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Are There Any Secrets To Good Pastry?

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E Jacobson answered
The main secret to good pastry, whatever the type of pastry is to keep it cool. Use good quality butter or margarine for the pastry, straight from the fridge. Make sure that you sieve the flour for the pastry. This may sound dull, but it introduces air into the flour, which has been compacted in the bag or storage tin.
When you introduce water to the flour and butter, make sure that it is very cold water. Then after you have rolled out the pastry and cut it out, covering your flan case or pie cases, place it in the fridge for at least half an hour, so that the pastry can rest.
Then you need to ensure that the oven is pre-heated for at least 10-15 minutes before the pastry goes in the oven. Since it is going from a very cool environment to a hot environment this helps the pastry cook properly and be as light as possible.

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