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Plain Shortcrust Pastry

sweet.chef's picture
Ingredients
  Flour 1 3⁄4 Cup (28 tbs)
  Salt 1 Pinch
  Butter/Margarine / lard / shortening 1⁄4 Pound (1 Stick / 1/2 Cup)
  Cold water 1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs) (Adjust Quantity As Needed)
Directions

There are some golden rules for all pastries.
Use cold ingredients, cold steel to mix and cold fingers to handle the dough.
Sift and aerate the flour.
Rub in fat lightly with finger tips - don't squeeze it into marzipan.
Add liquid carefully as too much makes heavy dough, too little makes it crumbly and difficult to roll out.
Use short, firm rolls, lifting the pin frequently.
Don't steam-roller out the air in the pastry or work in too much flour from the board.
If sticky, chill before using.
This unsweetened pastry is quick and easy to make and does not need to be rested after mixing "but can be used at once, either for baking or frying.
Use either plain or self-rising flour, with butter, margarine, lard or vegetable shortening.
Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl.
Cut the fat into the flour and toss until well covered.
Now rub it in with the tips of the fingers, lifting your hands well above the bowl to incorporate plenty of air.
When the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, shake the bowl and rub in any lumps which come to the surface.
Add the cold water a little at a time, stirring with a metal spatula, until the mixture begins to bind.
Now gather it up with your fingers and work it into a soft but not sticky dough, leaving the bowl clean.
Do not over-knead it as it will become too elastic.

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: 
Medium
Course: 
Dessert
Method: 
Baked

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