Saturday, December 8, 2007

7 Top New Cooking Tips for Pastry-Preps!

By Abhishek Agarwal

You may have wondered about the secrets that are hidden in a light, tasty and flakey pastry; well, don't anymore, because we've uncovered some of the best-kept secrets of top bakers here for you today! Take a look at our handy hints and guidelines to making the lightest, fluffiest and most delightful puff pastries you've ever imagined!

1. Always remember to use cold ingredients in your recipe for making pastry as these ensure you get a flakey crust and fat that is extra cold when mixed into pre-chilled flour (especially useful in summer baking sessions), gives the best pastries ever!

2. If you remember to cut the fat in always up to the point that your mix looks akin to small peas or gravel then use it more to mould the dough, you can rest assured your pastry crust will be nice and light.

3. On the occasion that you are making a pie with a double crust to it, you may want to keep aside some dough to use as the bottom crust; dividing this in two portions and keeping one bigger than the other will help you cover the baking needs.

4. Previously chilled pastry is easy to mould and handle than one that has been left out, so do remember to refrigerate your pasty dough for at least half an hour before using the product.

5. The option of chilling the pastry dough in the fridge for 10 minutes extra is all right too, and people are known to freeze it for up to 3 days after wrapping it in air-tight material, which ensures easy handling when needed for shaping or rolling it. Pre-chilled dough should be ideally kept for some time at room temperature to make it more pliable and this one of the best tips for making perfect pastries I know.

6. Lightly dust some flour on the wax paper before rolling out the pastry dough on it; invert it over the pan when ready and peel the waxpaper off once the filling is done. It's an easy way to transfer the pastry without a dent in it!

7. If perchance, the pastry does break while transferring, you can pinch or press the dough back together again smoothly. For other problems that can't be patched up easily, you can use pieces for trimming for fixing these up.

Overall, you need to remember to resist from stretching the pastry to fit over the pie-dish along the bottom crust and instead try to ease it into the pan, lightly insert it into the bottom crease using gentle finger-tip motion to do so.

On a parting note, for top crusts with a shine, lightly brush these with cream a little before baking them to get a shiny top and evenly sprinkle a generous pinch of sugar over - for added sweetness.

Abhishek is a cooking enthusiast! Visit his website and download his FREE Cooking Report Master Chef Secrets and learn some amazing Cooking tips and tricks for FREE! Learn how to create the perfect meal on a shoe-string budget. And yes, you get to keep all the accolades! But hurry, only limited Free copies available!

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