Easy-to-Make Pastry May Add Class to Your Meals

In the course of a long pastry chef career you'll learn to deal with a wide range of baked products. Some of them are desserts, but, as you'll learn in pastry chef school, not all pastry is sweet. In fact, you'll probably learn to make this simple puff pastry in one of your very first pastry classes. If you're really brave, you'll try it at home--before you even set foot in pastry chef school.

Pastry chefs spend their careers making fancy sweets, fluffy dessert rolls, and elegant sculptures constructed of spun sugar and chocolate. However, they also can produce some very simple pastries that take a back seat to the foods they accompany. You'll learn both bold and modest pastry techniques if you attend pastry chef school.

Simple, Versatile Pastry for Pastry Chefs and Home Cooks

One of the simplest pastries is an ordinary puffy delight that can be used to cover a baked meat pie or shepherd's pie. Once you learn to make this wonderful pastry, you can use it to cover a piece of fresh baked salmon, or add a special touch to dozens of meat and vegetable dishes. Wrap your hotdogs in this pastry before baking and your family will never whine, "What, wieners again?"

This form of pastry is called rough puff pastry to distinguish it from flaky, pie crust pastry or airy puff pastry.

Rough Puff Pastry Recipe

You'll need two cups of flour and a dash of salt. Sift the flour into a big bowl. Cut in four tablespoons of shortening and 8 tablespoons of butter. Toss in about a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkle of water. Grate in a quarter teaspoon of lemon rind. Mix with a spatula until the mixture hangs together. Press it into a lump, but don't handle it too much.

Roll it on to a flour-sprinkled board and cut it in half. Fold each half over and roll them out again. Repeat the rolling, cutting and folding one time and then chill the pastry until you are ready to use it. Then, simply bake with your dish.

With this simple pastry, you'll create pastry dishes with real class.