The Bell Kitchen

Preparing your own pastry dough (Quiche, Turnovers, Tarts, and more)

Baking | July 30, 2014 | By

doughAt the grocery store this week? Keep walking by the ready-made pie and pastry mixes. Your great-grandmother didn’t need them to create a golden-brown, flaky, buttery crust and neither do you. With the steps and tips below, it has never been easier to create your own dough from scratch. Set aside 10 minutes and find your inner baker. 

Dough can be made in advance, last for several days under refrigeration, and can be frozen for future use. When beginning, make sure your butter is cold and hasn’t sat at room temperature. Also, be prepared to make your dough on a colder, floured surface. When adding the water, make sure it is as icy as it can be (I use my Brita that I keep on the fridge door). Upon preparation, you must move quickly through the recipe as to not warm the butter. Use your fingertips and not your warm palms to mix the ingredients.
 
I use this master recipe below for all my savory quiches and turnovers. 
 
What you will need: 
  • 2 cups pastry flour – measured properly and leveled off
    (Don’t have pastry flour? If you mix 1 cup of AP flour with 1 cup cake flour, you can create pastry flour. You can use 2 cups of AP flour but your dough may turn out a bit tough). 
    If baking within the Czech Republic, use “Hladka mouka” for this recipe 
  • 6 ounces of cold butter (170 grams in Europe, 1 1/2 sticks USA), cubed into 8ths
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup of iced water

Optional: Shortening. If you are looking for a very flaky crust, add 4 tablespoons shortening.

In a large bowl, sift the 2 cups of flour and add the salt and sugar. Next, add the butter and begin to move rapidly with your fingertips to blend the flour with the butter until it appears to look like oatmeal flakes. This step takes approximately 3-5 minutes.
 
Once you have your butter and flour mixed thoroughly, slowly add half the water and begin to mix then add the other half. The dough should be taking shape. If you find your dough to be sticky, add a sprinkle of flour to pull your dough into shape. If dry, sprinkle cold water drops carefully.
 
Cupping the dough, round into a ball and literally throw it down on a floured cold surface/countertop. Here is your cathartic cooking moment. Pick the dough up, round it again, and slap it back down onto the surface. Repeat. Do not get carried away with this step, however stress-releasing it may be! It serves to mix your butter thoroughly with the dough and eliminate air pockets. You may also use the ball of your palm to push out any butter bits visible to the eye if you didn’t mix your butter and flour properly.
 
Wrap the dough in plastic and set in the refrigerator to rest for at least 20 minutes, if not longer. You are done! 

To continue on reading on how to bake a savory quiche – click here.

Recap: 

  • Use cold butter and cold water
  • Do not use your warm palms
  • Create your own pastry flour by mixing 1 part AP, 1 part cake flour (if you don’t have pastry flour). You can use 2 cups AP, if in a pinch
  • …And stop buying ready-made pastry dough!

 

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