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Food & Nutrition

Pastry Making
Pastry Techniques

Pastry is so useful. The different techniques can be used in an endless array of dishes, savory and sweet. A calm, organized approach using a cool worktop and ingredients will help produce great pastry. Work in as cool an environment as possible well away from the cooker or boiler. Kitchens are usually coolest in the mornings. Use your finger tips- the coolest part of your hands. While it helps to allow the fat to soften, before using, don't let it get too warm

Sift the flour and when rubbing in the fat, lift the flour as high as possible while keeping it in the bowl- both steps will incorporate cold air which will expand once in the oven and produce light pastry. Rub until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs then stop- if you over do it, you will have tough, old pastry on your hands. Add the water gradually; you really don't want to have to add more flour after liquid. On the other hand, too little will create a dry and crumbly dough that will be hard to roll without breaking.

Mixing, Rolling, Panning, Trimming and Cooking Pastry

~Make a disk
-Before you chill or roll out the dough, take the time to shape in into an even disk less then an inch thick and smooth edges. Well floured hands and a well floured work surface will make this easier. This will make the dough much easier to roll out quickly and evenly and will help avoid cracking on the edges.

~ Chill the Dough
-Chill the dough before you roll it out for at least 30 minutes and up to two days. Again, if it is very hot out, think about freezing the dough for 10 minutes just before you start to roll it out.

~Roll the Dough, Turn the Dough
-Roll out the dough on a very well floured work surface with a well floured rolling pin. With each pass of the rolling pin, turn the dough a quarter turn (about 90 degrees). This will let you know the dough is not sticking. If it starts to stick at all, lift up one side of the dough and through a bit of flour underneath. ~Curbs Not Driveways
- Roll out and away from yourself, then pick up the rolling pin to start from the center again. Be careful to keep the pressure of the rolling pin even across the entire circle of dough so the edges of the dough are as thick as the center you want curbs not driveways

~ Let Dough Fall Into Pan
- When you line the pie pan with the dough, lower the dough into pan and lift up the edges and let the dough fall down into the corner rather than pushing or forcing it. Dough that is stretched will simply pull back to its original shape once baked.

~Once the tart tin has been lined , it needs to be neatened up.

~Use your fingers to fold some of the overhanging pastry back over itself, to allow for shrinkage.

~Run your rolling pin firmly over the rim of the tart tin to trim the pastry. Pull away any excess overhanging pastry.

Pastry nutritional value

All pastrys are made from flour and fat. They are therefore rich in carbohydrates(starch) and provide energy for the body. Pastries are usually baked as shells or cases for other foods, so when we consider the food value of pastries we must include the filling.

Protein, Fat, Vitamins and Minerals- In the filling ( from the eggs, bacon, vegetables and seasonings).

For example a sweet dish

How to make pastry light.

Air is the main rAising agent when making pastry. So, therefore, we must ensure that steps are followed to ensure that the air is in the pastry. There are several ways of trapping air into a mixture.

1. Siv together the flour and salt. As the mixture falls back into the bowl, air is trapped inside.

2. When the fat is rubbed into the flour, lift the mixture up and out of the bowl and always handle it very lightly.

3. When making flaky and rough puff pastries, air is trapped between the layers of pastry as it is being folded.

Type of Pastry. Raising Agent.
Short Crust Air
Suet Baking Powder
Flaky Air
Ruff Puff Air

Remember that raising agent work is expanding as a result of the heat in the oven. If a mixture is very cold when it is put into a hot oven, the gas inside the mixture will expand far more than if the mixture has been warm. In pastry making, therefore, we must aim to keep the mixture as cool as possible so that the gases will expand properly and make the pastry light.

How to keep the pastry cool.
Use the flour that has been stored in a cool, dry place.
Keep utensils to be used in a cool, dry, place.
Rub fat into flour with the fingertips, the coolest place of the hands.

Edible Meat

Shortly after an animal is slaughtered a condition known as rigor mortis sets in, during which the muscles are very stiff. Meat must be eaten either before this begins,mor after the meat has hung form while. In hanging, acids develop which perhaps aid in softening the meat again, and certainly add to its flavor.

The cuts of meat which are tender usually command the highest price. They come from the parts of the animal which are least toughened be exercise, but there is considerable difference in tenderness in the "better cuts", breed, age, size and the manner in which the animal has been fattened, all affecting the result. The length of the fibres seems to be another factor in the question of toughness. Loin steaks and rib roasts are good examples of choice cuts. It its interesting to know, however, that many of the cheaper cuts contain more extractives and less water, so that they are both better flavored and more nutritious. Waste, too, must be taken into account. Instructive data on this subject can be obtained in bulletin of the Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station.

Experience is needful before one can recognize good meats in the market. This can best be acquired by getting a butcher to show different grades if meat, and to explain why one is better than another.

Different Kinds of Meat
There are man different kinds of meat available on the market today, and even more that can be hunted to provide more meal choices. The most popular types of meat are chicken, pork, and beef. If hunting for your own meat, deer, bear and moose are the most popular choices . Some hunters prefer to stick to foul by only hunting wild turkey, pheasant and quail. Deer a d moose meat can often replace red meat in many dishes, and if prepared correctly those eating it will never know the difference.…...

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