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Puff Pastry

This dough is a laminated dough. This is a process of layering butter onto the dough and then folding. In the oven, the liquid from the dough and butter evaporates, puffing up each layer. This gives it a unique finish with lots of flaky buttery layers. This pastry is perfect for pies, tarts and desserts. It is time consuming to make as you have to let the dough rest in the fridge between folds. But the end result is well worth it.

Flaky Pastry

Flaky pastry is a quick version of puff pastry. Rather than folding a block of butter into the dough, butter is roughly added to the flour/water dough (detrempe). It is then folded and rolled in the same way as puff pastry. It is possible to do all the folds in one go without resting, required that the environment is not too hot/humid. Flaky pastry is easier to make than puff and still gives the desired finish.

Choux Pastry

Choux pastry is a delicate, light and airy pastry. It is usually used for profiteroles and eclairs. It’s method to make it is very different to the types of pastry above. First you heat a mixture of milk, butter and water until melted (with salt/sugar often added). Then, you add flour while beating until the flour has cooked out. Eggs are then added until you have a dough. It is then usually piped and baked in the oven, where it puffs up and turns golden brown. It is then filled and served.

Filo Pastry

Filo pastry is common in Middle Eastern cooking. It’s made up of lots of paper thin, crisp layers and used for baklavas and samosas. First you combine flour, oil, salt, vinegar and water and knead until you have a dough. There are different techniques to achieve paper thin layers in filo pastry. Some people roll the dough out all at once until large and thin. Others have mastered the authentic technique where they roll the pastry round the rolling pin again and again. This page does a great job at explaining this process.
For me, I roll out small portions of the rested dough until almost see through. I dust each one with a cornflour/flour mixture and then stack them together. I then roll it all out together. This creates one dough with many thin layers. I brush with butter before baking to give it a golden colour.

Hot Water Crust Pastry

Used in pies, particularly pork pies, this is a sturdy and firm dough. First you bring lard and water to the boil. Then you add it to flour and salt until you have a malleable and sticky dough. Sometimes you rub butter into the flour first to give it a richer flavour. It is then rolled out and filled before baking. The high water content and the heating before baking makes the end result stronger than shortcrust pastry. This pastry is special because it is the only time where you add the fat to the flour while it’s hot rather than cold.

Suet Crust Pastry

Suet pastry is somewhat of a forgotten treasure, used in steam puddings and jam roly poly’s. It’s similar to shortcrust pastry. and holds up wet fillings well, although it is more elastic and dense. It’s a traditional pastry that dates back hundreds of years and you can boil it, steam it or bake it. You make it by combining self raising flour, salt and suet before adding water to form a dough. Unlike other pastries, you should use it straight away and not rest it before use. This is because he raising agent in the flour will start reacting as soon as you add the liquid.. The beef suet gives this pastry a great flavour, although you can also use vegetarian suet.

So, that’s all the main different types of pastry! Try some out and see just how versatile pastry can really be.

Shortcrust Pastry

On this page are all the different types of pastry you could possibly dream of! The world of pastry can be confusing, so here is a breakdown of them all. They are all unique and wonderful in their own ways and have different uses. Learn about them all here!

This pastry is generally crumbly yet sturdy in texture with a buttery flavour. It is versatile and is great for tarts and pies. There are three different types of shortcrust pastry. Sablee (meaning sandy) , sucree (meaning sweet) and brisee (meaning broken). They have different textures, different methods to making them and are great for different purposes. Learn about them here.
Your standard savoury tart pastry, this is crumbly and flaky in texture. It’s made by rubbing cold butter into flour and then mixing water to create a coherent dough. Add egg yolk to give it a richer flavour and colour.
This is the standard sweet pastry and is most alike the brisee. Icing sugar makes it sweet. First you cream the butter and sugar together rather than rubbing in. This gives it a firmer and sturdier texture used in tarts that will hold up fillings well.
This pastry has a sandy, biscuit like texture and is even sometimes used as a biscuit on it’s own! It’s made in a similar way to the sucree pastry via the creaming method. Instead of flour, you use ground almonds which further reduces the gluten. This gives the end result that desired sandy finish.
Check out joe pastry who has great definitions of these terms in a simplified way)

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