Here we go! Another pie crust dedicated post. Today I am sharing my favorite Flaky Shortcrust Pastry recipe. This crust is amazing to use when making American style fruit pies and mousse pies. The main characteristic of this dough is flakiness.
The basic ingredients for the Flaky Shortcrust Pastry are the same with the ingredients used for the Pâte Brisée: Flour, Fat, Water/Liquid, Salt, Flavorings. I won’t get into describing everything in detail, in order to avoid boring repetitions. You can read the detailed post about the Pâte Brisée and the ingredients mentioned above, here. I will, though, talk about the things that are different regarding ingredients, ratios and the method used to make this dough.
The suggested type of flour for the Flaky Shortcrust is all-purpose flour because it is considered to have the right gluten content to provide structure to the dough, enough to create the desired layers, without making it tough.
This is the first post of a series dedicated to tart and pie crusts. My goal is to give you the basic information about pastries and show you how to make crusts for your favorite tarts and pies. The recipes I am going to present to you are simple as I really want to focus on crusts.
I always have a hard time presenting in detail complicated recipes, with many different components, without creating a really long and boring post.
Today we are making a Strawberry Galette focusing on the famous Pâte Brisée; the delicious dough we often meet in savoury tarts and quiches, galettes and rustic fruit pies.
Pâte Brisée is actually the French shortcrust pastry and it is more or less the same with the English shortcrust (I would say that probably the only difference is that in many English crust recipes butter is substituted for lard). I do, however think that Pâte Brisée (or the European shortcrust in general) is a bit different from the American style shortcrust.
Differences will be more obvious after my next post, which will be dedicated to the American shortcrust. Today we are baking the French way.
The term short in baking
Baked goods with little gluten development, as a result of high fat content, are considered to be short.
Fats like butter, shortening, margarine and lard have the ability to shorten gluten strands. When mixed with flour, fat surrounds its particles preventing the formation of gluten. The result is tender baked goods.
Pâte Brisée is traditionally made using wheat flour. There are different types of wheat flour though. The most profound difference between various commercial flour types, apart from milling process, is gluten content.
The recommended flour type for the Pâte Brisée is Pastry flour, also called weak in some countries (like here in Greece), which is actually the type 45 flour. The main characteristic of this type of flour is that it contains less gluten (protein content around 8-9%) than the commonly used all-purpose flour and it gives crumblier crusts.
I, however, tend to use all-purpose flour in many of my recipes (the brand I buy has a protein content of 10%) because that’s the type of flour usually found in every home.
Generally speaking, different types of flour produce different results. To keep your tart and pie crust soft try using flours with protein (gluten) content between 8-10%.
Orthodox Easter is only a week away and it’s time to start scheduling our holiday baking. Those who fast will bake these cookies only a few days before Easter, to eat on Easter Sunday but in my opinion these cookies can be an all year round thing. No need to wait for Easter. Make them once and you’ll know I am right.
I made a video for this recipe because I wanted to show you how to shape the cookies. The dough is pliable and you can shape it as you like but there are some traditional, commonly used, shapes and it seemed easier to show than try to describe in detail.
I know, another no-recipe post BUT I must say I have something baked and photographed so there will be a new post soon. I promise.
Today is the day: The day of the name change.
I announced that there would be a name change a few months ago. I already knew the name and I had the new domain registered. Now it’s time for you to know too.
The new Blog name is: Sweet Applepie.
Do you like it? I love it! Now I want to explain what it means for me.
Well, first of all it’s the obvious: This name is about the real Apple pie. The dessert I used to hate until I discovered how to make it. Apple pie was the first pie I ever made with the first pastry dough I ever made from scratch (it was a pâte brisée). Now it’s my favourite pie and whenever I make it I can’t help but think back at the beginning of my baking journey.
Secondly, this name reminds me of my beloved dog. Yes I will get into that now. When we got our doggie we decided to name him after Tintin’s dog friend. In Tintin’s Greek cartoon compilation the adventurous white doggie is called Milou (I know probably the name is not the same at the original cartoon series). Now, the name Milou sounds close to the Greek word Milo which means Apple. Over the years our sweet dog acquired many nicknames, with one of them being “Milopitas” which freely translates to “Apple pie”. So there it is my Sweet pet friend…my Sweet Applepie!
So the new name is shorter than the last one. I think it’s easier to remember and it has several positive connotations for me.
I have the new domain on which is www.sweetapplepie.eu but the old domain www.sweetapplepie.eu will be up for a while in order to make the transition easier.
How are you? No recipe post today, just some news.
Well, it’s obvious I am taking a break from baking and posting. At first I thought I did not have to talk about it but then some friends asked me if I had completely stopped blogging and I changed my mind. I am in the middle of a pregnancy situation guys :-). I am now officially 4 months pregnant so I think it’s safe to share.
When this year started I made a detailed baking and posting plan. My blogging goals for the year included posting at least once a weak and create content for special holidays. But then the good news came along and a serious food and smell aversion came with it, along with some other issues that keep me in bed almost all day long.
Just like that, plans changed and blogging had to be left behind. As people who have been following the blog for a while already know, I started baking in a very difficult period in my life and having a hobby like that kept me “alive” and active for a long time. Winning the Best Baking Award a few months ago was something I had never imagined happening but it did and it made me feel good because this blog is not only about creating new content in order to gain more readers, it’s about sharing loved recipes with people. Recipes I love and make me feel good, along with details I find important for baking success. I would really love to know that I was able to successfully guide a novice in his first baking journey.
Oh, these cookies. Are you a firm believer that healthy and delicious don’t go together? Well, you might want to reconsider. Bake these Tahini Oatmeal Cookies and you will be amazed by the aromas that will fill your house. Then just one bite will get you to cookie heaven.
I am not a healthy eating fanatic, you should be able to tell by now, and although I am not a big fan of having oats raw as breakfast either (I usually eat them in granolas), I really love incorporating them in cookies, muffins and crumbles. I find they add interesting texture in baked goods.
Today Food Bloggers come together to cook and bake using yoghurt. The purpose of this event is to show how versatile yoghurt is as an ingredient and also to celebrate the results of the 2015 Food Blog Awards that took place a while back.
I am making a savory Zucchini Pie inspired by my grandmother’s recipe using the yoghurt pie dough I also use to make my feta hand pies. Normally my grandmother makes this pie with a single phyllo sheet placed underneath the filling but since the theme of today’s celebratory event is “Cooking with Yoghurt” I did yoghurt.
Are you all ready for Valentine’s? Do you have any plans? Well, if your plans include a romantic dinner at home continue reading, because I have like the perfect chocolate dessert recipe for you.
This Bitter Chocolate Cake a) tastes AMAZING, b) is really easy to make, c) can even be made some days ahead, to avoid extra stress on Valentine’s day and d) it is vegan, and healthier than many other chocolate cakes, but I tell you, there is no way for anyone to tell this cake has no butter or heavy cream or eggs. I actually think many un-vegan cakes can’t compete this delicacy.
It’s been almost a year from the day I first tried this recipe and decided its “blog worthy”. Although apple season actually starts in September and continues until the end of winter, apples are available to buy all year round. So practically you can bake these muffins whenever you want but I would suggest to do it now, while apples are still in season, because they actually taste better.
Have one of these Olive Oil Applesauce Muffins for breakfast and you’ll see that it can make your morning better. Muffins are a great breakfast option actually because they are just standing there waiting for you to wake up. It’s not like pancakes or waffles (oh, how I love waffles!) or toasts that require some amount of last minute cooking. With muffins all you have to do is stretch out your hand and grab one to enjoy with your morning coffee, milk, tea or juice.
One of my goals for the year was to get out of my comfort zone and try recipes and things I haven’t really tried before but so far this is not really working out.
I haven’t baked anything for 20+ days now and my recent failures make me feel a bit weird. I guess that’s ok. I’ll get over it.
So, although I had planned something completely different, today I will freshen up my old post for Basic White Bread recipe. It was one of my first posts and the photos are not what you would call appealing. Plus over the years I made some adjustments to water quantities.
This recipe is actually one of the recipes with the least clicks on the blog. I don’t know why. This may happen because people often find baking bread intimidating or because they find this recipe very simplistic. It may be simplistic but it is the base. We start with the basics before moving on to baking more complicated stuff. Now it’s a good time to remember this recipe because I think it’s time that we start talking a bit more about bread. Although baking bread is probably one of my favorite activities and I also think it’s a basic baking skill I don’t blog about it often. I think this happens because bread needs time and usually by the time I am done with baking I have no natural light in order to take good/appealing photos. So I am setting this whole photography thing aside because I really want us to start baking our own bread. It’s worth it.