Kitchen Tips Tuesday: The Chill Factor

 

7091300904_compWhen making dough for pies, biscuits, or scones, it is important to use cold ingredients to get a rich, laminated outcome. Those little chunks of butter that haven’t fully mixed into the dough melt during baking, helping to create those layers that are the cornerstone of flakey, melt-in-your mouth baked goods. While many recipes suggest letting butter and eggs come to room temperature before using them, these baked goods are the exception.

Some people go to great lengths to keep those ingredients icy cold. They do everything from freezing the bowls and the blade of the food processor, as well as the ingredients. One friend, whose kitchen cred is very high, swears by grating frozen butter into the flour mixture to get the tiniest, coldest and most evenly distributed fat into the laminated dough. For pie crusts, I use ice water to ensure that the liquid doesn’t bring the temperature of the ingredients down.

 

7091300899_compWorking with metal bowls and a stone counter top also enables you to keep the dough chilly while forming it. Remember to handle this type of dough as little and as delicately as possible to avoid gluten formation. Gently patting it together, and only re-rolling the scraps once, keeps the dough open and craggy, which equates to layers of flakey goodness once baked.

Photos: Indigo Jones Eat’s biscuits shot by Glasshouse Images

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