How to make pastry without touching it so much?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by emmbai90, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. emmbai90

    emmbai90

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    I make short pastry at college a lot but the problem is my hands go to warm, cold water doesn't work ether, i've even just tried using my finger tips and again my pastry keeps over working because my hands are too warm, i don't know what to do because my lecturer only wants us to use our hands just because it works for her, she has colder hands than other people and we all vary in body temperatures, me i run a little more hot especially when walking up and down the kitchen. I need some better ways of rubbing the margerine and lard into the flour without touching it as much, there is a robo cook but i doubt she will let us use it, probably come up with some other excuse as to why not just so we will do it her way, no offense to her i mean she's nice it's just like a lot of people these days she can't see past the fact what works for her doesn't work for all people, rather annoying really. So any other ways i can do it? and we don't have ice in the kitchens ether.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
  2. coup-de-feu

    coup-de-feu

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    Hi,

    I wouldn't worry about your hands too much, instead cool the ingredients more.  You can break the dough into 2 batches, and keep one in the fridge while you are working the other.  When one starts to get warm put it in the fridge and break out the other.

    CDF
     
  3. ordo

    ordo

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    I begin short pastries with two plastic scrapers. Once mixed up to coarse sandy texture, you barely touch the dough.
     
  4. berndy

    berndy

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    You need to buy a PASTRY BLENDER    /img/vbsmilies/smilies/laser.gif
     
  5. everydaygourmet

    everydaygourmet

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    or a pastry knife............/img/vbsmilies/smilies/cool.gif
     
  6. coup-de-feu

    coup-de-feu

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    Pastry knives and cutters don't help so much when you are rolling the dough out and shaping it, you still need to keep the butter from melting then.
     
  7. emmbai90

    emmbai90

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    Yeh what Coup said, see the problem is when your rubbing it together with your hands the marg will melt really fast with really warm hands and i'm such a warm person so my hands heat up really quick, even my fingertips are warm and then it just goes really oily and i can't use it at all, some people think that it's a myth that warm hands don't effect it but it really does, i just constantly keep messing it up every time i make it and rolling it out is useless as it's just all dry as well, just will start to crack and be useless to work with.  The other problem too my lecturer leaves the margerine box out of the fridge so it's gone a bit soft as well and we have got the smaller kitchen upstairs this time so there is only 1 fridge and no room to put the 2 boxes in plus she won't let us put anything under the box with the meat in it as she says it can cross contaminate if it drips. Ordo? how well does the scrapers work when rubbing in the marg and lard into the flour?.
     
  8. ordo

    ordo

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    What do you mean margarine or lard? Shortcut pastry i use only almost freezer cold butter. You can even fraiser la pâte with the scrapers.
     
  9. emmbai90

    emmbai90

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    I'm not a professonal chef i'm just a student in learning, you don't use butter with short crust you use margerine and lard, that's how she tells us to make it anyway and it still works the same with other ways, i don't know what fraiser la páte is that's probably taught in more advanced classes i'm just in a basic course right now, like i'm learning basic pastry making, basic cutting skills, food hygiene, lifting safety, basic dishes like soups and pie or quieche or lasagne, we can't really change anything because the way it's done is we cook the food for diversity canteen and then the soup for another smaller sort of area that's more like for coffee, tea, baguettes and sandwiches and can't really do it any other way because we would have to pay like £3.30 per meal but of course students can't afford to do that. How she tells us to do is first always make the pastry first if were making anything that requires it so we have to just do it all there and then with our hands and a table knife for moving it all together with the water and then when there is enough we just roll it around a bit with out hands again around the bowl to collect it all and then straight into the fridge with some cling film and then we go on to making the filling, we don't have time to chill the ingredients i guess, but last time i did it i was in the bigger kitchens and they had 2 fridges so the boxes with lard and marg were in the fridge, i got it right then though so i guess i put it down to the fact the marg has gone soft but we need harder marg but i don't think she will put it in because of there only being 1 fridge in there.
     
  10. emmbai90

    emmbai90

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    Any other suggestions? anyone? just so i can suggest a few different ways, if there is any lol, i would like to hear how others make short crust pastry too so i can see what might be easier for me to do so if i have to just use my hands then i can do it in a way i don't handle it as much.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012
  11. chicagoterry

    chicagoterry

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    Butter not margarine. Very cold. Then ice water for the liquid. Handle it as little as possible to form a disk.

    I'm just a home cook but I'm more than a little shocked that an instructor at a culinary school would : A. use margarine AND B. allow it to soften and expect a successful shortcrust to result.
     
  12. emmbai90

    emmbai90

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    Well you can use marg and lard or just butter and a pinch of salt, it depends how others make it, of course can't change it because of how the way she teaches is it set into all her paper work now, i agree i don't know how she can expect me to get it right, it's a nasty world out there and i feel like i'm being set up to fail really, is there a way that you put the dough together and rub it in without handling it so much?, i think she knows why it's doing it or she really doesn't at all i can't tell but it's very frustrating for me to try to learn this way but if she won't put the marg in the fridge then i need to find a way to work around it, with me being a warm person too when rubbing it into the flour that is where the flour goes all oily and a brown color which she says can't go that color it needs to be a lighter color but for me it goes very brown quickly, i only have to touch it for 2 mins and it's all brown, also the water in the college kitchens isn't freezing cold it's rather warm but it seems that only from the first floor is the water warm but on the ground floor where the bigger kitchens and the stock room is they get all the good water and all the good equiptment, 
     
  13. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    Ultimately using a processor would be the ideal way to go IMHO. Takes seconds to get a crumble....
    If you cannot have ice water there why don't you freeze one bottle  the night before and bring it in. Be one step ahead. I would hate to think that your teacher is setting you up to fail .

    Make sure your bowls are very cold when you are working especially once you have added your ingredients. You realize your fats should be extremely cold , so on that note the colder you can get them the better. (wrap them up in a cotton cloth and have them sit on your ice  bottle) . More than one method to reach the same end.
    Ordo is right , you ever see a painter prep his wall with plaster before he gets ready to paint ? He uses the scraper as if it was an extension of his hand. Only with pastry , you can use both hands . Flip your pastry on a floured work surface and take one scraper and scoop up one side and flip to the other side and vice versa with other hand.

    Or start with your palm. Place it on the dough and push it outwards, away from yourself, turn dough , repeat. grap scraper, flip it up and finish folding the dough by pushing in and then down. 1-2 minutes max. place in cold bowl, cover with plastic wrap.

    As was mentioned, you can use knives or a pastry cutter.

    There is no way your going to lose at this. Practice .

    And remember, when you place your hands in that bowl, work fast, work your dough almost agressively, make sure ingredients are as cold as you can get them including your bowls.

    You can do this !

    Petals.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
  14. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    From what you have written, you ARE being set up to fail!

    Short pastry is based on flakes of solid fat coated with flour. The fat (lard, butter, margarine, etc.) MUST be cold, as should the flour and water, period.
     

    Whether your hands are warm or cold makes no difference with what you have written. If you still believe so, soak your hands in ice water before starting and repeatedly during the process. My bet is there will be no difference.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
  15. emmbai90

    emmbai90

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    I'm not sure that i can do that technique ether though my lecturer is very fussy and they are very strict about you following "procedures" as according to what is in the paper work because we need to be very quick and need to make 2 dishes on our own, i will ask but if not then i will just get her to watch me and the only way i can think of doing it with my hands is counting how many times i use my fingertips to rub the marg and fat into it, problem is my parents haven't set up our freezer ether yet, we moved at the end of 2010 back here to england so they still kind of sorting things out so ice water i probs won't have. The flour is always out as well in a big metal box so that's not cold ether, i will try to convince her to put the marg and fat in the fridge but again not sure how she will take it, i know frustrating lol, i will try next time to use 2 table knifes and cut up the marg and lard while in their bowls first too so i'm not touching it and use 1 of them for when pushing it off the spoon when measuring the amount i need, she usually just tells us to dump it in the flour and then break it up quickly because the flour makes it easier to break it all up but i think i need to touch all of it as less as i can, i guess i will let you know how it goes lol but i'm determined to get it right :).
     
  16. michaelga

    michaelga

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  17. emmbai90

    emmbai90

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    Hmm... well i'm not one to remember the more complicated scientific side of it, i remember stuff from doing it with trial and error, we don't use cups in class anyway we just use a scoop, scales and a bowl then measure out the grams it says on the recipe, i can see why she gets us to use marg and lard though to even out the combination more but due to not having them both in the fridge it's more tricky to make the best dough, i have done it right a few times now, i did last month i think but then i did it wrong again, maybe i'm just doing it too long but it doesn't seem that long because i have to get all the while flour from underneath too, by the time i done that it's just all brown, next time i guess when i start rubbing it all in i'll just keep pulling the flour from underneath instead of just checking to see if there is white flour at the bottom when it seems it's all rubbed in like she tells us to lol, i generally feel a lot of the things she tells us is wrong and the long way around, we take like 5 hours and 20 mins to cook 2 meals but i feel the way she does it that's just far too long of a process, sometimes i only do 1 though that is a bit harder to make with more chopping but again it takes that amount of time with how were being taught lol.
     
  18. michaelga

    michaelga

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    get your money back...
     
  19. emmbai90

    emmbai90

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    Didn't pay for it was by the government so i guess i have to work around it, not sure i want to go back next year though because most of the courses are for 16s - 18s and less courses for over 18's, i'm getting a work placement in a resurant though in January so i will ask them about everything then just use whatever i got from there, can't wait for that :D/
     
  20. chef bilby

    chef bilby

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    Butter is always better to use and chill everything down to 3 deg c- bowl , butter , everything !!

    Once I've rubber in the butter and added the water and just press everything together ( do not over work or you will get a tough pastry ), wrap in Glad ( Ceram??) Wrap  and Flatten out slightly so that after you've rested it in the fridge ( 0-3 deg) for 30 or so min it will roll out easily and the rolling process will finish combining the ingredients . You're left with a Crumbly pastry that doesn't shrink too much after blind baking . Next time i'm making some at school I'll take some step by step pics and post them up ( I work in Grams , millilitres and Centigrade so you'll have to convert any recipes or techniques )