Different Types Of Pastry and What You Can Make With Them
Flour, butter and water are the staple ingredients for creating one of the most magical baking bases in the world: pastry. Pastry has been adored throughout the ages. From housing the legendary Cornish pasty to its more esteemed repertoire in being the base of some of the best French pastries in the world, it’s the stuff of legends. We have a serious thing for all types of pastry in all their deliciously crispy, flaky forms.
We look at the different types of pastry that exist and how they are used to make our delish pastry favourites.
Different Types of Pastry
Shortcrust pastry is the OG pastry style. This is the most common type of pastry used in a variety of savoury and sweet baked goodies and is probably the easiest one to make. The dough is comprised of flour, butter and a little water for binding. The ingredients are combined and kneaded briefly until ready to use. This is the type of pastry that forms the well-known crispy ‘shell’ at the bottom and top of pies, quiches and tarts.
Try our Beef Short Rib Pies
Pate Sucree aka Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
For dessert-style pies and tarts, you also get a sweet version of shortcrust pastry known over at our friends in France as pate sucree. This follows the same recipe as normal shortcrust pastry but adds sugar and egg yolks for a sweeter and richer flavour.
Try this delish Salted Caramel Pecan Nut Pie
Puff pastry is made with the same ingredients as shortcrust, however, adopts its soft, flaky and pillowy exterior due to the various layers in the dough that cause it to expand or ‘puff’ when baked. Layering the dough for puff pastry is a time-consuming activity but the results speak for themselves. The water and butter expanding cause the pastry to rise up from the steam and creates gaps between the layers which gives it its airy texture. The traditional croissant is made similarly to puff pastry with the addition of yeast and milk.
Try these sweet Apple, Cinnamon and Pecan Nut Puff Pastry Rolls
Rough Puff Pastry (Flaky)
Not to be confused with puff pastry above. Rough puff pastry, also known as flaky pastry, is a light, unleavened dough that resembles puff pastry once baked. It relies on large lumps of shortening (fat) throughout the pastry that keeps the rolled particles of dough separate from each other. This results in a light flaky pastry distinct from puff pastry. This type of dough is commonly used to make sausage rolls, pasties and plaits.
PASTRIES FROM AFAR
Choux pastry is a sweet French pastry that lends itself well to being filled with piped creams and fillings to make delicious little treats such as éclairs and cream puffs. The pastry is made from flour, butter, water and eggs for extra richness. The basic dough is cooked over the stove and eggs are added thereafter to provide leavening.
Try making our classic Chocolate Éclairs
This paper-thin type of pastry is popular in Mediterranean-style baking. Phyllo pastry (sometimes written filo) is traditionally layered and parcelled around a filling and brushed with butter before being baked in the oven. It’s generally made with a combo of flour, water, salt and a little oil. Phyllo pastry is pretty versatile and can be folded, layered, ruffled or rolled into whatever your heart desires. The most common savoury creations made with phyllo pastry are spanakopita and tiropita, as well as sweet favourites like baklava.
Try our Apple-Filled Phyllo
LESSER KNOWN PASTRIES
Suet Crust Pastry
Suet has traditionally been used in pastry-making for centuries. Suet is the visceral fat found around the kidneys and loins of pigs and cows; it has been a popular choice of fat due to its unobtrusive flavour and the richness it adds to meals. For bird-lovers – you may be familiar with this ingredient if you’ve ever dabbled in binding your homemade bird feed. Suet is used similarly in pastry making as a binding element in place of butter or lard.
Check out our recipe for Classic Steak and Kidney Pudding that uses suet.
Hot Water Crust Pastry
This particular pastry is primarily used for savoury pies such as pork pies, game pies and other meaty pies that require a stronger crust to hold the dense and saucy contents. The recipe for hot water crust pastry is really in the name itself. It uses lard or butter melted into a high concentration of heated water which makes it easier to shape the pastry.
Try this hearty Balsamic Lamb Pie
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