"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. "
If you take a look at the internet these days, you’ll find that apart from cakes, a lot of new and interesting desserts have been trending lately. For a lot of these desserts, the base is made out of dough. In today’s blog, we’re going to learn about the types of pastry dough.
The term ‘pastry’ can mean many things. It can refer to a specific type of dough – like the one that is used to make pies and tarts – or it can refer to those baked goodies that you buy with your coffee in the morning. In India, pastry means the stand-alone slices of cream cakes that are sold in bakeries. But speaking of pastry dough, there are a lot of varieties if you consider all the regional variations across the world.
Before we understand these varieties, what exactly is dough?
A dough is a mixture of flour, water and fat content which may vary depending upon the product, pricing and requirement by the client. Fat in pastry dough may refer to butter, shortening, margarine or oil. Though the ingredients seem very simple, the combination and ratio in which they are mixed is very crucial and determines the final product. Even the slightest variation can change the end product drastically.
Without further delay, here are the 5 different types of pastry dough that every pastry chef should master :-
This is the most commonly used dough for making tarts, pies, and quiches. A short crust pastry dough can be used for making sweet and savory products as well. Many chefs use margarine and butter in the 1:1 ratio to give the pastry a rich taste along with stability.
One of my favourites, and also known as pâte feuilletée, is laminated dough. It is a preparation where a butter or fat bed is laid in between thin layers of the dough and folded and rolled many times to get the layers. These types of pastry doughs are generally chilled at each stage or sometimes overnight too. The chilling facilitates the baking process as the water in the butter vaporizes and expands, which leads to the dough puffing and thus the layers separate. The lipids of the butter help fry the dough, because of which the pastry becomes light and flaky.
This dough is made of just four ingredients namely, flour, water, fat and eggs. Unlike few other puddings and pancakes it uses the steam to rise instead of a raising agent. The major difference here is that this dough is made by initially boiling the water and butter and then adding the flour to it. The eggs are added after the cooling process which helps to retain the moisture and facilitates the raising process.Profiteroles, croquembouches are a few of my favourites that can be made using the choux pastry dough.
One of the most trending and hot favourite these days is filo pastry dough. I have been drooling seeing those lovely photos of baklava and many other Middle Eastern and Balkan desserts. It is a super thin, unleavened dough. The cuisines made with these doughs involve many layers and sheets coated with fat and nuts to give a rich taste and texture.
It is also known as blitz or rough pastry dough. Belonging to the family of puff pastry dough the major difference lies in the way the fat is mixed with the dough. In flaky dough the chilled butter is added to the dough in big lumps unlike the puff pastry where it is laid as a bed in between the folds. The lumps help create a different texture all together.
So if you wish to master these pastry doughs then don’t forget to do a detailed study on all types of dough. The simple yet important ingredients make the process look simple but still practice is a must. So I am hopping off for now, but make sure you try at least one of the above doughs this week. Until then, Dasvidaniya!