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A Step By Step Guide To Pastry

Jasmeet Kaur Wilku

By Jasmeet Kaur Wilku

  • 10 Min Read
  • 20th December, 2022
A Step By Step Guide To Pastry

Are you craving something sweet but don't want to leave the house? Why not try making pastry at home? This step-by-step guide will show you how to make the delicious pastry, without any fuss.

Pastry has been around for centuries and is a food that has been enjoyed by people all over the world. It is a food that can be made in many different ways and can be used for both sweet and savoury dishes. The pastry is a versatile food that can be used in a variety of ways. In this blog post, we will take a look at the different types of pastry and how they are made.

History Of Pastry

A pastry is a sweet baked food that is made from dough and is usually filled with items such as fruit, cream, or chocolate. They can be either savoury or sweet and are often served as a dessert or snack. Pastry has been around since the ancient Egyptians and was originally made with honey and nuts. It wasn't until the Romans came along that pastry began to be made with flour and water. Pastry became very popular during the Renaissance, as it was a way to show off one's wealth and status. Today, pastry is still a popular food, and there are many different types to choose from.

Here is a step-by-step guide to making a basic pastry:

1. Preheat the oven to the required temperature.

2. Roll out the pastry dough on a floured surface.

3. Use a knife or cutter to cut the dough into the desired shape.

4. Place the dough onto a baking sheet and bake for the required time.

5. Remove from the oven and enjoy!

Simple Recipe For Flaky Pastry

Ingredients

• 150g salted butter, frozen in foil for 1 hour

• 220 g plain flour / all-purpose flour

• A pinch of salt

• Fridge cold water - 6 1/2 tablespoons of water

Steps

  1. Sift flour and salt into a large bowl
  2. Remove the butter from the freezer and peel off most of the foil leaving enough to hold the butter
  3. Dip butter into the flour, it makes grating easier
  4. Holding the grater over the flour, grate the butter in long strokes to create long buttery curls. Use the largest holes on the grater
  5. Using a knife, gently mix the butter into the flour and flour each piece of butter one at a time (don't use your hands yet).
  6. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of cold water over the batter and mix well with the knife until evenly distributed – repeat twice more with the remaining water
  7. Now start bringing the dough together by gently pressing the dough into a ball with your hands
  8. Warning: if you need a little more water, just dab some water on your fingers - the dough should come together, leaving the bowl fairly clean with no loose bits of butter or flour
  9. Form the dough into a flat disc
  10. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes before using (dough can be frozen at this point)
  11. Pieces of butter should be visible on the pastry - it will look colourful (that's good)

Recipe For Danish Pastry

Ingredients

• 2.25 tsp active dry yeast (2 tsp instant yeast, 17.5 g fresh yeast)

• 2/3 cup (150ml, 1.5dl) warm (not hot) water

• 4 tbsp, 1/4 cup (50g) sugar

• 2 large eggs

• 1 tsp salt

• 2 3/4 cups (360 g) all-purpose flour

• Egg to wash eggs

Steps

  1. Note: We make the dough the night before we shape our pastries, so remember to factor that into your timing!
  2. Flour the yeast with 1 tablespoon of sugar in warm water. Let sit for 5-10 minutes until foamy.
  3. Mix remaining sugar (3 tbsp), eggs, and salt in a separate bowl.
  4. Add the yeast mixture, then slowly add flour until fully incorporated with your hands or a spoon.
  5. Once the flour is incorporated, knead for 3-5 minutes until the ingredients are combined. During kneading, you can add a small amount of flour as needed - the result of the dough will still be a little sticky!
  6. Cover with cling film or a damp kitchen towel and leave in the fridge overnight: preferably 8-12 hours. (Note: we prefer to do this long rise in the fridge to control both the rise of the dough and the temperature. While you could do this the same day, we highly recommend overnight rise!)
  7. The next day, take the dough out of the fridge for about 30-45 minutes before using it.
  8. While your dough is slightly warming from refrigerator temperature, prepare your block of butter for laminating. Make sure you use high-fat European-style butter - butter with too high a water content is difficult to work with and can cause butter leakage! Start by wrapping your measured butter in plastic wrap and hitting it with a rolling pin to soften it slightly. Then roll it out and fold it over itself, being careful not to leave any gaps in the butter from the different sticks. You may need to repeat this process 2-3 times. The butter should fold in without breaking - then it's ready for laminating. Shape the butter into an approximately 6 x 6-inch square.
  9. Roll out the dough on a well-floured surface. Shape into a square measuring approximately 8 inches by 8 inches.
  10. Lay your block of butter diagonally so the corners touch the midpoints of the edges of the dough. Fold in the corners of the dough (similar to an envelope) and pinch the edges to seal the block.
  11. Now start the lamination! Rotate the dough 45 degrees and turn the dough over so the seam is at the bottom. Make sure you have plenty of flour on your surface and also on the top so your rolling pin doesn't stick. Roll out your dough into a rectangle at least 16 inches long; Fold the rectangle like a letter (bottom third over center, then top third over bottom), making sure to dust off excess flour between the folds.
  12. When you have folded the dough, wrap it in cling film and put it in the fridge for 15 minutes. You just want to give the dough time to relax before the second lamination and prevent the dough from rising.
  13. Take the dough out of the fridge and let it rest at room temperature for 10-15 minutes. Putting it in the fridge first and then letting it sit further at room temperature will make it easier to roll out!
  14. Rotate your dough 90 degrees since you last rolled it out so the first crease you made is at the bottom and at the top of the dough. Roll again into a rectangle at least 16 inches long and repeat the letter fold. Place back in the fridge for 15 minutes and then let sit on the counter for another 10-15 minutes.
  15. Now the dough is ready for each of our Danish pastry recipes!
  16. You can also make croissants/other shapes with just the puff pastry; The rest of this recipe covers those steps!
  17. Roll out your laminated dough. We'll halve ours again when it's reached a length of about 16 inches to make it easier to work with! Roll out to 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick. If the dough is difficult to work with and springs back, let it rest for about 10 minutes and return to it.
  18. For croissants, cut triangles out of the rectangle and roll up from the wide end of the triangle to the tip. Cut out strips for the snails and roll them up into a circle. To "stick" the tip of the snail shape or croissant to the rest of the dough so it doesn't unravel, put a little water where you want it to stick together and squeeze the dough to make it stick.
  19. Repeat the rolling and shaping process with the second half of the dough. Place the rolls of dough on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap.
  20. Now let your shaped dough rise for at least 2 hours, possibly longer. Check out the difference between the first and second pictures below! This is a very important step because if these don't rise enough, that means a big butter stain (we speak from experience!). You'll know the dough is done when it feels super light and fluffy (almost wobbly to the touch) and has doubled in size. Another test is to prick the dough, and if it makes an impression and doesn't spring back immediately, it should be done. Note: If your oven has a Proof setting, it's probably too warm for the butter; However, you can put the pastry in the oven (off!) to bake with the lights on for a more controlled environment (no drafts, constant temperature, etc.).
  21. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  22. Wash the dough with an egg.
  23. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown! You can either bake both baking sheets at the same time by moving the oven racks or bake them one at a time on a rack in the middle of the oven.

Things To Remember While Making Pastry

Making pastry isn't as difficult as you might think. With a little practice, you'll be able to make light, flaky pastry that's perfect for savoury pies or sweet tarts.

1. Preheat your oven to the correct temperature before you start preparing your pastry. This will ensure that your pastry cooks evenly.

2. Sift flour and salt into a large bowl. Add cold, diced butter and work it into the flour with your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

3. Add cold water, a little at a time, and work it into the pastry with your hands until it forms a soft dough.

4. Wrap the dough in cling film and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.

5. Once the dough has rested, roll it out on a floured surface to the desired thickness.

6. Use the pastry to line a baking tin or pie dish, and then pre-bake the pastry for 10 minutes.

7. Fill the pastry case with your chosen filling and bake for the time stated in your recipe.

Conclusion

Pastry can be a tricky business, but with our step-by-step guide you'll be churning out perfect pies and tarts in no time. Whether you're a beginner or a pastry pro, we've got the recipes and tips you need to take your baking to the next level. So what are you waiting for? Start perfecting your pastry today!

Faq's

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of flour is best for pastry?

Pastry Flour: An unbleached soft wheat flour with a protein content between cake flour and all-purpose flour (8 to 9 per cent). Pastry flour offers the ideal balance of flakiness and tenderness, making it perfect for cakes, tarts and many biscuits.

Just use all-purpose flour instead of the specified baking flour. Your recipe may not turn out quite as light and tender, but it still tastes great.

There are five basic types of pastry: shortcrust pastry, filo pastry, choux pastry, puff pastry and flaky pastry.

The key to making a good pastry is to chill both the dough and butter before bringing them together. If the butter gets too soft it will ooze out as you roll and fold, and if the dough gets too warm it will stick and be difficult to work with.

The good news is that as long as the dough stays in the fridge(24 hours). When you're ready to roll out the dough, let it rest outside of the fridge for about 30 minutes to warm up slightly. The refrigerated dough tends to break easily when you start rolling.

If your pastry is hard and chewy, it may be due to adding too much liquid or over-handling the pastry, leading to the development of gluten. If your pastry is too crumbly and difficult to handle, it could be because too much fat was added, it was over-mixed, or not enough liquid was added to bind the fat and flour.

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