Pastry Dough (pâte brisée)

Pastry doughs are simple preparations used for sweet and savory pies and tarts that usually contain flour, fats, and water, with some version including sugar, eggs, cream cheese, or milk. They are minimally mixed, to avoid gluten development in the flour, which would result in a tough crust. The fats are cut into the flour until coarsely mixed, and liquid is then added to pull the dough together. Maintaining the fats at a cold temperature is important in the blending process. The dough must be chilled to ensure easier handling when rolling it out. There are a few basic types of doughs including a savory dough without sugar, used for quiches and savory tarts, and a sweet crust used for desserts.

Basic Pastry Dough

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A pastry or pie dough, also known as a pâte brisée, is made with a few basic ingredients including flour, fat, salt, and water. Fats, including butter, lard, or a vegetable shortening, are cut or rubbed into the flour to a coarse crumble resembling the size of peas. Water is added to pull the dough together into a mass. The ingredients should be kept cold, and mixed only until combined, since overmixing will result in a tough, hard to work dough. The flakiness of the pie crust depends on the flour-to-fat-ratio, because the more that is used the harder and tougher the crust.

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