You do not have to be a top chef to make great pastries, but you need to be a careful one. In other words, you must be careful in the way you prepare pastries. A pastry is made from a mixture of flour, fat and water. To make a great pastry, all these ingredients must be balanced correctly; there should be no shortage or excess of one of the ingredients. In addition to ingredients, problems may also surface due to wrong preparations methods.
Check out the following pastry problems and learn how you can rectify them.
Why Do Pastries Crumble?
When you come up with a crumbled pastry, it is because you have less water than is required in your dough. It is important to minimise water so as to avoid gluten development, but a low amount of water is not good either. Gluten is a protein formed by two other proteins called glutelin and gliadin. It causes pastries to become elastic and difficult to roll.
Therefore, if you do not want a crumbled pastry, you have to add the right amount of water to your dough. Add water gradually, preferably one teaspoon at a time.
Why Do Pastries Shrink When Cooked?
Pastries shrink when the dough is not given enough time to relax. After working on the dough, put it in your fridge for 30 minutes so as to set the fat and relax the gluten. The dough, however, may be too stiff to roll after getting it out of the freezer. If you are preparing shortcrust pastries and this happens, do not fret and start to warm the dough. Instead, whack it with your rolling pin a few times. It will force it into a rollable submission.
Why Do Edges Fall Over While Baking?
Under normal circumstances, a thick crust falls over because of its weight. But if its weight is not the issue, the problem could be high amounts of fat in your dough, or because you have not allowed the dough to chill before putting it in an oven. There is little you can do about these two problems, but you can avoid them next time by regulating your use of fat and allowing the dough to chill before placing it in your oven.
Your cooked pastries may also develop tough crusts. This is usually due to low fat content in your recipe, which influences the development of excess gluten. To correct this, simply incorporate more fat in your cooking.