Pastry recipes can make so many wonderful sweet and savory foods. It should be a part of every home baking list.
Making the right type of pastry and filling necessary. Although most recipes include different procedures, it will help you with what pastry suits you.
Here is an overview of some different types of pastries and their uses. Along with tips so you can get your desirable baked goods.
Baking with Pastry
You may use butter, shortening, full-fat margarine, lard, or other oils to enrich a pastry. These are interchangeable in some types of desserts.
They give characteristics, texture, flavor to the product, and the ability to work the dough.
In general, the butter will give more flavor, while lard will help in attaining a better texture.
Try mixing half of them to get the best combination. Pastry also is kept cold, and fat should be solid at room temperature.
There are always exceptions; however, you may read more on this article to learn more about it.
Categories of Pastry
There are two categories of pastry, namely, shortcrust and flaky or puff.
There are variations within the categories, so let’s start with the different types of shortcrust.
The shortcrust pastry is the most versatile type, and it is easy to make at home.
It does not puff up like flaky pastries because it has a crumbly texture that is suited to bases for both sweet and savory dishes.
The pastry can be sweeter with the addition of sugar, eggs, or specialize fats.
A shortcrust pastry is consists of flour, fat, and a liquid to bind. The fat should be half the amount of flour.
Flour contains gluten that develops and toughens the pastry.
The fat is mixed into the flour before adding cold water to form a dough. It prevents the formation of gluten strands while also givinga crumbly texture.
After cooling in the refrigerator, it is rolled or pressed out into shape and baked blind.
This involves pricking the dough with a fork, weighing it down with baking beans to prevent the dough from rising in the oven, and finally adding the filling once the pastry has hardened.
Special Shortcrust Pastries
Pâte à foncer – It’s a French shortcrust wherein, it uses egg and a small amount of sugar on the flour to enrich the dough.
Pâte brisée – It is similar to pâte à foncer. Still, this dough has no sugar and incorporates a higher quantity of butter to produce a light and delicate shortcrust; ideal for savory pies.
Pâte sucrée (Sweet Shortcrust Pastry) – It includes sugar and egg yolks, which produce a rich sweet flavor. The sugar also impedes the formation of gluten that melts in the mouth.
Pâté Sablé – It’s crispier and less crumbly. The creamed sugar and butter are added to the flour to incorporate the dough. The result is a less crumbly pastry that works as a base for sweet tarts and tea biscuits.
Suet Crust Pastry – It’s a traditional British pastry that is tougher and more elastic than a regular shortcrust with a light and spongy texture.
It is from self-rising flour, shredded suet, and a small amount of baking powder to help it rise.
You can use it in both savory dishes such as steamed dumplings, steak and kidney puddings, and sweet treats such as jam roly-poly and spotted dick.
Flaky and Puff Pastry
It is trickier. It has a flaky or puffy texture rising in the oven to create light and crispy pies, parcels, and sweets.
You can use it to make pastries, turnovers, sausage rolls, and plaits.
The layers of dough and fat are rolled and folded, and the steam produced while baking fills the layers. It gives them their airy consistency.
You might be confused between these types of pastries, so I will begin in describing their differences.
It is a laminated dough and the most difficult to make. It is a professional pastry consisting of many layers, and the results may be different if you don’t use professional equipment.
Making puff pastry is using alternating layers of dough and butter.
The butter shapes into a flat rectangle and the dough rolls out wider to envelop the butter in lamination.
The lamination is rolled out and folded to create multiple layers in the final dough.
Both the butter and dough should be kept chilled at all times, and the lamination is rested to allow the gluten to relax between rollouts.
If the lamination gets too warm, the butter will melt, and there is a risk of dough ripping if it’s too cold.
Savory use of puff pastry includes pie crusts, wrappings for meat, and vol-au-vents.
Cream horns, Mille feuilles, and parmiers are examples of sweet uses of this pastry.
It’s a sub-category of puff pastry that exists in its tradition. It uses a variant of puff pastry leavened with yeast to create Danish pastries.
The eggs, milk, and butter enrich the dough.
It is easier to make than a puff pastry, but the dessert still needs to be handled with care and must be kept chilled during its preparation.
When making flaky pastry, the butter is not in one single layer.
Neither does it have to be in a solid rectangle as with puff pastry but can be softened with a palette knife and chilled before the next rollout.
It can be spread out and does not have to be a solid rectangle like puff pastry.
Flaky pastry involves a bit of effort to make but is better than puff pastry. It can be an alternative to the underlying problem.
Rough Puff Pastry
It is a cross between flaky and puff pastry. It is less troublesome to do.
This pastry is perfect for the modern home baker that doesn’t want to invest in flaky or puff pastry.
Rough puff pastry can either be dice, chilled butter, frozen butter and mixed with flour, salt, and cold water.
The water brings the flour together into a stiff dough containing lumps of butter.
The dough is then rolled and folded like with puff and flaky pastry before being chilled.
This gives a similar rise and texture to flaky pastry, but with a lot less risk.
These delicacies can be interchangeable with flaky pastry in most recipes, such as sausage rolls, savory pie crusts, and tarts.
Specialty and Regional Pastries
There are other specialties and regional pastries to be considered. The culture is a factor because we have different styles of desserts in different cultures.
Filo Pastry (Phyllo)
It is a Middle Eastern relative of puff pastry. Filo is an unleavened pastry that is really thin, has delicate sheets of dough, separated by layers of oil or melted butter.
It becomes crispy when baking but does not rise like puff pastry because it has a lower content of water.
Another difference is that instead of being rolled out, the high-gluten dough is stretched to a thin layer and brushed with the liquid fat.
It is popularly used in making Turkish sweet pastry baklava, and also in creating parcels for snacks such as samosas and spring rolls.
It is a light pastry made of flour, water, butter, and eggs.
High moisture content is in the dough which is done by boiling the water and butter before incorporating the flour.
It has the effect of gelatinizing the starch and allowing the addition of more water.
The eggs are then mixed in after cooling, adding even more moisture to the dough.
The dampness causes it to puff up and treble in size.
The final result has a crisp crust and a hollow center, which is often filled with cream and topped with melted chocolate.
Hot Water Crust Pastry
It’s the pastry that trends in the world, being handled while hot and using melted fat.
This English pastry is rich and decadent and is used to create raised meat pies and pasties.
In making this dish, lard melts in boiling water to which flour is then added, forming a hot and sticky paste.
The paste kneads on a pastry board before being molded into pie forms, filled, covered, and sealed.
The pastry is ideal for keeping in meat juices and other wet fillings. It bakes to a golden brown shade after being glazed with beaten egg.
So that’s it, now you know the different types of pastries and their uses when baking.
The thing to consider now is choosing which of these would be your top choice.
The perfect pastry is soft and short, or crumbly. Make sure all your ingredients are cold before you begin. It will help keep the results light and crumbly.