Wednesday, March 10, 2010

An introduction and some pie crust

There are times in one's life when it is better to leave well enough alone, in a way this is one of them. I'm currently a high school student dreaming about attending the Culinary Institute of America, but far from able to realize that dream. Until I am, it is best for me to keep baking as a hobby, which is not a bad compromise all in all. So, I hereby Christen this blog my in-between bakery, Petite Adventures in Baking. I hope you enjoy the adventure too!

One of my favorite baking books is Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan. It has everything from cakes and breads to brownies and pies. It is arranged in the most logical way, the first recipe being a pie crust. This recipe is one of my two favorite pie crust recipes, and when prepared carefully it never fails. After many tests, I've found that the most dependable way to prepare the dough is by hand with a pastry blender. Sure, a food processor makes quick work of the task, but I find that it does not offer the same degree of control. As the name suggests, the butter in this pie dough creates an incredibly flaky crust, but the shortening makes it tender and literally melt-in-your-mouth texture. Ms. Greenspan, could we please be friends? Without further ado, here is the magical recipe.

Flaky Pie Dough

Adapted from Baking with Julia

Makes enough dough for two double crust pies or 16 turnovers

5 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt*
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter*, chilled and diced
1 3/4 cups solid vegetable shortening, chilled
1 cup cold water

* I usually use salted butter and decrease amount of salt to a teaspoon or so.

Ina large, wide bowl combine flour, sugar, and salt. Stir with a fork until sugar and salt are evenly distributed. Add shortening in chunks while mixing with a pastry blender. Then all of the shortening has been added, the dough should have a crumbly consistency. Add the butter in the same way, but stop mixing when the butter chunks are the size of peas. Stir in some water with a wooden spoon until the dough sticks together when squeezed, but is not too wet. Cut in half (or quarters, depending on intended use) and chill. The dough keeps well in the freezer, but remember to thaw in the fridge overnight before you plan to use it.


No comments:

Post a Comment