__Tips on Making Pastry Dough

Serves: 5



* Have all of the ingredients well chilled. If the kitchen is warm, it helps to work on a marble surface and chill the tools as well. Work quickly so that the ingredients don't get too warm. If they do, put everything in the refrigerator until the dough firms up. Do not overwork the dough. Handle the dough as little as possible. If using an electric mixer or food processor, just barely combine the ingredients. Handling the dough causes the formation of gluten, a protein that makes the dough tough and hard to work with. A food processor also throws off a lot of heat, which can soften the dough excessively.

* Do not add more water or flour than is absolutely necessary. Excess flour or water can make the dough tough.

* After chilling it, you may find the dough is too firm to roll out. Let it sit at room temperature a few minutes to warm slightly. If the edge cracks as you roll the dough out, it is probably still too cold.

* Pastry dough can be refrigerated up to overnight or frozen up to one month before using.

* Roll the dough out between two pieces of plastic wrap. Place the rolling pin in the center of the disk and gently push it away from you. Rotate the plastic-covered disk of dough a quarter-turn, center the pin on the dough, and again roll it away from you. Continue rolling and turning the dough until you make one full circle. Gently lift the plastic off the dough and replace it. Turn the dough over and repeat the rolling, lifting, and turning until the dough is circular and about 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick. If the dough becomes too soft and difficult to handle at any time, place it in the refrigerator to cool.

* Use dough scraps from the edge to patch the dough if needed.

* Handle tart pans with a removable rim carefully--and by the rim only. If you lift the bottom while the crust is unbaked and soft, it may pinch the crust and make a hole in it.

* Most tarts are best when eaten within 2 or 3 hours of baking. Tarts with moist fillings like pastry cream or ricotta are the most fragile, because they will become soggy as they stand. Those with jam, and most cooked or dried fruits, will stay crisp longer, up to 24 hours.

* I like to cover fruit tarts with a large inverted bowl rather than plastic wrap, to protect the surface of the tart. If you do not have a large enough bowl, cover the tart with foil, leaving a space between the surface of the tart and the wrapping.

From "1,000 Italian Recipes." Copyright 2004 by Michele Scicolone. Used with permission of the publisher, Wiley Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

This __Tips on Making Pastry Dough recipe is from the Cook'n in Italy Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.

More Recipes from the Cook'n in Italy Cookbook:
01- Introduction
02- The Italian Pantry
03- Kitchen Equipment
04- Italian Wines
05- Glossary
06- Sources
07- Bibliography
_* An Antipasto Platter
_* Artichokes
_* Asparagus
_* Beans
_* Broths
_* Bruschetta and Crostini
_* Brussels Sprouts and Cabbage
_* Calamari, Octopus, and Conch
_* Cannelloni
_* Carrots
_* Chicken Cutlets (Scaloppine)
_* Clams and Mussels
_* Cornmeal
_* Dried Pasta
_* Eggplant
_* Farro and Barley
_* Fennel
_* Frittatas
_* Fruit Desserts
_* Gnocchi
_* Green and Wax Beans
_* Ice Cream (Gelato)
_* Italian Ices
_* Italian Sandwiches (Panini)
_* Lamb Chops
_* Leafy Greens
_* Meat Sauces (Ragù)
_* Mushrooms
_* Onions
_* Peas
_* Peppers
_* Pork Ribs and Chops
_* Pork Sausages
_* Pork Tenderloins and Roasts
_* Potatoes
_* Quail
_* Rabbit
_* Ravioli and Other Stuffed Pasta
_* Rice
_* Rollatini or Involtini
_* Shrimp, Lobster, and Scallops
_* Spoon Desserts
_* Tomatoes
_* Tramezzini
_* Veal Chops
_* Veal Cutlets (Scaloppine)
_* Veal Shanks
_* Zucchini and Winter Squash
__About Cake Flour
__Bread-Making Tips
__Choosing Beef Cuts
__Cleaning Calamari (Squid)
__Cookie-Making Tips
__Eleven Pastas with Uncooked Sauces
__Fresh Egg Pasta: Making Dough with a Food Processor or Heavy-Duty Mixer
__Fresh Egg Pasta: Making Pasta Noodles
__Fresh Egg Pasta: Preparing Dough by Hand
__Fresh Egg Pasta: Rolling Out the Dough By Hand
__Fresh Egg Pasta: Rolling Out the Dough with a Pasta Machine
__Fresh Egg Pasta: Storing Pasta
__Grating Cheese for Pasta
__How To Melt Chocolate
__How To Toast and Skin Nuts
__How to Cook Dried Pasta
__How to Soak Salted and Dried Fish
__Pizza Variations
__Preparing Gnocchi Dumplings
__Preparing Ravioli Pasta
__Risotto Tips
__Ten Quick Crostini
__Ten Toppings for Hot Polenta Crostini
__Ten Ways to Vary Tomato Bruschetta
__Tips For Making Fresh Pasta
__Tips on Making Cakes
__Tips on Making Granitas
__Tips on Making Pastry Dough
__To Drain Ricotta
__Tramezzini Fillings
__When Is Fish "Done"?

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