Problem solving – Pastry

Brittle crumbly dough

Problem Solving - Pastry

Problem Solving - Pastry

1. Rubbing in the fat for too long, thus not being able to add the correct proportion of water.
2. Pastry can be drier than it looks, caused by insufficient water added to the pastry crumbs. Add water gradually and use hands in the final stage to judge the correct ‘feel’ of the pastry.

Dough cracking when rolling out

1. Insufficient kneading of the dough before rolling-out. Lightly knead the dough for a few seconds, until it is a smooth manageable texture.
2. Pastry turned over, during rolling-out. Never turn pastry over at the rolling-out stage as it will pick up too much Low Protein Mix and become too dry – turn it round as you roll to prevent it sticking and only lightly dust the work surface and rolling pin with Low Protein Mix.

Pastry shrinks when cooked

1. Too much water tends to make pastry shrink. Ensure that sufficient water is added to the pastry crumbs to give a soft (not wet) manageable dough.
2. Stretching during rolling will also cause this problem. Chilling the pastry before use will help to prevent shrinkage.

Hard texture when cooked

1. Insufficient amount of fat. Ensure accurate weighing/measuring of ingredients.
2. Too much water added to pastry crumbs, thus altering the proportions of other ingredients.
3. Too much Low Protein Mix used on the work surface and rolling pin, when rolling-out. If you are heavy handed with Low Protein Mix, take 1-2 x 15mlsp/1-2tbsp Low Protein Mix from the weighed amount before rubbing-in the fat. Use this for rolling-out the dough.
4. Too cool an oven produces pastry that is hard rather than crisp.

Crumbly texture when cooked

1. Too little water added. The correct proportion of water is important to obtain a crisp/light texture.
2. Too much fat used Ensure accurate weighing/measuring of ingredients.
3. Too much Low Protein Mix used on the work surface and rolling pin, when rolling-out. If you are heavy handed with Low Protein Mix, take 1-2 x 15mlsp/1-2tbsp Low Protein Mix from the weighed amount before rubbing-in the fat. Use this for rolling-out the dough.
4. Too cool an oven produces pastry that is hard rather than crisp.

Base of pastry rises

This sometimes occurs when ‘baking-blind’ (when the pastry is required to be cooked without a filling).
For tartlets – prick the bases liberally but lightly with a fork. If you are too heavy handed the holes will be too large and may allow the filling to seep through.
For flan cases – line the pastry case with greaseproof paper and weigh it down with dried beans or excess pastry trimmings. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 2000C/4000F/Gas Mark 6, carefully remove the greaseproof paper and beans and return pastry case to the oven for a further 5 minutes.

Pastry sinking on top of pies/tarts

1. Insufficient filling which causes the pastry to ‘settle’ onto the filling.
2. Too cool an oven can also cause this, as the starch in the Low Protein Mix will not gelatinise quickly enough. As the melted fat runs out, air is lost and the pastry subsides onto the filling.

Speckled appearance on sweet pastry tops

1. Overcooking the pastry, causing the sugar in the Low Protein Mix to brown.
2. Also occurs when granulated sugar is added to the pastry crumbs, in place of caster sugar.

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1 Comment

  1. please can you tell me how to stop my sweet pastry mix from sticking onto the baking mince pie
    trays – is this normal?

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