Do you have cold hands?25 Apr
If there is one culinary challenge that sends shivers down the spine it is making pastry. However practice does make perfect.
There is definitely a knack to it - you may be lucky and get it right first time, but for many people it takes a few attempts before they master the technique.
On Saturday 12 June we will be running a perfect pastry course, to help you make and bake perfect pastry. You will learn how to produce fabulous puff pastry, crisp light sweet pastry, choux pastry and easy short crust pastry.
In the meantime, if you are baking at home, here are a five top tips to get you started.
1.The basic principle to making pastry is a ratio of half fat (butter) to flour, with just enough water to bind it together. However, the more fat you can work into your pastry the richer and flakier it becomes.
2. Ensure your hands are not too warm – rinse under cold water if necessary.
3.Try to lift the flour and butter up out of the bowl as you work, allowing the air to get in to the pastry. It is important to do this quickly and thoroughly. If you “work” the pastry too much it will cause the gluten strands in the flour to toughen and this in turn will cause the pastry to shrink during cooking.
4. Try to keep this dusting light, too much flour will affect the quality of the pastry.
5. Every time the pastry is handled allow it rest for at least an hour, after making, rolling etc. This
allows the gluten strands to relax again, as each time you handle the pastry you stretch them out.