The 4 Key Pastry Dough Types and What They Make
Pastry has been a favorite throughout the ages. At the foundation of these favorites is a pastry dough. From legendary French pastries to pies and tarts we just can’t get enough of pastry. Taking a bite out of a apple pie, a cherry tart or cinnamon pastry brings all kinds of goodness to mind with every bite. Making your own pastries is easy enough with these fundamentals and recipes to follow.
All pastry recipes involve flour, water and fats as the foundation for any pastry dough. Variations on recipe, ingredients, and baking techniques give different these different pastry doughs their unique flavor.
This is the simplest and most often used form of pastry dough. What we know in tarts, pies and most flaky pastries is made with a Short crust pastry.
Our Quick Pastry Crust is our go-to for just about anything that needs a flaky crust.
This recipe is made with flour, ice water, butter and coconut oil and can be flavored to suit your recipe.
Quick Short Crust Pastry Recipe Ingredients
2 1/2 cups (320 grams) of high quality all purpose flour.
3/4 cups (150 grams) of chilled coconut oil.
1/3 stick of unsalted butter ( 5.5 tablespoons or 87 grams)
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of cardamom
1/2 cup (120ml) of ice water
A close cousin and variation on this recipe is sweet short crust pastry, also known as pate sucree.
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry (Pate Sucree) Ingredients
2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp cold butter (salted)
1/3 cup + 1 tsp icing sugar (powdered sugar)
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp cold water
Puff Pastry is found in everything sweet and savory from cinnamon rolls to breakfast puffs, brunch puffs, parmesan twists, savory puffs, puff roll-ups, and asparagus tarts, just to name a few options.
Traditionally puff pastry has been a time-consuming process with little room for error to achieve the perfect puff pastry. Using a traditional process puff pastry involves a simple dough recipe that layers butter with a folding process with chilling the dough in between folds. This keeps the integrity of butter between the pastry layers. When the pastry cooks it rises and puffs due to the layers of butter. Puff Pastry is now easy enough that anyone can make it in a fraction of the time of traditional puff pastry.
The beauty of a recipe such as the Quick Pastry recipe below is you can make your own savory or sweet puff pastry for any occasion.
Quick Puff Pastry Recipe Ingredients
1 1/4 cup (262 grams) very cold butter (salted or unsalted)
1/2 cup (118 grams) ice cold water
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
Also know as Pate a Choux this classic pastry is found in eclairs, crème puffs, chouquettes, French Crullers and others. Choux pastry does not use a leavening agent. Instead it uses the air and moisture from the baking process with the egg in the pastry.
I admit Choux pastry has been a favorite of mine to eat but it was one of the hardest for me to learn. That being said once I finally got it, it was especially satisfying!
Choux is one of those recipes where it is tougher to adjust the process to achieve the perfect Choux. The cooking process in the batter is what is part of what makes the light and airy quality we love in our favorite eclairs.
With Choux Pastry there are numerous things that can go wrong. So much so that a few internet searches will yield some amazing Choux Guides and Tips on how to make the perfect Choux dough.
Here are a few things we look for in our Choux Pastry:
1. Thick, shiny, pipeable dough when everything has been heated in the saucepan.
2. Dough that keeps it’s shape when piped
3. Baked pastry with a good rise, has kept its shape and has good air after baking.
Flaky Pastry Crust
Flaky Pastry Crust is more rustic and can be touchy as the key to a good Flaky Pastry Crust is NOT to over work it. Overworked flaky pastry will be hard and not flaky at all.
Flaky Pastry Crust is used for pies, quiches, rustic pastries, turnovers and more.
Ingredients for Flaky Pastry Crust
1 pound all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 2-tablespoon pieces, at slightly cooler than room temperature
6 ounces ice-cold water
1 teaspoon vanilla
A full menu of pastries can be made with these 4 types of pastry dough. Bake something new today!