Flaky pastry

Flaky pastry

By
From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

Easier to make and only a little less delicate and high-rise than puff pastry. Use for pie toppings, tarts, vol-au-vent cases, etc.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
300g plain flour
pinch salt
90g butter
170ml iced water
90g lard

Method

  1. Sift flour and salt into a mixing bowl, add half the butter and rub in until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add water, stir in with a knife and gather dough into a ball with your fingers. Knead lightly on a floured work surface until smooth, then with floured hands shape into a rectangular block.
  2. Flour work surface and rolling pin. Beat lightly and evenly with rolling pin from front to back of pastry, then roll out as follows: bring rolling pin down firmly on pastry, give a short, sharp back-and-forth roll, lift pin and repeat. The idea is to roll pastry thinner without pushing the fat about so that it breaks through the surface.
  3. Work your way from front to back of pastry with these short, quick rolls but stop just before you get to the back edge so that pastry is not pushed out of shape. If fat does break through, sprinkle it with flour and refrigerate pastry for 10 minutes before continuing.
  4. Roll dough to a rectangle 3 times as long as it is wide and about 5 mm thick. Divide lard in half and work each portion and remaining butter separately with a wooden spoon until they are of same consistency as dough.
  5. Cut one-half of lard into small pieces and place in rows of about 4, keeping well within the edges, on top of two-thirds of dough. Fold bottom third of dough up and top third down and seal edges by pressing lightly with rolling pin. Turn dough round at right angles so that edge of top flap is to your right as if it were a book.
  6. Roll as before to a rectangle 3 times as long as it is wide and 5 mm thick. Place remaining butter on top two-thirds as you did the lard, then fold, turn and roll out again. Repeat, using remaining lard. Place folded dough in a plastic bag and chill for at least 30 minutes before using.
  7. Chill again after rolling out and cutting, before baking. Unless otherwise indicated, bake flaky pastry in a preheated very hot oven.
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