Flaky Pastry Dough

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Ingredients

  • 900g All Purpose Flour (sifted), plus extra for dusting and rolling
  • 450g Unsalted Butter
  • 200g Lard or Shortening (cut into thin rectangular slices)
  • 300ml Water (Ice Cold)
  • 15g Salt
  • 25g Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 1tbsp Rice Vinegar or White Wine Vinegar

Instructions

  1. Place your flour and butter into your freezer, and chill for approximately 2hrs until  the butter is firm.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together your eggs, egg yolks, water, and vinegar together till well combined.
  3. In a large bowl, add all your flour, sugar and salt, stir to combine.  Drop your butter into the bowl, and coat in the flour.  Using a box cheese grater, coarsely grate the butter into the flour, while occasionally dusting with flour to help prevent the butter from sticking to the grater.
  4. Add your egg and water mixture to your flour and butter mix.  Stir until just combined, but your pieces of butter are still visible.
  5. Lightly flour your work surface and roll out your dough to a rectangle of 20-x-10-inches, flouring the dough and work surface as needed.   Place your pieces of lard, covering approximately half the surface of your dough.  Fold over your dough and pinch your seams, fully encapsulating the lard with dough.
  6. Re-roll your dough into a 20-x-10-inches rectangle again, lightly flouring and dusting your work surface, dough and rolling pin as needed.  Fold the dough into three.  Turn the dough 90º degrees, and repeat this process an additional 4 times.
  7. Portion and wrap your dough, and refrigerate until needed.

Notes

  • If you’re familiar with making pastry, you’ll notice the technique in this recipe is the same for making puff pastry wherein you fold layers upon layers of fat and dough together.  So that when it bakes, the heat causes the water content from the dough to steam and try to escape but the layer of fat prevents this from happening, causing the dough to rise.  This in turn causes the dough to “puff up” and create multiple layers of flaky and delicious pastry.
  • I didn’t necessarily adapt this recipe from another, but used the standard ratio for making pie dough, which is 3:2:1.  That is 3 parts flour to 2 parts fat and 1 part water or liquid. 
  • In this instance, I used a combination of butter and lard for the fat incorporated into this recipe.  The butter has a nicer flavour, but the lard produces a softer and flakier dough.  So the combination of the two produces a superior product in my honest opinion. 
  • You could swap the lard with shortening to make this dough vegetarian friendly, but if you have the option of using lard over shortening.  Go with lard!  The simple reason being that lard has a much fuller and richer flavour than shortening.
  • You’ll notice a combination of sugar, salt and vinegar in this recipe which isn’t exactly common in savory pie dough recipes.  The sugar helps to balance out the flavour of the dough and helps to evenly brown and caramelize the pastry dough as it bakes.  The salt helps season the dough, making it less bland and more palatable.  And finally the vinegar helps to season and slightly preserve the dough, improving the shelf life.
  • When you’re rolling out your dough and folding your dough, if you kitchen is a little warm or find your dough to be a little elastic when rolling, simply wrap it and pop it back into the fridge for 20-30mins to allow it to chill and rest.  Afterwards, take it out and continue rolling as normal.
  • This dough is quite versatile and works well for both sweet and savoury applications. 

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