Shortcrust pastry

One of the great myths of modern cooking is that pastry is difficult to make.   It isnít.   All it requires is confidence, which naturally, most of us lack when weíre constantly told that a particular task is inherently hard.   Home-made pastry has an irresistible buttery flavour that bought pastry canít replicate.

Makes 225g pastry (flour weight)

225g plain flour

a pinch of salt

115g cold, firm unsalted butter


Place the flour and salt in a food processor.   Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour.   Process in short bursts until the mixture forms fine crumbs.   Donít over-process into a paste.   Tip the crumbs into a mixing bowl.   I usually mix in 3 tablespoons cold water with a fork.   The quantity of water can vary according to the flour.   I usually use organic plain flour.   If your dough is too dry and crumbly it will be more crumbly and short when cooked.   If your dough is too wet, it will shrink when baked and have a more brittle texture.   Nevertheless, both will still taste good.


Lightly knead the dough into a ball and roll out as needed. Chill for 30 minutes (or longer if you like) before cooking Ė either rolled or unrolled.


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