Author Topic: flaky pie crust techniques applicable to deep dish?  (Read 3346 times)

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Offline pizzoid

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flaky pie crust techniques applicable to deep dish?
« on: October 24, 2007, 10:00:16 AM »
The new Nov/Dec issue of Cooks Illustrated has a 2 page article that discusses techniques to get perfect flaky pie crust. It may be of interest to other deep dish makers (or even some of the cracker crust enthusiasts). Following is from the free part of their website at:
http://www.cooksillustrated.com/login.asp?name=&did=4629&LoginForm=recipe&iseason=

 I recommend buying the issue, of course. Great magazine, mostly.

- Al

      
Foolproof Pie Dough

The Problem: Pie dough can go wrong so easily: dry dough that is too crumbly to roll out; a flaky but leathery crust; or a tender crust without flakes. And it's hard to get the same results every time.

The Goal: We wanted a pie dough recipe that bakes up tender and flaky every single time and also rolls out easily.

The Solution: The first step was to determine the right fat. A combination of butter and shortening provided the best balance of flavor and tenderness. The best method to cut the fat into the flour proved to be the food processor; it was the fastest and most consistent. But we couldn't figure out how to ensure same-sized pieces of butter time after time. The answer was to eliminate the pieces entirely. Rather than starting with all the flour in the processor, we put aside 1 cup of flour and processed the remaining 1 1/2 cups with all of the fat until it formed a unified paste. We added the reserved flour back to the bowl and pulsed it until it was just evenly distributed. Finally, we tackled the tenderness issue, which is partially determined by the amount of water added. The conundrum? In order to roll easily, dough needs more water, but more water makes crusts tough. We found the answer in the liquor cabinet: vodka. While gluten (the protein that makes crust tough) forms readily in water, it doesn't form in ethanol, and vodka is 60 percent water and 40 percent ethanol. So adding 8 tablespoons of vodka produces a moist, easy-to-roll dough that stays tender (because it contains only 6 1/2 tablespoons of water). The alcohol vaporizes in the oven.


Offline loowaters

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Re: flaky pie crust techniques applicable to deep dish?
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2007, 11:02:20 AM »
Wow!  Vodka instead of water.  The dough just got really expensive.
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Offline goosen1

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Re: flaky pie crust techniques applicable to deep dish?
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2007, 09:42:29 PM »
Well now... I have a bottle of Absolute in the freezer!!!
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Offline abatardi

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Re: flaky pie crust techniques applicable to deep dish?
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2007, 12:01:24 PM »
A lot of people just add a tablespoon of vinegar for the gluten issue..  Just another thought if you don't want to use vodka.  ;-)

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Offline BTB

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Re: flaky pie crust techniques applicable to deep dish?
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2007, 11:35:21 AM »
I am anxious to hear of the results of anyone's experiments on pizza dough with this.   >:D

P.S.  I'm a scotch drinker myself.  Wonder what the result . . . . . . .
« Last Edit: October 27, 2007, 10:59:44 AM by BTB »

Offline OTRChef

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Re: flaky pie crust techniques applicable to deep dish?
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2012, 08:57:04 AM »
A lot of people just add a tablespoon of vinegar for the gluten issue..  Just another thought if you don't want to use vodka.  ;-)

- aba

A tablespoon is probably too much. I've used white vinegar in hand-stretched strudel dough.

Shortcrust pastry dough is best made with a combination of butter and lard. The butter is there for the flavor and the lard gives it the best texture. Use 1/2 as much fat as you do flour (by weight) for the best shortcrust. I simply add a little vinegar (1/4t) to the ice water. Perfect dough everytime!

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: flaky pie crust techniques applicable to deep dish?
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2012, 10:46:24 AM »
This sounds a lot like the old blitz method of making pastry (Danish) dough. You cut the cold fat into small, walnut size pieces and mix them with the flour until they are about the size of Lima beans, then add the water and other dry ingredients and mix just enough to incorporate. Immediately scale and ball the dough and place it in the cooler for about 24-hours, then sheet (roll) to about 1/4-inch thickness, and fold several times (left to center, right to center, top to center, and bottom to center) place back into the cooler to rest (about 8-hours) and then roll to form your pizza skin. The amount of fat to use will be between 20 and 25% of the total flour weight. A number of years ago Schwan's (Tony's) made a type of pizza on a crust that they called Italian Pastry Crust. This was made in a similar manner except that they used commercial hard fat flakes instead of cutting the fat themselves. The resulting crust was tender eating, and had a decided pastry looking appearance.
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Offline pythonic

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Re: flaky pie crust techniques applicable to deep dish?
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2012, 02:02:58 PM »
This sounds a lot like the old blitz method of making pastry (Danish) dough. You cut the cold fat into small, walnut size pieces and mix them with the flour until they are about the size of Lima beans, then add the water and other dry ingredients and mix just enough to incorporate. Immediately scale and ball the dough and place it in the cooler for about 24-hours, then sheet (roll) to about 1/4-inch thickness, and fold several times (left to center, right to center, top to center, and bottom to center) place back into the cooler to rest (about 8-hours) and then roll to form your pizza skin. The amount of fat to use will be between 20 and 25% of the total flour weight. A number of years ago Schwan's (Tony's) made a type of pizza on a crust that they called Italian Pastry Crust. This was made in a similar manner except that they used commercial hard fat flakes instead of cutting the fat themselves. The resulting crust was tender eating, and had a decided pastry looking appearance.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Tony's frozen pizzas used to be excellent back when they were still using the pepperoni that "bowled" up.  I'll have to give this a shot.
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