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  • Michelle

Back to Basics 12 - Shortcrust pastry

Okay, so we had our sweet pastry back to basics (I have been held accountable for many Kenny Rogers’ earworms, to which I shrug, could be worse), here we have a pastry for all those times you need have a savoury filling.

If you haven’t read Back to Basics 11, go have a quick look, the procedure is the same, I will warm up my pipes. “You gotta know when to hold em, know when to fold em...” Ah, you are back, ready?

This is what we are making, a nice, simple shortcrust pastry that is good for bottoms and tops, or Cornish pasties, Oo! I haven’t made Cornish pasties in ages!


500g plain flour, I use a mixture of regular and bakers, at a ratio of 3 to 1, this gives me a soft bite that has plenty of stretch.

250g butter, cubed

3g salt

200ml water with one tablespoon vinegar mixed into it

Okay, remember our song from Back to Basics 11? Here we go, into the mixer go the flour, butter and salt until it looks like this -

Add the acidulated water, keep mixing until it looks like this -

Now, let’s pause just a moment. Look at the bottom of the bowl, see that bit of dry, crumbly stuff? Means it is not ready, let’s give it another ten seconds -

That’s better, look at the bottom of the bowl, no crumbly stuff.

Right, turn it out onto your bench and give it a knead until you have a nice smooth ball, don’t fuss at it too much, the mixer has already done the work for you, wrap it in cling wrap and pop it into the fridge for an hour, it needs to rest and relax and to firm up enough to be easy to work with, because this afternoon we are having a quiche tutorial. Don’t be scared, they are nowhere near as difficult as they are made out to be.

I have just asked my Mum to get my Auntie Nell’s sausage roll recipe for you. My Auntie Nell used to look after me when I was sick and couldn’t go to school and she is an amazing cook. She used to send tubs of tiny sausage rolls home sometimes and they were just delicious. She also had a kumquat tree I used to nick the kumquats off, my first introduction to sweet and sour in a single bite and an absolutely mad passionfruit. Anyway, if I can get it I will put it up for you.


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