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6.4.1: Types of Pastry and Storage

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    These doughs differ from the previous doughs in that they are not leavened. They have a more tender crumb and are usually used as a base to be filled such as tarts. The names are derived from the French and give indication to the texture of the finished product.

    Non-Laminated:

    This link Provides some insight on non-laminated doughs.

    Plain pastry

    Shortcrust (Pie) – These doughs are tender as well and that is because little gluten is formed during the making of the dough. This link gives further details on this pastry dough.

    The types of dough are included bellow:

    The first recorded pie recipe was found to be written by the Romans. The first popular pies were traditionally meat pies. Today pies are filled with a variety of fillings such as meat, fruit, and custards. The first pies were not baked in the crust that we associate with pies. They were baked in “reeds” and only the fillings were made. Pies gains popularity through out Europe with the first Cherry Pie credit going to Queen Elizabeth I. Pies came to the Americas with the English settlers but the thick crust was seen as a vessel for the fillings. As the pie evolved the crust went from vessel to part of the dish. Today Pies are a traditional American dessert.

    The Ingredients for Pie Crust

    There are two types of pie crust flaky and mealy. Both use the same simple ingredients flour, fat, salt and water. The difference between the two are the way the fat and flour are put together.

    1. Flour – the ideal flour for pie crust is pastry flour. It has just enough proteins to form a gluten structure that will give the dough structure but keep the gluten low enough to keep the dough flaky. Pie dough should be mixed until the ingredients are just combined.
    2. Fat – hydrogenated shortening is the most popular fat to use for pie dough. It is soft enough to mix in but strong enough to produce a workable dough. Butter is also used but it has two down falls – it is expensive and has a low melting point. What makes it ideal is the mouth feel and flavor it adds to the curst.
    3. Liquid – the cheapest and best liquid to add is water. Ice water is normally used because it keeps the fat at a stable temperature and helps prevent it from melting. Milk can be used but it will cause the crust to brown quickly.
    4. Salt – this adds to the flavor of the crust. It is best to mix it with the flour or dilute in liquid to ensure even distribution.

    Flaky Pie Dough

    The fat for this dough is rubbed, or cut into the flour, until the pieces of butter are the size of a pea or hazelnut. This allows for some gluten formation when the water is added. As the dough comes together, the pieces of fat are flatten out with the dough thus giving it the flaky texture. Used often in pies that call for blind baking as well as the top for covered pies.

    Mealy Pie Dough

    The fat for a mealy dough is completely cut into the flour until the mix resembles a coarse cornmeal. There should be no lumps of fat in the mixture. The flour particles have been completely encased in fat and there less liquid is used to bind this one because the flour cannot absorb it. This type of dough has a few advantages over the flaky crust.

    • This is a softer crust because gluten development is kept low due to the low absorption of water with the flour.
    • Once baked this dough does not absorb much liquid so it will not become soggy from its filling.

    NOTE: This is a popular crust for fruit and custard pies because it does not become soggy.

    • Galettes: use this link to learn more.
    • Tarts: Tarts are made in shallow fluted pans. The doughs that are used have a tender crust, are made with butter and add to the overall flavor of the tart.

    The three main types are discussed below. This link also provides more clarification and some helpful tips on how to remember the different types.

    1. Pâté Brisée - the French translation is broken dough. This name is based on how the dough is put together. The fat is combined with the flour in the same fashion that you would put together a mealy pie dough. The fat is rubbed into the flour until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. There should be visible pieces of butter. This allows the flour particles to be surrounded by fat thus hampering the formation of gluten resulting in a tender pastry.
    2. Pâté Surcée – the French translation is sugared dough. This dough has more sugar the pâté brisée. The extra sugar helps to keep this dough tender thus making it softer and harder to handle. It can be made using either the above method or the creaming method. The finished dough can be used for smaller tarts and pastries as well as a stand-alone cookie.
    3. Pâté Sablée – the word sablée in French means ‘sand’, which describes the finished texture of this dough. The recipes usually have more fat than the brisée and less egg, which lends it its finished texture. The most common method for this dough today is the creaming method.

    Hot-Water Crust

    Use this link to learn more about hot-water crust.

    Brioche

    Use this link to learn more about brioche pastry.

    Choux (Éclair Paste)

    In the industry it is referred to by the French name pâte a choux which means “cabbage paste” because once baked they resemble little cabbages. This is a cooked pastry dough that can be used in a variety of ways to create both sweet and savory baked goods. The way they are piped out will determine the name given to the finished product. The dough can be made in a few minutes and is usually used as soon as made. It will form a skin if allowed to sit without being covered with a damp cloth. Once made it should not sit without being used for longer than an hour. This link will provide you with more information and some helpful images.

    Pastries made from pâte a choux:

    1. Cream puffs – small or large pastries piped out using a round tip. The size is determined by the dessert you want to make.
    2. Eclairs – can be made with the round tip also. They are piped out in a line and the size will depend on the tip and what they are needed for.
    3. Paris-Brest – they are piped using a star tip. The shape represents a bicycle wheel. The shape was created to honor the bicycle race from Paris to Brest which begun in 1891.
    4. Gougères – these are savory “cream puffs” while making the dough you can add herbs, spices and cheese to make it savory.

    Laminated:

    This link helps you to better understand lamination.

    Puff Pastry

    This dough is a versatile dough that is made in the same fashion as Danish and croissants meaning that is it a laminated dough. The main difference is that this dough has no leavening agent. This dough is cooked at a high temperature thus creating steam from the layers of fat and dough. The steam causes the dough to rise at least an inch more than is normal size. The preferred fat for puff pastry is butter due to its mouth feel and flavor. There are different methods to make puff pastry but the more layers added as well as higher fat content of the recipe will give you a better rise and product. This link provides further insight on this type of dough. It is important to know the proper use of the dough. If you do not handle it properly the dough will not rise nor will it give you the desired finish.

    Quick (blitz) Puff

    This link provides you with helpful information on quick puff as well a video.

    Strudel

    This dough is made from flour, water and eggs. It is then stretched thin over a floured cloth. The dough is so thin that you can see through it. Learning to stretch the dough take time, patience and skill.

    Phyllo

    This is the Greek version of strudel dough. It is usually purchased commercially. The thin sheets of pastry are rolled together in a thin plastic covering. When working with you it is best to keep a slightly damp cloth over it to prevent it from drying out. The thin sheet is placed and then melted butter is gently brushed on covering the entire sheet. Another sheet then added and brushed with butter. This continues until the desired amount is reached.

    Croissant

    This link provides information on croissants.

    Danish

    This link provides information on Danishes.

    Storage:

    Use this link to learn about pastry storage.


    This page titled 6.4.1: Types of Pastry and Storage is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Tammy Rink & William R. Thibodeaux via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.