Flaky shortcrust pastry

Flaky shortcrust pastry

Flaky shortcrust pastry

Serves Makes 700 g (1lb 9oz)
DifficultyNot too tricky
Recipe From

All Day Baking: Savoury, Not Sweet

By Michael James
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Ingredients

  • 225 g (8oz) unsalted butter , chilled
  • 350 g (12½oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 6 g (⅕oz/1 teaspoon) fine salt
  • 120 g (4½ oz) chilled water
  • Wholemeal variation
  • 225 g (8oz) unsalted butter , chilled
  • 250 g (9oz) wholemeal (wholewheat) or spelt flour
  • 100 g (4oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 6 g (⅕oz/1 teaspoon) fine salt
  • 140 g (5oz) chilled water
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Recipe From

All Day Baking: Savoury, Not Sweet

By Michael James
Tap For Ingredients

Method

Cut the butter into 1cm (½in) cubes and chill it in the freezer while you weigh up the rest of your ingredients.

Put the flour and salt in a mound on your kitchen bench and scatter the chilled butter cubes over the top. Use a rolling pin to roll the butter into the flour, gathering the flour back into the middle as you go with a dough scraper or spatula. Keep rolling until the mixture is crumbly with shards of butter the size of rolled oats still visible.

Make a well in the middle and add the chilled water. Use a dough scraper or knife to gently cut the flour into the water, gathering up any leaks as you do, until you have an even crumbly texture. Use your fingertips to gently push it all together into a rough dough with a slightly sticky texture. If it feels dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until there are no floury bits left.

Roll out or press the dough into a rectangle 2–3cm (¾ –1¼in) thick (exact dimensions are not important here). Fold one-third of the dough into the middle, then the other third over the top of that, as if folding a letter. Rotate the dough 90 degrees and roll it out again into a rectangle 2–3cm (¾ –1¼in) thick, then repeat the letter fold. Don’t worry about making these folds perfectly neat – this is just to finish bringing the dough together and layering the butter, which results in a lovely flakiness.

Rotate and roll out the dough once more into a rectangle 2–3cm (¾ –1¼in) thick and do one last fold. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight. The pastry will keep for 4–5 days in the fridge, or up to 3 months in the freezer. The pictured dough was made using whole spelt flour.
Recipe From

All Day Baking: Savoury, Not Sweet

By Michael James