Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Making Pastry

Despite my training and experience, I've had a lot of trouble over the years making pastry dough. It's weird, but I just have never been able to have a successful result with a variety of recipes, except for a couple: a butter recipe (here, scroll down) and a recipe from Gourmet (here). Today at work, I was asked to make pastry dough for the chicken pot pies being served for dinner. I was a little skeptical that I could pull this off, but I actually did it! I have no idea where this recipe came from, but I suspect it came from a shortening box. The shortening we use at this place is often purchased from Wal-Mart, and it's the Wal-Mart brand, and it doesn't have a recipe on the box, so that's not the source. But whatever the case, it worked out.

Pastry Dough

2 cups flour
1 cup shortening
3/4 tsp salt
1 egg
2 tbsp cold water
1 tbsp vinegar

Whisk together the dry ingredients, and then cut in the shortening with a pastry blender. You'll have something that looks like this:
Crumbly, with some larger chunks in it - it doesn't have to be perfect.

Whisk together the wet ingredients and add them to the dry.
Stir until combined. I was making three times the recipe and I wound up using my hands, and my dough was a bit sticky, so I just added a bit more flour.
The work surface needed to be well-floured for easy rolling, and one of the things I love about commercial kitchens is that you have a lot of room to roll pastry out and you can use as much flour as necessary without it making a huge mess.I needed 36 tops for 36 chicken pot pies, cut with the oval ramekins the pies were being baked and served in.Cute, eh? I was pretty pleased with myself. My confidence in my pastry-making skills has been restored!


Bob said...

Pastry dough is something I've never tried. You make it look easy! :)

Elra said...

WOW, bravo!
So, are you going to make any tart soon?

Donna-FFW said...

Wow, your arms mustbe aching. Looks like a lot of work, but you make it seem so simple.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Great! I love making pastry...



Coleen's Recipes said...

Looks like you mastered it well!

Cathy said...

Pastry is on my list of things to master this fall. I'm going to have to save your recipe to try.

Reeni♥ said...

This is one area I'm a bit lacking in too. These turned out great!!

tshsmom said...

That's my deceased friend K's favorite pastry recipe!
I always use my mother's recipe, which has always turned out for me.

Natashya said...

Wow, that is a lot of pot pies! Are you shipping them out to your bloggy friends? :)
Congrats on getting your pastry groove on.

girlichef said...

Nice! They look great...I always feel pretty smarmy when I get a good pastry dough made :D

Pierce said...

I have a file folder for recipes I want to try - from fellow bloggers. But now it's looking like I will also need a separate Coyote file!! This rocks!

Anonymous said...

Really nice set of process photos. Homemade pastry dough is such a lovely thing.


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