Tips for perfect Pastry and DoughHere are some tips for fitting your dough and everything that you need to know to make good Pastry

  • When making pastry, chill hands first under icy cold, running water for as long as you can stand. Dry thoroughly. Dust your hands lightly with flour before handling your dough. Then handle as little as possible!
  • Chilled dough is always easier to handle – but make sure it is covered tightly so that it doesn’t dry out – and don’t store it too long, or it will shrink.
  • Chill your water in the freezer for at least 15 minutes before adding it to any pastry recipe. (Water used in pastry recipes should always be ice-cold.)

  • To make easy, stick-free pastry, sprinkle flour on two sheets of parchment paper and spread lightly. Roll or press out your dough as you normally do. Place on one piece of parchment or wax paper and cover with the other. Roll out. (Don’t over-roll!) Lift top layer of paper every few rolls and at the first sign of sticking, sprinkle the top of your pastry with flour before replacing parchment paper. You can keep your dough between the sheets of parchment paper and chill them in the fridge till you make your pie filling, if making pie.
  • Sprinkle flour over your rolling pin and rub in gently before rolling out pastry or cookie dough, if not using the parchment paper method. It will help prevent your pastry or dough sticking to the roller. (Re-flour the rolling pin as often as necessary during the process.)
  • No matter what type of flour you use in your cookie or pastry recipe, always use all-purpose flour to sprinkle on your rolling surface or on your rolling pin.
  • How can you tell when chocolate cookies are done, since they are already “brown”? Look for a matte finish – they shouldn’t look shiny.
  • Chill your dough in the refrigerator for an hour or two, if you are planning to roll out cookie dough. You won’t need to use so much flour to prevent them from sticking to the rolling pin.
  • Always knead chilled cookie dough for a moment or two after removing from the refrigerator to relax the butter. (This will prevent your cookie dough from cracking when you roll it.)
  • If you are re-working the remaining dough after cutting out shapes and find that the dough becomes too rubbery, simply wrap it in plastic wrap and set it back in the refrigerator for fifteen minutes to relax it. Then continue rolling.

  • When making pierogy dough, add beaten eggs to the dough for a more pliable, thinner pastry. Place strips of wax or parchment paper between each rolled circle to prevent sticking.
  • Keep pierogy dough (and rolled-out pierogy circles) covered with damp paper towel, to prevent them drying out as you are working.
  • Re-roll individual pierogy circles a couple of quick passes with the roller, before filling. Your pastry will be thin and delicious.
  • When baking pie shells, prick uncooked pastry with a fork, to help it bake evenly on the bottom.
  • Give pie edges a decorative touch before popping them in the oven. Press the back of a fork evenly all around the rim for meat pies; scallop the edges with a small teaspoon or preserve spoon held upside down, making sure each scallop just touches the next, for desserts.