Homemade shortcrust pastry

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Homemade shortcrust pastry
Homemade shortcrust pastry
A ball of shortcrust pastry
Servings:Makes about 450 grams
Ready in:45 minutes
Prep. time:45 minutes
Cook time:None
Difficulty:Average difficulty
Recipe author:Chef
First published:2nd January 2013

Whilst ready-made pastry is widely available, there may be times when you want to make your own. Ready-made pastry is frozen and if you are in a hurry, it is quicker to make your own than wait for the frozen to de-frost.

Most ready-made pastry will contain manufactured fat, whereas you can choose your own fat type if you make it yourself.

Traditionally, a mixture of half-lard and half-butter was considered the ideal mixture and it probably still is. However, as a vegetarian, I always use 100% butter.


Ingredients

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Method

  1. Mix the flour with the icing sugar and salt in a bowl and add the chunks of butter.
  2. If making the pastry manually, cut the butter into the flour with cold scissors, until the mixture is like fine breadcrumbs.
  3. To ensure that the butter has been sufficiently incorporated, shake the bowl back and forth. Any large lumps will come to the surface and you can cut them in again.
  4. Add the cold water, not all at once, stirring with a fork to mix it in.
  5. Keep adding the water until you can form the mixture into a compact and unsticky ball, which will hold together.
  6. Wrap in cling-film and place in the fridge for half-an-hour before use.
  7. This can be made in a food processor, in which case process the flour, salt and butter together, using the pulse setting. Slowly add the water and the mixture should automatically form itself into a ball when enough water has been added. Do not over-process though, as it will make the mixture too warm. A stand mixer, if you have one, would be better than using a food processor.

Variations

You can make additions to the pastry, eg. spices, cheese and sugar (for a sweet pastry).

Chef's notes

Once the pastry has rested in the fridge, roll it out according to your recipe's instructions and add the other ingredients. However, I always put it back in the fridge at this stage for a further 30 minutes, before I put it into the preheated oven. I do this even with ready-made pastry.

See also

Pâte brisée

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