It really doesn’t matter what type of pastry you are planning to work with, it’s not easy. Filo, shortcrust, puff – you name it, we’ve probably eaten it, and that means you should know what goes into the perfect pastry options. Working with pastry of any kind requires careful handling, a cold kitchen and patience. Lots and lots of patience!
Pastry is delicate. If you’ve had any kind of pie, pasty or tart, you’ll know how easily breakable pastry really is. With the right handling, however, it can be a delicious, buttery accompaniment that holds some of the tastiest fillers.
Even the best Cornish pasty company can tell you that pastry is an art, and with the right working, you can ensure that you are eating the tastiest pastry for your next dish. So, with this in mind we’ve got some of the best pastry tips that are going to change your life. Well, they’ll at least change your next recipe!
1. Always keep an eye on the temperature. If the room is too hot, the pastry becomes sticky. If the room is too cold, it’ll be a pain to try to roll out. If your pastry has sat in the fridge for a while, you need to get it out around 30 minutes before you plan to use it and roll it out. It’ll be easier to work when it’s at room temperature.
2. Keep the room cool. Pastry should be worked with cool, quick hands and if possible, by an open window so that the air flow remains consistent. You don’t want the dough to become too soft or it won’t be nice to eat or cook.
3. Keep an eye on your flour usage. Too much flour on the work surface and you will end up with a dry pastry that breaks and cracks rather than cooks beautifully. It’s tempting to coat the entire surface with flour but try not to do that. You could use two pieces of cling film instead, and this will help you to avoid any flour at all.
4. Chill it. When you’re done with a particular dish but still want to use the remaining pastry for another day, chill it in the fridge and allow the fat to firm back up again. This will be perfect for you to reuse when you’re ready! While we’re talking about chilling the pastry, consider chilling the filling, too. If you pour hot fillings into pastry casings, the pastry will be soggy. Go with cold fillings being poured in to avoid it.
5. Add an egg wash. Glazing the pastry is so important if you want it to be shiny and crispy after you cook it. You can use different glazes to have different effects, and if you want to use filo pastry, you should consider melted butter instead of egg.
6. Always preheat your oven. One of the best tips that you could have with the pastry you’re cooking with is to preheat the oven. A hot oven means that the pastry will cook evenly. If it’s too cool, the butter will melt in the pastry and it’ll collapse.