Mar 21, 2013

Short paste/pastry dough

I used two sources to make the pastry dough. I started with Sonia Peronaci, from the Italian website. I finished with Julia Child and her 4 page recipe/instruction. And I ended up with a fantastic looking pastry dough and quiche.

The only problem that came up was that Sonia didn't pre-bake her dough and Julia certainly did. When the dough is pre-baked (look picture above) it is not elastic anymore. So, after I filled it with liquid and wanted to nicely close the overhanging pastry on top of the filling...well, it didn't exactly cooperate. It broke in some places, some liquid leaked over and under. At that point I thought that all I did was a big mess...not a quiche.

Well, the quiche* turned out beautiful. Magically, I couldn't notice any spilled, burned liquid outside the shell. The border on top looked original and attractive. The pastry was the best I could ever remember making. And I learned a couple of more tricks by Julia. And by Sonia.

Recipe adapted from Giallo Zafferano and Julia Child

time: 10 min preparation + 2hrs inactive + 10 min pre-baking = 2hrs 20min


200 g (1 1/3 cup) flour
100 g (3.5 oz) cold butter
70 ml (1/4 cup + 2 teaspoons) chilled water
couple of pinches of salt


It's the best to have all the ingredients and tools to be cold. I put my small food processor, knife, rolling pin, flour and water an hour or so before all in the fridge (butter was already in there).

In a food processor (with steel blades), place butter cut in small (2x2cm, 1x1inch) cubes, flour and salt. Pulse the processor about 10 times. The mixture should look like sand.

Transfer the mix onto a rolling board, make a well in the middle. Pour in cold water. Working fast with your hands, with a couple of moves, combine it till it forms a mass. Working with the base of your palm (the coldest part of your hand), push the dough out a couple of times. Form a bowl. This step(s) should last about 30 seconds. The dough doesn't have to be completely smooth. Wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for at least 2 hours. The dough can be kept in the fridge for 2-3 days. I made mine the day before. I took it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before using. 

Unwrap the cold pastry and place it on a rolling board. Begin rolling. Starting from the bottom half of the dough, always roll away from you, turning and shifting pastry after every 2-3 moves.  It should take about 1 minute. Keeping the dough cold is the key. The more you roll, the warmer and more sticky it will get.  

Now your dough is ready for baking. If you want to make a quiche or a tart, pre-bake the pastry dough. If you don't, you'll have a raw crust on the bottom.

Pre-baking for quiche or tart 

Preheat oven to 205C/400F (static function!). Line your 24cm/9inch baking form with parchment paper (optional). Prepare a cup of beans and aluminum foil.
Transfer the rolled dough immediately into a baking form. You can cut the overhung edges or leave them, depending on how you want your quiche to look. Line bottom with aluminum foil. Place the beans on top to prevent dough from puffing up. Put it in a hot oven for 8-9 minutes. Take it out of the oven, remove foil and beans. Puncture bottom of pastry with a fork about 10 times in different places. Place it in a hot oven for another 2-3minutes. Take it out again. Apply desired filling and put it back in the oven. For a quiche, it will take about 30-40 minutes of baking.

For a fully cooked shell

Bake 7-10 minutes more, or until the shell is lightly browned.

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