Most people believe that pastry is among the most challenging culinary skills to master. But the truth is that there is no mystery in making patisserie treats, pasties, and mouth-watering pies.
Pastry requires few ingredients. However, they will allow you to conjure culinary magic when cooked and combined well. So if you are looking to perfect your pastry skills, the following tips can help you:
1. Consider Using Fresh Ingredients
The top priority is leavening agents, such as baking soda and baking powder. That is because these agents lose their effectiveness after around six months. And that means baked products won’t rise as they should.
However, spices, such as cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon, can as well lose their potency. This is true, especially if you purchase those that are pre-grounded.
2. Measure Ingredients Properly
This may seem obvious. However, this is where most people need to correct things. Basically, the difference between a recipe failure and a recipe success lies within one tablespoon of sugar that has been mismeasured.
Measuring your ingredients properly is vital. Flour is among the common ingredients which are often mismeasured. So if you are measuring all four types, ensure you consider using the spoon & level technique.
Avoid scooping your flour out of its bag or container using a measuring cup. Mostly, scooping flour may give your around 150% correct measurement.
3. Put the Right Equipment Together
Gather every piece of equipment you need. Having everything you need means you can work faster. Not to mention, you will not dig through your cupboard for something when your hands are covered in baking flour. For most pastry recipes, you may need the following equipment:
- Cling film or plastic wrap
- Flat spatula
- Dinner knife
- A large bowl for baking
- Rolling pin
4. Be Creative with Texture and Flavor
Great bakers often stick with classics. Plus, they are always curious, experimenting with new techniques and flavor combinations.
Not all these experiments can end up on the winning side. However, a successful baker may see fumbles as great learning experiences, not failures.
Like many things in your life, great foundational skills will make it much easier to tinker with dishes as well as develop a new recipe.
5. Add Water Gradually
Reducing water so as to minimize the development of gluten is vital. However, you still require more water to ensure the dough is worked.
Always add water to your mixture little by little until your dough looks lumpy. But if the pastry looks sticky after too much water, consider adding more flour.
6. Give Your Dough a Rest
When baking, crusts normally shrink. So you will need to give them more time to rest. This will allow the gluten to relax and prevent it from snapping back to its original size.
To achieve this, you will need to wrap it with plastic, then put it in your fridge for half an hour.
Nothing really builds more excitement at occasions than the appearance of amazing and delicious cakes. Whether you want to be a baker or are already a baker looking to perfect your pastry skills, these tips will help you investigate flavors/textures that blend well and design cakes.