Pastry dough - pasta frolla

“Hand made Pastry-dough” recipe – Pasta frolla fatta a mano

    • Prep Time
    • Minutes
    • Yield
    • 1,350Kg

Total Cost: UK/£ 7,71*

Cost/KG: UK/£ 5,82*

Makes 3 tart bases (8 portions each): UK/£ 0,32*/each portion

A must of Italian bakery

Pastry dough is a must of basic Italian bakery. Many people are not confident enough to make it, but with this recipe you will learn how to make it quickly and achieving perfect results.

Method and proportions are essential

Bakery is like chemistry: exact quantities and the exact proportion are the secret fro perfect results and consistency. I suggest to avoid measuring the main ingredients by heart: the quick kneading will not allow you any adjustment. Also using cups for measuring flour and icing sugar can lead into big mistakes: if you measure flour out of its packaging without sieving it, you might end up with almost a quarter or flour too many. Use a proper scale!

Also the method must be properly followed: it avoids the formation of the gluten net, so the dough will be plastic but not elastic. The butter will fatten the liquids of the yolks so they will not be able to start the gluten formation. This means it will be crumbly, fragrant and crunchy: the worse thing ever is a chewy pastry!

The sandy method

This method is called sandy because it first mixes the flour and the butter which combine each other into small crumbs.   This creates a barrier between the flour’s proteins and the liquids again, so the gluten can’t be formed. Then, egg yolks and sugar and aromas are added.

This method, although, would be more easily performed with a food processor rather than by hands: the crumbs will be quite dry and not easy to mix evenly with the egg yolks, so you might end up with an uneven dough which would not cook properly in the oven. Using a food processor, you must not over work the dough or it will “burn”: the butter will split and get separated by the solids. And there is no remedy to that.

Icing sugar or granulated sugar? Whole eggs or only yolk?

Different sugars leas to different textures. Icing sugar gives a very fine texture, whereas granulated and caster or even cane sugar make the pastry slight harder and crunchier. Which one to choose, always depends on the results you want to achieve.

About eggs, instead, I suggest to use only yolks. Egg whites would form more gluten and even if you are quick at kneading, they would form a quite resistant net, making the dough chewy and rubbery.

The dough must rest in the fridge

Resting the dough in the fridge is essential to allow the butter go back to its plastic consistency. When taken out of the fridge, the dough must be worked as little as possible: press it with the ruling pin, dust it a s little as possible, roll it into a disc and move it in the mold. If you work it too much, the butter will melt again and it will be impossible to roll it out.

Can the dough be frozen?

Yes! and some say it is even better! I always make a large amount of dough and then store it into the freezer for future use. This way I work only once… and cleaning is so much easier too!

Shape the dough into 1cm disc and wrap it put it in a plastic bag. try to get all the air out so it will not form crystals that would burn the dough.

When you need it, take the dough out and let it rest for ten minutes. then, brake into small pieces and knead it again into one ball. it will be cold and crumbly at first but them it will be plastic enough to be rolled out and molded.

If you do all this quickly, the thermic shock it will go thorough in baking in the oven will make it even more crunchy and flickery.

Note for the users: please click on the label “HOW TO” to watch the slide-show of each cooking step.

* Please note that both total cost and cost per portion are approximate and that can vary according to seasons and to different conditions.

Recipe Rating

  • (1 Rating)

Ingredients

  • For 3 tart bases of 8 portions (24cm large mold)

  • Egg yolks - 100gr (5 to 6 medium eggs)

  • Unwaxed Lemon zest - 2gr (about 2 medium lemons)

  • Vanilla pulp - 1gr (from one vanilla pod, or 1ts of vanilla essence)

  • Butter - 375gr

  • Plain weak flour - 625gr (9% proteins)

  • Icing sugar - 250gr

  • Salt - 2 pinches

  • Utensils

  • Two small bowls

  • One zester

  • One chooping board

  • One paring knife

  • Baking paper sheets

  • One rolling pin

  • One kneading board

  • One sieve

  • One scraper

  • Cling film or freezer bags

Instructions

  • 1.
    Separating the egg yolks and preparing the aromas

    • Egg yolks - 100gr (5 to 6 medium eggs)
    • Unwaxed Lemon zest - 2gr (about 2 medium lemons)
    • Vanilla pulp - 1gr (from one vanilla pod, or 1ts of vanilla essence)
    • Two small bowls
    • One zester
    • chooping board
    • One paring knife

      Crack the eggs into one bowl. Thoroughly wash your hands, then pick up each yolk with the tips of your fingers; the egg white will drop while lifting the yolk.
      Grate the lemon zests and set aside.
      Put the vanilla bean flat on the chopping board and halve it longwise with a sharp paring knife. Holding it down by one end, run the top edge of the blade along it and collect the pulp. Set aside with the lemon zests.

  • 2.
    Working the butter into a paste with the rolling pin

    • Butter - 375gr
    • Baking paper sheets
    • One rolling pin
    • One kneading board

      Wrap the butter into a baking paper sheet and beat it with the rolling pin. Try not to brake the paper otherwise you might end up with bits of it into the dough(step 2 - pic. A).
      The butter is ready when it turns into a soft and plastic paste but still can hold a shape(step 2 - pic. B).

  • 3.
    Making the double well with the ingredients

    • Plain weak flour - 625gr (9% proteins)
    • Icing sugar - 250gr
    • Egg yolks - 100gr
    • The grated lemon zest
    • The vanilla pult, or the vanilla essence
    • Salt - 2 pinches
    • One kneading board
    • One sieve
    • One scraper

      Sieve the plain flour on the kneading board, then make a very large well with it, leaving its centre empty. Place the icing sugar in the centre of the well, and make a cavity at the centre to fill it with the egg yolks, the lemon zest, the vanilla and the sugar(step 3 - pic. A).
      Place the butter in large lumps around the edge of the sugar well(step 3 - pic. B).
      Keep the scraper at the ready on a side.

  • 4.
    Mixing the butter, yolks, icing sugar and the aromas

      Using one hand only, start mixing the butter, the yolks and the aromas with the sugar(step 4 - pic. A).
      Keep doing it till all the central ingredients are perfectly incorporated into each other into a soft paste(step 4 - pic. B).

  • 5.
    Kneading the dough

      With both hands, move the flour to the centre and mix each handful with the buttery paste with a delicate but quick friction movement. Do now squeeze too hard: you need to create a sandy and crumbly mixture first(step 5 - pic. A).
      Now you need to be quick and to put together the dough kneading it as little as possible: this way, the butter will not get melted by the heat of your hands and gluten formed by the four’s and yolks’ proteins will not be stressed(step 5 - pic. B).
      Collect the lumps and knead them together into a loaf. If small crumbs are left aside or the is some dough sticking to the board, scrape it and place it in the middle of the loaf. Fold it a couple of times so they will be perfectly incorporated(step 5 - pic. C).
      At the end, the dough must be smooth and shiny, plastic but not elastic: if u press it with your finger tip, it doesn’t come back as it happens in bread dough kneading(step 5 - pic. D).

  • 6.
    Portioning and resting the dough in the fridge

    • The pastry dough
    • Cling film or freezer bags

      Portion the dough in smaller cuts. For making the base of a 24cm large tart you will need about 400gr: it will be 5mm thick. Always consider an extra 100 to 150gr for decorating the top(step 6 - pic. B).
      Flatten each piece into a 2cm thick disc, thoroughly wrap it in cling film and place it in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes: the butter needs to chill and harden(step 6 - pic. B).
      Store the dough in the freezer for future use.

Instructions

  • 1.
    Separating the egg yolks and preparing the aromas

    • Egg yolks - 100gr (5 to 6 medium eggs)
    • Unwaxed Lemon zest - 2gr (about 2 medium lemons)
    • Vanilla pulp - 1gr (from one vanilla pod, or 1ts of vanilla essence)
    • Two small bowls
    • One zester
    • chooping board
    • One paring knife

      Crack the eggs into one bowl. Thoroughly wash your hands, then pick up each yolk with the tips of your fingers; the egg white will drop while lifting the yolk.
      Grate the lemon zests and set aside.
      Put the vanilla bean flat on the chopping board and halve it longwise with a sharp paring knife. Holding it down by one end, run the top edge of the blade along it and collect the pulp. Set aside with the lemon zests.

  • 2.
    Working the butter into a paste with the rolling pin

    • Butter - 375gr
    • Baking paper sheets
    • One rolling pin
    • One kneading board

      Wrap the butter into a baking paper sheet and beat it with the rolling pin. Try not to brake the paper otherwise you might end up with bits of it into the dough(step 2 - pic. A).
      The butter is ready when it turns into a soft and plastic paste but still can hold a shape(step 2 - pic. B).

  • 3.
    Making the double well with the ingredients

    • Plain weak flour - 625gr (9% proteins)
    • Icing sugar - 250gr
    • Egg yolks - 100gr
    • The grated lemon zest
    • The vanilla pult, or the vanilla essence
    • Salt - 2 pinches
    • One kneading board
    • One sieve
    • One scraper

      Sieve the plain flour on the kneading board, then make a very large well with it, leaving its centre empty. Place the icing sugar in the centre of the well, and make a cavity at the centre to fill it with the egg yolks, the lemon zest, the vanilla and the sugar(step 3 - pic. A).
      Place the butter in large lumps around the edge of the sugar well(step 3 - pic. B).
      Keep the scraper at the ready on a side.

  • 4.
    Mixing the butter, yolks, icing sugar and the aromas

      Using one hand only, start mixing the butter, the yolks and the aromas with the sugar(step 4 - pic. A).
      Keep doing it till all the central ingredients are perfectly incorporated into each other into a soft paste(step 4 - pic. B).

  • 5.
    Kneading the dough

      With both hands, move the flour to the centre and mix each handful with the buttery paste with a delicate but quick friction movement. Do now squeeze too hard: you need to create a sandy and crumbly mixture first(step 5 - pic. A).
      Now you need to be quick and to put together the dough kneading it as little as possible: this way, the butter will not get melted by the heat of your hands and gluten formed by the four’s and yolks’ proteins will not be stressed(step 5 - pic. B).
      Collect the lumps and knead them together into a loaf. If small crumbs are left aside or the is some dough sticking to the board, scrape it and place it in the middle of the loaf. Fold it a couple of times so they will be perfectly incorporated(step 5 - pic. C).
      At the end, the dough must be smooth and shiny, plastic but not elastic: if u press it with your finger tip, it doesn’t come back as it happens in bread dough kneading(step 5 - pic. D).

  • 6.
    Portioning and resting the dough in the fridge

    • The pastry dough
    • Cling film or freezer bags

      Portion the dough in smaller cuts. For making the base of a 24cm large tart you will need about 400gr: it will be 5mm thick. Always consider an extra 100 to 150gr for decorating the top(step 6 - pic. B).
      Flatten each piece into a 2cm thick disc, thoroughly wrap it in cling film and place it in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes: the butter needs to chill and harden(step 6 - pic. B).
      Store the dough in the freezer for future use.

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