This and That

Random bits of my life

Report on Pastry Mixed by Hand

Posted by Avital Pinnick on November 14, 2009

Last week I posted a video of pastry mixed by hand, with a dough knife. I tried that method on Friday (as my son put it, “Imma made a quiche because she was bored”) and can report that it was a definite improvement over my usual Kevlar crust. I have to fine-tune the water mixing part.

Ruhrman’s 3:2:1 ratio incorporates a higher percentage of fat than my usual recipe (based on Julia Child’s 2:1 ratio, by weight), which probably contributed to the crust being somewhat more “short” than my usual crust. I found that 150 flour, 100 gm butter, and 50 gm cold water was fine for a 9″ crust. Measuring the ingredients by weight is much easier than measuring flour and butter by the cup or tablespoon. (I can’t imagine cooking without a Salter electronic scale.)

There was a bit of sagging on one side of the shell. I suspect the culprit was a lump of butter that hadn’t been fully incorporated (shmeared) into the flour, but the sagging wasn’t bad enough to cause serious leakage of the filling (forest mushrooms and portobellos sautéed in butter).

I had some misgivings when I took the dough out of the fridge after a two-hour rest. It was much harder than my usual pastry dough, almost like a rock. I softened it slightly with a rolling pin, then rolled it into an 11″ circle. I baked the shell blind without foil and beans, which led to some air bubbles, but the shell stayed intact.

Eventually I will have the courage to serve my hand-made pastry to guests. Working the dough on a stone counter with a dough knife is so much easier than hauling out a food processor or attaching abowl of crumbs with a couple dull knives.

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