Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Baking Help 1 - Sweet Shortcrust Pastry

Hi guys!

So I am writing this in my living room with the sun beaming in! Finally, we have some sunshine! Feels so nice to see it out and make everywhere look bright and colourful!

Anyway, if you have read a few of my blog posts, you will know I am into my baking. I've spoken about it on my about me page, and I have done a couple of baking related item reviews, but I realised I haven't actually shown you any evidence of me doing it or given you any tips of help on it like I once said I would, so without further a-do here is my how to bake post 1!

There are six main types of pastry: shortcrust, suet, rough puff, flaky, hot water crust and choux pastry. The most popular of all these pastries though is the short or shortcrust pastry. It is the quickest and easiest one to do and is very simple to make it either sweet or savoury.

The Ingredients For Sweet Shortcrust Pastry:

To make 8 ounces or 225 grams of pastry you will need:

- 225g / 8oz plain flour.
- A pinch of salt.
- 50g / 2oz lard. 
- 50g /2oz margarine.
- 25g / 1oz Caster Sugar
- 30ml / 2 table spoons of tap water or milk.

The Steps:

1. Measure out all your ingredients, I always find it more efficient if I have everything weighed out before I begin!

2. In a bowl, mix the plain flour and salt.

3. Add in the fats (lard and margarine).

Flour, Salt, Margarine and Lard In A Bowl
4. Rub the fats into the flour using your finger tips. Once you have rubbed it in a bit, add in the caster sugar. By the end of rubbing the fats in the mixture should resemble breadcrumbs.

Started To Rub In Fats And Added Caster Sugar In.
Fats Completely Rubbed In.

5. Using a knife with either milk or water (I use a mixture of the two, with it being a sweet pastry and using margarine I like having milk in the recipe!) cut and stir (to cut and stir take the knife around the circumference of the mixture and slice it up the middle) repeat this process until the mixture until you form a stiff dough.
DON'T add too much liquid. It is much easier to keep adding than it is to add too much and be stuck with a sloppy dough!
First Splash Of Water In.
With All The Milk And Water Incorporated In.

6. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead lightly until the mixture all comes together.
7. Place the dough in some cling film and place in the fridge and leave it for 1 hour.

Seal The Cling Film Tightly Around The Dough

8. One hour later, roll out the pastry on a floured surface and use as required (usually lining a tin!).

What Can You Make Now You Have The Short-Pastry?

There is a whole variety of things you can make once you have mastered the short crust pastry. You can go on and make:

- Quiche
- Cornish Pasties
- Jam Tart
- Bakewell Tart
 - Lemon Meringue Pie
- Egg Custard Tart
- Treacle Tart

To name just a few!

Good luck with making it, feel free to leave any questions you have below!
Can you make pastry? What is your favourite thing to make with it?

See you all soon,

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