View Full Version : Really need help with pastry recipe

12-02-2007, 11:43 AM
Hi there

I really need help. Shortcrust pastry, I think they call it. The one I would use for sardine rolls, shortbread and pie crust. It's just a simple recipe that one would think you cannot get it wrong.

Simple rule: half fat to flour. Reduce fat if adding eggs. A pinch of salt sometimes. I would add a little cold water - that's what I was taught in cooking class way back when. Rubbing in method.

The problem is that everytime I try it, the results are different.

Once, it was too moist - so sticky.

Another time, it cannot roll smoothly and and cracks.

In both case, it won't lift off the counter top properly for pie crusts.

Once, it was perfect! But just that once. I made 3 pies that day! I just lifted it up as a whole piece and lay it over my pie dish.

What am I doing wrong? Why is it inconsistent?

IS it because I should be using self-raising flour or is it just plain flour?

I normally use butter since margarine is not too healthy. Is it my butter is too creamy?

I'm stumped!

12-02-2007, 12:52 PM
you need to place the dough in the fridge for at least 20-30 mins before rolling it out..light sprinkling of flour on table top and rolling pin, roll out in one direction only to the size you need. don't handle it too much...if it's a very hot day, you need to work faster!

12-02-2007, 01:04 PM
oh..use plain flour...cut cold butter into small pieces before rubbing in..if using water, water should also be cold not room temperature. use enough only to bind and place dough in fridge before rolling out. sometimes you need slightly more water than recipe and at times less depending on your flour. so start with less water than stated in recipe and add on if needed. easier if you add a bit of water first and if too dry, dip yr fingers into cold water and sprinkle on dough till you bind altogether. this way, you won't get a soggy dough. same princple applies if you decide to use egg, don't tip all in. you need to work quite quickly. i suspect your butter has started to melt,that's why you get a soggy dough..good luck

12-02-2007, 04:10 PM
Thanks, coleslaw. I think my mistake is

a) butter melting
b) did not leave standing in the fridge.

(I need to cover while in the fridge, right?)

If got time, I'll work on this pastry with a vengeance till I get it right. The frustration is eating me from the inside!

12-02-2007, 05:46 PM
I have a book called Book of Pastry published in 1964! It shows all the methods of making all sorts or pastries and loads of recipes! (PM me if you want to borrow).

This is the recipe for short crust rubbed-in method.

8 oz plain flour
1/2 level teaspoon salt
4 oz spry
2 tbs water

I also got this from the book:

Pastry too soft and crumbly
a. Too much fat
b. Sometimes happens with self-raising flour if used to make rich pastries.
c. Too little water

12-02-2007, 07:01 PM
just place in a plastic bag or just cling wrap it..

13-02-2007, 05:49 PM
Thanks, In
Thanks, coleslaw