Short Dough Cracking when Rolling

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by chefdave11, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. chefdave11

    chefdave11 Banned

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    Any suggestions as to how I can prevent my short dough from cracking as I'm rolling it?

    It's well-rested and chilled.  

    One thought I had is that it could it be too cold?

    Assume the recipe is not the issue as I'm using Bo Friberg's short dough recipe as found in his Professional Pastry Chef, using 1/2 Sweetex and 1/2 TFF Margarine (no dairy in my place) as the fat.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks!
     
  2. chefpeon

    chefpeon Kitchen Dork

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    You're probably right that it's too cold. Remove it from the fridge and let it sit out for about 15-30 minutes, then roll it out.
     
  3. sovrappensiero

    sovrappensiero

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm new to this forum and I know this is an ancient thread but I'm hoping to dig it up from the archives because my question is similar and using the same recipe. I've made 3 large tarts (two 11" round, 1 10 or 11" square) with Chef Friberg's short dough recipe (which I posted below).  The end results is always a delicious crust (not tough or anything) that doesn't shrink in the pan when I cook it.  However, it is pure h*ll getting that dough rolled out and put into the tart pan!!!  No matter what I do, it doesn't work: straight out of the fridge, it breaks; if I let it warm a little, it sticks to the rolling pin and the marble surface.  I've tried getting the marble surface ice-cold - doesn't help.  I've tried a marble rolling pin and the Williams-Sonoma "non-stick" one I have (next I will try a wooden dowel but I need to buy one first).  I've tried flouring the surface, the dough, the pin...I've used so much flour that I was certain I ruined the crust (it still had excellent texture).  The most successful I got rolling out the dough between pieces of parchment in this fashion: rolling one time, then flipping, pulling the paper off, flouring the surface, covering, rolling one time, flip and repeat...over and over until it was 3mm thick.  It never stuck to the parchment, but when I set the dough into the tart pan, I couldn't pull the parchment off without tearing the dough (that I had pulled off seconds before!!!)  I'm trying to work quickly...but when I work quickly the dough just cracks and tears all over the place.  

    Any tips would be immensely helpful!!!  I just don't know what else to try.  It is the middle of summer, but my basement apartment is about 72-75 degrees and I even tried rolling it out before preheating the gas oven just to keep the room from heating up!

    Here's Chef Friberg's short dough recipe: 

    Yield: 2 Pounds 6 Ounces

    170g Sugar
    400g unsalted Butter, room temperature
    1 Egg
    1 Teaspoon (5mL) Vanilla Extract
    455g Bread Flour

    I used a butter-to-shortening ratio of between 3:1 and 4:1.

    Thanks in advance for any advice anyone can give me!!! 
     
  4. chefross

    chefross

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    Recipes are merely guidelines.

    Following a recipe "to the letter" doesn't always work out.....Sometimes the recipe has to be "fudged" in order to make it work.

    Yours has very little liquid other than egg and vanilla. Perhaps a drop or two of water might help the dough here.
     
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  5. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    edit   gone to the world of google to fact check......
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2014
  6. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    Pate sucree is always more difficult to roll than pate brisee.  I'm with ChefRoss... that recipe looks too dry.  I'd shop around for a new recipe if I were you.  I have great respect for Bo, but two web sites may be worth investigating if you haven't already:  Joe Pastry is a very reliable source.  So is JoyOfBaking.  Also really reliable are the dough recipes/tehniques in Rose Levy Bernbaum's Pie and Pastry Book.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2014
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  7. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    @sovrappensiero  and others that may be interested; I'm a homecook and I'm very aware that I shouldn't post in this pro-section. However, FWIW, I made this stunning pâte sablée parfumée just recently that was amongst a series of 5 savory and 5 sweet pastries published in the French magazine "Cuisine & Vins de France".

    1. If you're interested in this sablée parfumée type, I described how I made it (by hand) here, together with a few pictures; http://www.cheftalk.com/t/81415/cherry-pie-blueberry-clafoutis#post_476061

    2. Also FWIW, here's a translation from the same series of pastries that might interest you;

    - La brisée sucrée; 150 g flour, 40 g sugar, 80 g butter, 1 egg yolk, 1 pinch of salt, 3 tbsp. of water

    Add flour, salt, sugar and cubed butter in your kitchen machine, mix using short pulses until it looks like breadcrumbs. Add egg yolk and 3 tbsp. of water. Mix with pulses again until it turns into a ball. If the dough is sticky, add add a bit of flour. Roll in plastic film and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

    (This pastry can also be done by hand, which isn't all that much work at all)

    BTW,

    - I flatten the ball of dough a little before refrigerating, using my hands, before packing it in plastic film.

    - do use salt!

    - roll dough out after refrigeration, roll it on your rolling pin and then transport it where you want it over the mold.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2014
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  8. sovrappensiero

    sovrappensiero

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    Thank you! I will try this!
     
  9. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    A few tablespoons of ice water should bring the dough together.
     
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  10. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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    Moved this to the "Non-pro" forums since so many decided to get involved. Guys I know it is tempting but please leave the pro forums for the pros. Thank you all.... /img/vbsmilies/smilies/blushing.gif
     
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  11. sovrappensiero

    sovrappensiero

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    I'll try a couple of tablespoons' ice water as well! Thanks for all these suggestions! Thanks and sorry, Nicko!
     
  12. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    I've found that freezing my pate brisee a couple of weeks followed by defrosting in the fridge overnight, allows for a crack-fee rollout.  And the recipe I use is from Ruhlmans RATIO cookbook.

    3:2:1

    6oz flour (50:50 AP and pastry flour, I use 60:40   60% pastry: 40% AP for a lighter, flakier dough)

    4oz unsalted butter

    2oz water (less if more pastry flour is used, more if more AP flour used)

    pinch of salt and pinch of sugar
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014
  13. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    ...and allowing the dough to warm up a bit would help.
     
  14. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Better late than never.....

    The choice of bread flour before pastry or AP (or combo) is what caught my eye in the OP's recipe.

    Kinda made me ? if there was something I had been missing.

    Nope.

    Of all the recipes on blogs and cooking sites not once did I find it included in a short crust.

    AP. Pastry. AP and Pastry mixes.

    Noted a lot of comments like "bread flour is only for yeast risen products" .

    The high protein of bread flour (really any type flour but bread seems to be the worst) needs a good "wet" liquid in order to hydrate (the viscous nature of eggs do not provide this pure "wet" liquid) .

    This I suspect is what is causing the slimy sticky product that is so hard to work.

     BUT IMO to try and tweak your current recipe will just be a waste of time as well as money.

    Switch recipes.

    mimi

    FWIW read a comment someplace (egullet?) that most of Fribergs recipes are unbalanced and need to be heavily tweaked in order to gain a good result.

    Kinda like MS on steroids.

    m.