The basics : Pastry

Where to start… These days, well for the next little while, I am let’s face it, a lady of leisure. I don’t have to set the alarm to get up in the morning, I don’t have to do anything or see anyone if I don’t want to and I don’t have to go into work. It sounds great doesn’t it? But in reality it’s a little strange. I’m not used to it. After a few days of sleeping in and lazing on the sofa watching movies and being delivered food parcels (thanks Mum), it appears that my body wants the old routine back. Despite my intentions of doing nothing, I am now getting up earlier than if I had to go to work, cleaning the house WAY more than ever before ( this morning I found that I have five rolls of tinfoil and 8 different kinds of Paprika!) and when it’s quiet, I think about food.

My better half came home last night and asked what was for dinner. I replied ‘mushrooms’. He looked a little puzzled. I had spent the afternoon playing around with recipes for stuffed mushrooms, that I totally forgot about the whole meal. My intentions were to make a nice potato or rice thingy to go with the mushrooms but then I got side-tracked. So mushrooms for dinner it was. The worst part is, that the mushrooms weren’t quiet blog worthy yet.

So left with nothing to blog, I decided today to make an apple traybake (recipe post to follow). To start, the recipe needs pastry. A nice buttery shortcrust pastry. Today’s post is how to make this yummy pastry. Ever since I was younger and started to cook, I have used one simple recipe for pastry and it hasn’t failed me yet. It may seem a bit basic to be writing about but pastry can be tricky! Here is my post for the day, my shortcrust pastry…



  • 225 plain flour, sifted
  • pinch of salt
  • 100 g chilled butter, cut into small cubes
  • 3-4 tbsp water


Mix the flour and salt together. Add the butter to the flour and using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.

IMG_5850    IMG_5855

Add 3-4 tbsp of water to the flour mix and using a table knife, cut the mix until the mixture starts to stick together (add another tbsp of water if a little dry). Then with your hand, form it into a ball and turn out onto a floured work surface.

IMG_5864    IMG_5866

Knead lightly for a few minutes until the dough is firm and smooth. Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge to chill for 20 or so minutes. The dough will keep for a few days in the fridge. If left in the fridge overnight just take it out of the fridge 20 minutes before using or it will be hard to roll it.


And there you have it, my easy shortcrust pastry.


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