Lesson 74: Pastry Doughs

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Today we learned the foundation of pastry: doughs! I love making pie & tart doughs so I especially enjoyed learning today's new techniques and recipes.

Chef demonstrated making each dough and then we all got a chance to make a batch ourselves. We started with the Pate Brisee, which is a French version of pie dough. This French dough uses only butter, as opposed to shortening, and results in more flavor yet a little less flakiness. We mixed together all-purpose flour, cake flour, salt, and baking powder. Next we added in a pound of cold butter. We got in there with our hands to blend the butter with the flour mixture:
Once the butter was blended in (with large chunks of butter still visible), we added in some ice water to bind the dough together. We wrapped up the doughs to be utilized later to make pies and tarts!

The next dough we made was a little different because it was made with sugar and eggs. The pate sucree started out with flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. We added 1/2 lb of butter this time and blended it with our hands until the mixture resembled cornmeal (or as Chef described it: "Kraft Parmesan"). We folded in 5 eggs, which binded the dough together to form a more sturdy dough (less crumbly than the first one).
We worked in pairs to make the next dough: pate sablee. Naturally, I worked with Allison H, so we could be "Team Allison: AA". This time we used a Kitchen Aid mixer because we had to cream butter and sugar before adding in the eggs and flour. This also formed a crumbly, sweet dough that is mostly used for tarts.

Each pair also made a frangipane recipe. Team Allison made a pistachio version by mixing together ground pistachios, sugar and butter in the Kitchen Aid. Next, we added in some vanilla extract and 8 egg yolks. We added a little bit of flour (3 oz) to bind the mixture together. It was fun to try the different groups' frangipanes since we all used different flavorings and variations.

We ended class pretty early today (4:20!) since we decided to make our pastry cream tomorrow intead of today so we can use it right away for our tarts. During the last part of class, Chef showed us how to make cornets (the piping cone for icings/pastry creams):
I'm looking forward to utilizing the different doughs that we made today to make different tarts! Yum!


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