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Pastry Dough for Pies and Pastries

Pastry Dough for Pies and Pastries

All chefs should be able to prepare and work with a variety of dough including flaky and mealy pie dough. These dough are certainly not retained for exclusive use in the bakery. They are used as components in such savory dishes as cheese straws or pot pies.

Cookies, including shortbread are important elements in many of the more elaborate plated desserts and cakes you might want to offer on your menu. You may want to use them to decorate cakes you purchased from elsewhere, if you do not make the majority of your own desserts. This is one way to make sure that your dessert menu is not exactly the same as the restaurant down the street.

Basic Pie Dough

Basic pie dough is often called 3-2-1 dough, because it is composed of three parts flour, two parts fat and one part water (by weight). When properly made, the crust is flaky and crisp. Pie dough may be referred to as either "flaky" or "mealy". The difference has to do with how the fat or shortening is incorporated into the flour. When the shortening is allowed to remain in large pieces, the finished pie dough will separate easily into layers, hence the descriptive term, flaky. When the fat is worked more thoroughly into the flour, the result will be a pie crust with a very small flake. It will be more similar to shortbread or cookie dough, with short fine grain referred to as mealy.

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