Pastries are among those baked goods which are the favorite of children and also my favorite. That’s why I tried to search best baking method for pastries and tried it. Unfortunately, my pastries were not perfect because the in the method common faults of pastries and their prevention were not discussed. I tried some more time and finely got the tricks to bake perfect pastries

Now I want that you people should not face that problem I am sharing the exact baking method of pastry products with tips and tricks. This will not let your ingredients waste. There are many types of pastries and so the ingredients vary. Here is the method which I use to bake my favorite pastries.

pastries in  bakery

Ingredients for pastries:

The following are the most common and easily available ingredients for pastries

  • Flour - Flour is the basic ingredient to make pastry goods. For this purpose, you can use pastry flour, all-purpose flour, or cake flour.
  • Fat - You can use butter, shortening, or margarine in the flour to give it a crumbly and flaky texture.
  • Sugar - we add sugar to sweeten the dough of the pastry and it also adds flavor to the pastry.
  • Eggs - These act as binding agents in the dough and increases flavor and richness in the dough.
  • Yeast -  danishes or croissants require adding some leavening agents like yeast.
  • Milk or cream - Milk or cream is added as it develops moisture and further richens the flavor.
  • Salt - you can add salt to the dough to balance the sweetness and makes a complex flavor.
  • Baking powder - It is also used as a leavening agent and rises the dough of the pastry.
  • Spices or flavorings - Vanilla, cinnamon, or nutmeg can be used according to choice which gives a unique flavor to your baking products.
  • Fillings - You can use chocolate, fruits, custards, or savory ingredients to increase the flavor of your pastries.

Wheat flour in pastries:

In pastry products, it is recommended to add wheat flour as it gives the exact texture and structure to baking products. There is gluten present in wheat flour that makes a protein network when water is added to it and kneaded. This protein network is necessary to trap the carbon dioxide gas during the baking process. This all results in airy and fluffy pastries.

We can use different types of wheat flour according to their availability. You can use cake flour, pastry flour, or all-purpose flour. Most commonly, all-purpose flour is used in baking as it is suitable for most types of recipes. For more delicate pastries like sponge cakes, you can use cake flour that contains lower contents of protein.  To make croissants and similar products it is suitable to use high-protein flour like pastry flour.

flour for pastries

To get the perfect texture of pastry, it is necessary to take a measured amount of wheat flour.  It is also important to choose the appropriate type of flour according to the baking product you want to make.

Fats for pastries:

To add richness to pastries and get fluffiness, it is necessary toad some fats to pastry products. You can use a variety of fats;

Butter: This is a traditional fat that is added to make pie crusts, shortbreads, croissants, etc. Butter gives a flaky appearance to pastries and also adds to their richness. 

Shortening: This is available in solid form and commonly used to make pie crusts and other pastries to get a flaky texture. It is given preference over butter due to its high melting point and stability at high temperatures.

Margarine: This is made from vegetable oil and acts as an alternative to butter in baking. It has a similar texture to butter and can be used to make many types of pastries.

Oil: In some types of baking products oil is added to give them a moist and tender appearance. In muffins and quick bread, we can use canola oil or vegetable oil instead of butter.

Liquid or water in Pastries:

To get our desired results, we add water or liquid to the dough of pastries. These are a few examples;

1. Hydration of dough:  In the dough of pastry, water is used as a necessary ingredient and acts as a binding agent. You can change the amount of water in the dough according to the type of texture you want to get.

2. Leavening Purpose:  Water, buttermilk, or milk are also added to dough to activate the leavening agents in the dough. These agents are baking powder or yeast and give a fluffy texture to pastries.

3. Glazing: We can use eggs, water, or milk for glazing purposes. On the surface of the molded dough, any of the liquid is brushed to generate a golden and shiny crust.

4. Filling: you can use some liquid ingredients like jelly, chocolate, or fruit puree to fill up the pastries. These pastries may be tarts, pies, or turnovers.

These all ingredients are necessary to give a perfect and yummy touch to pastries made by professionals.

Leaveners in Pastries:

The ingredients that cause the dough to rise and make your pastry product fluffy and light are called leavening agents. You can use a variety of leaveners according to availability.

1. Baking powder: 

Baking powder is commonly used as a leavening agent to make pastries.  Baking soda, cream of tartar, and cornstarch are mixed to form baking soda. When any liquid comes in contact with baking soda it forms carbon dioxide and results in the rising of the dough.

2. Baking soda: 

If baking powder is not available, you can use baking soda as a substitute in pastries. However, in addition to baking powder, baking soda is also added in small amounts.  It acted as a base and its reaction with acid resulted in carbon dioxide production. When baking soda alone is added to the dough then there is a need toad some acidic ingredients like yogurt or buttermilk etc.

3. Yeast: 

Yeast is a type of microorganism that is also used as a leavening agent in the dough. It feeds on the sugar present in the dough and produces carbon dioxide, It is often used in bread and other special types of pastries like danishes and croissants.

4. Whipped egg whites:

 In some pastries whipped egg white is also used as a leavening agent. When eggs are beaten, then air is trapped in them and it expands on heating and leads to a rise in pastries. This is mostly used in meringues and souffles.

Salt in pastries:

To make pastry products, salt is a very important component. It balances the sweet taste in pastries and further enriches the flavor of pastries.  It also controls the process of fermentation and prevents over rise in pastries.

Salt should be used in the right amount as salt in excess makes the pastry too much salty and deteriorate its flavor. If you add too little salt to these, then there is no use to add it. For each cup of flour, you should add ¼ or ½  teaspoon of salt to suit your taste. To get well-balanced and delicious pastries adding salt is vital.

Sugar in Pastries:

Sugar is added to make the pastry dough as it gives sweetness to pastry dough and also makes a good texture and nice color to the pastry sweet. However, it is necessary to avoid adding too much sugar to the dough due to its negative effects on health. Excess sugar may increase the risk of diabetes type 2, obesity, and heart disease. 

sugar for pastries

As pastries are yummy but it is necessary to use them in moderation. You should use other healthy food products in your diet, not just pastry. If you are a diabetes patient then you can use sugar in less amount and or use maple syrup or honey.

Acidic ingredients in pastries:

Acidic ingredients are added to the dough for different purposes. These are the following;

1. Flavor: 

Citrus juice, sour cream, or vinegar can be added to give a bright tangy flavor to pastries.

2. Leavening:

 To activate the baking soda which is a leavening agent, it is necessary to add some acidic ingredients to the dough. For this purpose, common acidic ingredients are sour cream, buttermilk, and yogurt.

3. Preservation: 

Some acidic ingredients are also used in the preservation of pastries. These hinder the growth of molds and bacteria. In tarts and pies, lemon juice is added which preserves their texture and color.

Common acidic ingredients used in pastries include:

  • Lemon juice
  • Lime juice
  • Vinegar (white, apple cider, red wine, etc.)
  • Cream of tartar
  • Buttermilk
  • Yogurt
  • Sour cream
  • Citric acid

Eggs used in pastries:

Without eggs, you can not have flaky and perfect pastry items. Eggs are vital ingredients to make your favorite pastries. These are used for various purposes. Eggs are also added to enhance rich flavor of pastries. In cupcakes, cakes, and muffins, beaten eggs with sugar are used to give them a fluffy and light texture. 

To make quiches, pie crusts, and tarts, eggs are added for binding purposes in fillings. These are also used for coating and glazing as after this pastries look golden and shiny. For this purpose, first beat the egg with a small amount of water or milk and brush on the surface of the pastry. You have to do this before baking pastries. To add more flavor you can add vanilla essence to the beaten egg.

How to make pastries?

Here are the basic steps to making the dough of pastries and then baking them.

1. Mix the dry ingredients:

 First, take a medium-sized bowl and add flour, salt, and sugar in I and mix them well.

2. Add the fat:

After that cut the fat either margarine or butter into pieces and add to the mixture. You can mix the fat in the already flour mixture with your fingers or can use a pastry cutter. You have to blend the fat in flour until pea-sized pieces.

3. Add the liquid:

Then add eggs or water to the mixture and blend them well until you get the dough in the form of a softball.

4.    Leave the dough to set: 

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge for about 30 minutes. This will allow the gluten to set and your pastry items will be shaped perfectly.

5. Roll out the dough:

Roll out the dough on a leveled surface and get your desired shape and thickness of the dough.

7.    Filling:

You can make your desired filling like custard, fruit pieces or cream, etc to fill before rolling the dough.

8.   Cutting the roles:

A pastry cutter can be used to cut the pastries into your desired shapes and sizes.

9. Baking of pastries:

Preheat the oven and put the pastries in a baking dish for baking them. Check after 15 minutes to get golden brown color and exact texture. 

There are many other types of pastry items having different filings and variations in ingredients. Comment about your favorite pastry to get its recipe.

Common faults in pastries:

Due to some mistakes sometimes pastry items are not perfect. Following are the common faults in pastries.

1. Tough and dense texture:

When you have added too much flour to the dough or it is over kneaded then you get a tough pastry consistency. It may also be due to the absence or less amount of leavening agents in the dough.

2. Undercooked or soggy bottom:

This happens when you have added extra filling in the pastries or have not pre-baked the crust before filling it. To avoid this fault, you have to blind-bake the crust before filling it. You can also spread some flour at the bottom of the crust which will absorb excessive moisture

3. Shrinking crust: 

 When you have not chilled the crust before baking it or you have stretched the crust too thin during rolling. To prevent the shrinking of the pastry products, you have to chill the dough for at least 30 minutes and not too stretch the dough.

4. Burnt edges:

 When you have kept the temperature of the oven too high, then this may burn the edges of pastry products. Also, check the pastries during baking to avoid any burning of their edges. Keep the temperature of the oven normal.

5. Flat or deflated pastries: 

When you have added a too small amount of leavening agents, this problem occurs. Also, avoid using expired leavening agents otherwise your pastry products will not rise. Use fresh yeast or baking powder in the dough.

6. Dry or crumbly texture:

When you have overbaked the dough or added too much fat to it, this results in crumbly pastries.

Follow all the instructions carefully and try to bake pastry items at home. Enjoy your happy baking and delicious fluffy pastries.

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