Thursday 20 February 2014


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I must admit that sometimes I cheat by buying pre-made pastry when I do my baking.  Quite simply, there are days when you need to hurry things along and make life easier, and I make no apologies for that.  

But other days its lovely to relax and take your time to go back to basics and make your own pastry.  So whether its sausage rolls, jam tarts or a fantastic quiche you can impress with your home made pastry.

Short crust pastry

Short crust pastry can be used for both sweet and savoury dishes.  The recipe can be adapted slightly to make your dishes more distinctive.  If bind the ingredients together with an egg rather than water the pastry will be much richer.  You can also opt to use equal parts of butter and lard instead of all butter.
Makes approx 300g / 10 oz pastry.

200g / 7 oz plain flour
110g / 4 oz butter (room temperature)
2-3 tablespoons water
Pinch of salt 

Cut the butter up into small cubes  and place into a large mixing bowl.  Add the flour and salt.

Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Do not overwork the mixture as this warms the dough, resulting in the fat sticking to more flour particles than it would normally.  This inhibits the water, which is essential to bind the mixture together, leading to hard, dry pastry which crumbles and is difficult to roll out.

Gently add the water to the dry ingredients and stir together with a metal knife. Mix until the ingredients form a dough ball, adding a little more water if necessary.

Wrap the pastry up and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill before rolling. This allows the gluten in the flour to react with the water ingredients and makes the pastry elastic.

(You can freeze the pastry too if you like for up to 2 months in the freezer).

For related articles click onto:
Sponge cake recipe

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