COOKING TIP VI, French doughs

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There are three French doughs you must know.  They’re classic, simple, and ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.  Stop buying the pre-made and do it yourself.

Don’t be intimidated!

With these three recipes you’ll cover all necessary grounds for both salty & sweet crusts.  It you want to be super naughty check out this guy.  Sinful and so worth it.  

Jot these down in your kitchen notebook and fully prep your station before starting.  Yes they’re easy recipes and don’t require much skill but  remember that temperatures, timing and ratios are really important and must be respected.  

These recipes are for CRUSTS not bread or pasta. Gluten and elasticity aren’t our friends.  Meaning, DON’T OVER-WORK THE DOUGH.  Once the ingredients are binded well-together stop handling it.

Move fast!  We dont’ want our butter to get warm, or even room temperature.  I like to weigh out my butter, cut it into small pieces and place them in a large mixing bowl in the freezer so the bowl is nice and cool.  I use a pastry cutter or my fingers to sabler (to cut until sandy) the butter into the flour.  Then I make a flour well (liquids in the middle) and use a fork/then hands to incorporate the liquid.  

If you’re blind baking (cooking the formed dough without a filling) it’s going to shrink A LOT if you don’t put in weights.  If adding weights do this-  place a layer of parchment paper over the raw dough once it’s been pressed into the baking dish.  Weigh the paper down with dried beans or uncooked rice.  Bake at 375° F for 15-20 minutes, remove paper and weights, bake for 5 more.

Make sure your counter top is super clean.  You don’t want any debris getting into your super special French dough!  

And always measure out your ingredients, preheat your oven and grease your pie tin before mixing anything.  Remember, you want to move fast with these recipes.  Feel free to use a food processor instead of mixing by hand.  But remember, NOT TO OVER-WORK THE DOUGH.

Pate Brisee   ‘flaky dough’

  • 200g AP flour
  • 5g salt
  • 100g butter, COLD
  • 60mL water, COLD or 10mL water + 1 egg

Pate Sucree   ‘crumbly sweet dough’ 

  • 200g AP flour
  • 100g butter, VERY cold
  • 30g sugar
  • 5g salt
  • 1 egg + 10mL water
  • 1-2 TBS ice water, if needed

Pate Sablée    ‘sandy dough’

  • 150g butter, softened
  • 90g powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 yolks
  • 255g cake flour, sifted
  • 1-2 TBS ice water, if needed

-Always start by mixing your dry ingredients.  And remember to SIFT.

-Cut in the butter til sandy.

-Add liquid/egg.

-Mix just until everything is incorporated.  

-Form a disk, cover in plastic wrap and toss in fridge for at least 30 minutes.  

*All doughs freeze well (up to 1 month) and can rest 3-4 days in the fridge.  

*If using a food processor-  place dry ingredients and butter in bowl, pulse til sandy, add liquids and pulse til it forms one big ball.  Remove, roll out or store in fridge/freezer.

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