How to Choose the Right Pastry Dough for Your Needs
Pastry dough has been prepared for many years all around the world. It also has a major part to play in many cuisines and different cultures. Pastry dough comes in different shapes, sizes, and forms. It is used in sweet dishes and savoury, from making the best pies to the most complicated patisserie. When using pastry at home to cook, it is very important to choose the right one for your needs. This is because although the most frequently used types of pastry (puff, filo, and shortcrust) are very flexible, they all produce a different outcome to the final recipe. Here is how to choose the right pastry dough for your needs.
First, puff pastry is usually considered as the best among the other pastries due to its highly noticeable layers and its outstanding rise. It is created from a laminated dough, whereby the layers of fat and dough are squeezed and rolled together. They are then overlapped several times in order to create layers. The air that is trapped between these layers of dough and fat rise when cooked hence forming an airy and flaky pastry. Puff pastry a rather fragile structure, hence works well when used as a flat base for dry ingredients, or as a topping for pies. This ensures that these ingredients do not submerge into the pastry hence ruining the layers. This means that it can be used as a just a simple pastry base. You only need to add a few ingredients on the base which will give you a very tasty dish in less than one hour.
The other types of pastry dough that you can choose from is shortcrust pastry. This one is more stronger than puff. It is made from a combination of fat and flour, hence creating a crumbly texture, instead of a flaky one. Due to its slightly crumb structure, it can be used in making robust cases and surfaces for tarts and pies, and can also withstand both dry and wet fillings. Shortcrust is easily noticeable in many classic recipes and forms the base of comforting pies, savoury quiches, as well as a lot more sweet desserts. This type of pastry dough is also adaptable and equally appropriate for making smaller tarts and pies, henec it is suitable for individual portions.
The other pastry dough that you can choose for your needs is filo pastry. This one is particularly different from the puff and shortcrust pastry. It is made with quite little fat and comes with very thin layers which normally requires to be arranged together in order to make a thin and flaky cover for fillings. This type of pastry is a perfect choice if you are looking for a healthier option, or when you do not have enough time, since it cooks very fast comparing with puff and shortcrust pastries. However, it is very delicate and can easily tear or rip when used hence it is appropriate for slightly drier fillings. Although puff and shortcrust pastries can be easily altered and shaped, filo layers on the other hand are not very flexible. Pastry tins can be covered by overlapping layers which creates the unique crinkled layers similar with filo. These layers are normally brushed with butter so that they can stick together although oil can also be used for a dairy free or vegan alternative. This type of pastry can be used as a base for quiches and tarts, or in more attractive dishes such as samosas.