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Pastry Cooking Tipsfrom:
Making great pastry has always been seen as something of a mystery, but now you can learn some easy pastry cooking tips that can help make all of your pastries tastier.
The following are some of the most commonly used cooking tips for pastry. Try these the next time you bake and see if they help.
Using cold ingredients will help produce the flakiest crust. You want to make sure and use very cold fat. In warm weather, it helps to chill the flour ahead. Using cold ingredients is perhaps one of the most important cooking tips for great pastry.
Some other great cooking tips are to always cut the fat in until your mixture resembles small peas or gravel. The more you incorporate the fat beyond that point, the less flaky your crust will be.
When you are making a double crust pie, it helps to have a little extra dough for the bottom crust. Divide the dough in two, making one part just slightly larger than the other.
Other very good cooking tips are to understand that pastry handles better when chilled than it will handle at room temperature. It only takes about 30 to 40 minutes in the refrigerator beforehand to chill the product.
Of course, you can chill pastry in the refrigerator for longer than 40 minutes if wish. You can store pastry for up to 2 or 3 days if it is wrapped well in an airtight material. If you do store it this long make sure that you let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before rolling to allow the dough to become more pliable. These are cooking tips that are very easy to do and very useful to know, and will help a great deal in improving the finished product.
You should roll your pastry on a sheet of lightly floured wax paper. When you are ready, invert the pastry right over the pan, or filling, and peel the paper off. This makes transfer of pastry a snap and helps to avoid breaking or cracking.
If you do have a break or crack, you can often patch the tears by pinching or pressing the dough back together. Larger problems can be patched with trimmings cut from the overhanging dough.
You should not stretch the pastry when you are lining a pie pan with the bottom crust. Instead of stretching, ease the pastry into the pan, gently tucking it into the bottom crease with your fingertips.
More cooking tips include two for top crusts: For added luster, sparingly brush your top crust with cream just before baking. This will give the crust a shine. Another trick is to lightly sprinkle a large pinch or two of sugar over the top for an extra bit of sweetness.
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