- Food and Cooking»
- Culinary Arts & Cooking Techniques
Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Pastry And How To Make It.
All About Pastry, What Is It And How Do I Make It?
Baked products made of flour, sugar, milk, butter, shortening, baking powder, and eggs is know as pastry. As you study and learn about pastry you'll discover that there are many different kinds of pastry and yes you even you should be able to make almost any kind of pastry there is.
Pastry Has It's Roots In Ancient Mediterranean Times.
Pastries go back to the very early Mediterranean where all kinds of great pastry including one of my favorites baklava has been made for thousands of years. It was not until after the crusades that pastry and making pastry was brought back to Europe and that is how we ended up with all the famous French pastries and French Pastry Chefs.
The very first pastries made in Europe were the real flaky thin crust pastry like those used to make baklava by the early Greeks and Romans. I make baklava all the time but I buy my phyllo pastry already made. It's a really hard pastry to make and have it turn out right every time. Humidity is also a problem when making phyllo dough and having it turn out exactly right.
The Egyptians Made Delicious Homemade Baklava.
It is said that the very early Egyptians were the first ones to make baklava and men were trained to make the pastry for the royal family and they did nothing else but make the baklava pastry which was considered sacred to the early Egyptians. It is believed that the early Egyptians learned how to make the pastry from slaves bought from the Babylonians. Those early Egyptians made all kinds of cakes, pies, and pastries with honey usually used as the sweetener for their baked goods.
The Early Romans Made Pastry And Breads And Delivered It Door To Door.
By the time of Cleopatra and Anthony pastry had spread to the Roman empire and those early Romans took pastry making to a whole new level. It is now believed that those early Romans had some of the best trained pastry chefs in the world. By the fourth century A.D. huge spreads of pastries were being put out at Roman parties. Indeed by the time of Christ at least four hundred bakeries some making very elaborate pastries were in operation in Rome. The average Roman who could afford it ate delicious homemade pastries on a almost every day basis. By this time in Roman history fresh bread was being baked daily in Rome and some bakeries even delivered door to door. In fact the very first home delivery of food was probably done right around this time. Maybe that's where we got the ideal for door to door pizza delivery.
What Is Pastry
Pastry refers to unleavened dough made with flour and shortening that's used for pie or tart shells. Pastry is also sometimes used to wrap meats, poultry, game, or seafood. It's also used for baking and special presentations. But several other types of pastry are also popular. Puff Pastry is made from extra rich pastry dough and has butter layered or worked into it. Choux pastry is made with butter, milk, flour, and eggs. Paper thin phyllo dough is made with flour and water and usually layered with butter or vegetable cooking spray. Sometimes the term pastry is used broadly and imprecisely to describe all fancy baked goods, including cakes, sweet rolls, and cookies.
Rescue For Solving Pastry Problems
Tough Pastry, This usually results from too little fat, too much water, over mixing, too much flour added, or over kneading of the dough.
Crumbly Crust, This occurs when too little water is used, too much fat, the use of self rising flour, or insufficient mixing.
Soggy Bottom Crust, This can result from the filling being to moist, oven temperature too low, or too much liquid in the pastry.
The Crust Shrinks, This is usually caused by the crust being stretched to fit the pan. Use care not to ever stretch your crust. Also don't over roll your dough. Always roll your dough out away from you and not back towards you.
More Pastry Information
The key to making flaky pastry begins with measuring ingredients accurately and mixing them properly. Always use measuring cups and measuring spoons when your making pastry. Always measure your ingredients carefully. If proportions of fat to flour to liquid are off even slightly or if you over work the dough your pastry can turn out tough or crumbly. So always pay careful attention to any pastry recipe and use your measuring cups and measuring spoons.
Delicious Mini Fruit Pies
You can make the pastry recipe above and use the resulting pastry to make delicious little fruit pies in muffin pan cups. Spray your muffin pan cups well with vegetable cooking spray and then cut out and put a one eighth thick piece of pastry in the bottom of each muffin cup.
Put your favorite fruit filling like blackberry pie filling or apple pie filling in on top of the piece of pie crust you have in the bottom of the muffin pan holes. Use a heaping tablespoon of filling in each muffin pan hole. Cut out circles of pie dough to go on top of the fruit pie filling in each muffin pan hole. Brush the top of the dough with melted butter. Bake your mini pies in the oven at 350 degrees until the tops are golden brown. You'll want to bake your pies at 350 degrees until done. You can easily slip your baked mini pies out of the muffin pan holes.
Don't You Just Love Homemade Apple Pie?
Delicious Homemade Apple Pie
Granny Smith Apples make the best apple pies in the world. The next best thing is green apples before they get completely ripe. I remember my Grandmother Hattie Propst making green apple pies when I was a boy. They were some of the most delicious pies that I ever ate.
And guess what you can make your own delicious homemade apple pies. Yes you really can. If yu can find them at your local supermarket I would suggest buying Granny Smith Apples to make your apple pie with.
If you follow the below recipe for pastry pie crust you'll end up with two pie crusts which is what you'll need to make a delicious apple pie. You'll need a nine inch pie pan and I suggest rolling out one pie crust and putting it into the bottom of the nine inch pie pan to start with. Roll your crust out so you won't need to stretch it. Be sure to crimp your crust around the rim of the pie pan and prick fork holes in the bottom of the crust.
1. Six Granny Smith Apples Peeled And Cut Off The Core In Small Pieces.
2. Two Teaspoons Lemon Juice.
3. Three Fourths Cup Brown Sugar.
4. One Half Cup Sugar.
5. One Third Cup All Purpose Flour.
6. One Teaspoon Cinnamon.
7. Pinch Of Nutmeg.
You'll need your bottom crust in the pie pan and then you'll want to mix together the cut up apples and the lemon juice in a bowl and mix it well together so your apples won't turn color.
Now combine all the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl and then pour out in the bottom pie crust being sure to press everything down with a large spoon.
Now roll out the other pie crust and carefully put that crust on top of your apples and other ingredients. Crimp the edges of the two crusts together and trim any excess dough away. Cut slits in your top crust with a sharp knife in a circle around the top crust to let out steam and so the pie will bake well.
Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 30 - 35 minutes until the pie is done. Butter the top of your pie by brushing on melted butter while the pie is baking.
And guess what you just made a delicious homemade apple pie. And yes you can make it. Just follow the directions and it will turn out perfect.
Basic Pie Pastry Recipe, Pastry Information, And Pastry Terms
Have you ever wanted to make a delicious homemade pie with with a pastry recipe made from scratch. Well your in luck. Here is the perfect pastry recipe for pie. Yes you can use this pastry for any type of pie.
Pastry Recipe For Pie
1. One Half Cup Crisco Shortening.
2. One Teaspoon Ground Sea Salt.
3. One And One Half Cups Plain All Purpose Flour.
4. Three Tablespoons Ice Water.
Instructions For Making Your Pie Dough Pastry.
You want to start off by sifting together your flour and salt and then sift it again. Cut in the shortening with a large fork until the mixture resembles course meal. Now add your ice water a tablespoon at a time working the water into the dough and mix it in well.
As soon as you can gather the dough together into a ball and then wrap it in plastic wrap. Now you will want to put it into the refrigerator and chill your pie dough pastry for at least a hour in the coldest part of your refrigerator.
After the hour has passed you can now take the chilled pie dough pastry out of the refrigerator and you want to start by sprinkling flour out where your going to roll out the pie dough. You'll need a dough roller to roll out your pastry.
Roll out half the pie dough out on the floured surface to about a eighth inch thickness. You want to roll the dough out at least a inch wider on both sides than your nine inch pie pan. Put your pie dough into the pan and gently push it down into the bottom of the pie pan and a little should be hanging over the edges around the pie pan.
Take a fork and crimp the pie dough all the way around the pie pan crimping the edge of the pie dough down to the edge of the pie pan. Take a sharp knife then and trim any excess pastry dough off all the way around the pie pan.
You can now take a fork and put holes all around the bottom of the pie pan so it will cook evenly. For a partially baked pie shell bake the pie shell in a 350 degree oven that is hot for about three minutes. You can then proceed with your recipe.
You can make another pie crust with the other half of your pie pastry or use it for a top for your pie if your making a double crust pie. If you put a crust on top of a pie crimp the two crusts together and cut slits with a sharp knife in a circle around the center of the top crust. This way the steam will escape and your pie will cook evenly.
You can use that same pastry recipe for pie anytime you want to to make more delicious pies. I make pies of all type with this same pie pastry recipe and they turn out perfect almost every time.
Make Sure Your Oven Is Level And Cooking At The Right Temperature.
If your going to be doing a lot of home baking you need to make sure your oven is exactly level. Most stoves today have adjustable legs on their bottoms so you can adjust the legs and make sure your oven is level. You should also equip your oven with a heavy duty thermometer attached to the rack in the center of your oven so you can check the temperature on the dial against the temperature produced in the oven. Some home ovens can be off from the dial by as much as 50 degrees so this is really important if your going to be doing a lot of baking.
1. One 16 Ounce Package Frozen Phyllo Dough Thawed.
2. One Cup Butter, Melted.
3. Three Cups Finely Chopped Pecans.
4. One Fourth Cup Sugar.
5. Two Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon.
6. One Level Teaspoon Nutmeg.
7. Syrup Recipe Below.
Butter a 13" X 9" Baking Pan And Set Aside.
Cut the phyllo dough in half crosswise, and cut each half to fit the prepared pan. Discard he trimmings. Cover the remaining phyllo dough with a slightly damp towel. Layer 10 sheets of phyllo dough in pan, brushing each sheet with melted butter. Set aside.
Combine nuts and next three ingredients and stir well. Sprinkle one third of the nut mixture over phyllo in pan. Lightly drizzle with the melted butter.
Top nut mixture with eleven sheets of phyllo dough brushing each sheet with the melted butter. You'll want to repeat procedure twice with the remaining nut mixture, phyllo and butter ending with buttered phyllo.
Cut stack in diamond shapes, using a sharp knife. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely. Drizzle the syrup over the baklava.
Cover and let stand at room temperature 24 hours.
Syrup For Baklava
1. One Cup White Granulated Sugar.
2. One Half Cup Water.
3. One Fourth Cup Of Honey.
Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. reduce the heat, and simmer, uncovered, 4 minutes. This is the syrup for your baklava above.
And now you know exactly how to make baklava the same way it has been made for thousands of years.
Pastry Blender, This tool helps cut the fat into the flour when making pastry dough. It should have a sturdy handle which anchors several rows of steel wire formed into a U-shape.
Pastry Brush, At least two separate brushes are needed.One for brushing water, egg washes, melted butter, or glazes on pastry and the other to baste meats and poultry as they cook. Always wash your pastry brushes in hot soapy water that has bleach in it and replace the brush or brushes if they start coming apart.
Rolling Pin, The rolling pin is used for rolling out pastry and other types of dough. Wooden rolling pins are great but you have to be careful with getting them wet as they will crack and have to be discarded. Glass, marble, and stainless steel rolling pins are much better and won't crack. Bacteria can grow in cracks in wooden rolling pins so always discard any that are cracked.
Sifter, Sifters are handy for blending ingredients, sifting cake flours, and removing lumps from powdered sugar. Sifters are usually made of metal or plastic and fitted with 1 or 2 mesh screens and a handle that rotates a blade which forces ingredients through screens.
Whisk, You'll want various sizes of wire whisks and several different shapes too. Sauce whisks are long and then with stiff wires to mix ingredients with out adding excess air. Balloon whisks have rounded heads and thinner gauge wires that help incorporate air into egg whites and cream. Flat whisks that help you get into the corners of a pan are great for making gravies and sauces.
Pastry Bag, You'll want several various size pastry bags and a collection of various size tips for your collection of pastry bags. The various tips can be used for filling various pastries or for piping icing onto cakes, cupcakes and etc. In a pinch you can cut a small corner from a plastic bag and make a great disposable pastry bag that will work for almost any job.
Dough Scraper, This flattened tool lifts dough as you work it and you can use it to scrape dough from counter tops or table tops making clean up all that much easier. It's also handy for dividing pastry or dough into portions. It's usually made of wood and stainless steel but you will also find them made of plastic.
You should make sure your kitchen is equipped with a good quality kitchen scale, measuring cups in various sizes, metal spatulas in various sizes, and metal mixing bowls in a variety of sizes. You'll also need a stand mixer with various mixing bowls and at least one electric hand mixer. And with all those items you'll be ready to make your own homemade pastry, pastries, cakes, tarts, and desserts.
Thanks For Reading My Hub Page On Pastry.
I want to thank you for taking the time to read my Hub Page on pastry. I hope you found the information helpful and if you ever have any questions feel free to post them below in the comments section. Again thanks for reading.