and puffed.
  8. Serve with a sprinkle of powdered sugar!

Problem – Solution

Crust burned in spots: The crust’s roll-out wasn’t even.

Lack of lift: Usually due to insufficient expansion of the dough layers during baking. Make sure the fat and dough are of similar consistency. Roll evenly without forcing. Check your oven temperature.  Hotter temperatures will generally produce a higher puff.  

Irregular and uneven lift: Too few folds.  

Layers merge: a result of the breakdown of lamination and a shortening of structure caused by too many folds.  

Shrinkage during baking: Caused by contraction of the dough layers. Gluten develops elasticity and toughness. To prevent this, ensure that the pastry is adequately rested (4 hours, preferably overnight) before baking. Commercially prepared pastry purchased from local supermarket may also shrink due to incorrect handling. Be sure to handle according to the package’s instructions.  

Cracking in pastry: is due to the dough drying out. If the top layer loses moisture, it shrinks and then cracks. To prevent cracking, keep it covered with a piece of clean plastic film before baking or when storing.  



Spots on the surface of the baked pastry: too much water.  

Butter Block problems: The butter and dough should be at approximately the same consistency and cooler than room temperature. Otherwise, you’ll get a poor quality recipe. When making a butter block, the butter should not be so soft that it is hard to handle. Let it achieve 60 degrees F which is optimal (check with your Instant Read Thermometer placed in its middle). At this temperature, you should be able to transfer the finished block from one hand to the other without breaking it. It should not be so firm that it cracks or breaks when you press on it. If the butter block is colder than the dough, the dough package won’t roll out easily and spread, the butter will break into pieces and will puncture the dough.  

Dough that is softer than the butter will be forced to the sides by the firmer butter; a dough that is too firm will force the butter out the sides.    

Pastry sticks: Problem – Insufficient dusting of flour on the work surface; Room temperature too warm. Solution – Use more dusting flour; Work in a cooler room, or at a cooler time of day; Chill dough

Raspberry Pastry Flower
Ingredients
  • 1 sheet thawed puff pastry
  • 20 raspberries
  • 4 tablespoons Cream Cheese Filling recipe above
  • Powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Cut the puff pastry into 4 equal squares.
  3. Leaving a ½ centimeter border, make 8 total cuts along the edges of the square, with each cut going about ⅓ of the way through the length of the edge. Make sure the cuts do not touch.
  4. Place a tablespoon of the cream cheese filling in the middle of the square, then top with 4 raspberries.
  5. Take one of the edge flaps and fold it towards the center, looping over the raspberry. Repeat with the other flaps. Place a raspberry in the center, on top of where all the flaps overlap.
  6. Repeat with the remaining pastry squares.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes until pastry is golden brown and puffed.
  8. Serve with a sprinkle of powdered sugar!

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