Cutting butter/Fat

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by achilles007, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. achilles007


    Likes Received:
    Cook At Home
    Hi-- I know there is a such thing as a pastry cutter-- but wanted to know if there way a more efficient and effective of way of cutting butter/fat/lard into flour.

    Is there some type of device out there that could give me an even more tender flaky pie crust or biscuit?

    I swear I've seen some of the more sophisticated machines in commercial shops that the owners swear by.
  2. kristopher


    Likes Received:
    Line Cook
    I was taught to use my hands to crush the pieces of butter flat into something similar to the size of cornflakes it takes longer than a pastry cutter or food processer but I always get wonderfully flakey dough. You have to work fast and make sure the butter is cold so it doesn't melt before its baked.
  3. jock


    Likes Received:
    At home cook
    I agree with Kristopher, mastering the technique by hand is the best way to go. Once you have that down you can you can graduate to a food processor or KA food mixer. The trick is to keep the butter and flour (and your hands) cold so as not to allow the butter to melt into the flour. Whether using your hands or a machine you should not overmix the flour/butter mixture; there should be pea sized pieces of butter in the mix.

    I don't ever use a pastry cutter. I find them to be ineffective and a pain to work with. When I was a kid we used to use 2 table knives and literally "cut" the butter in. It was a mark of the pastry maker's skill to make flakey pastry by hand.