Tart dough

ninja dogninja dog Registered Users Posts: 23,780 Curl Neophyte
My tart dough was too dry to roll out easily today, but I didn't want to add more water, in case it became too wet and wouldn't shatter nicely when baked.

Any ideas? The ingredients were simple as can be: flour, water, butter, and salt. (Cup and a half of flour; one stick of cold butter, cut in slices; pinch of salt; 3 tbs. cold water.)

TIA

Comments

  • SariaSaria New YorkRegistered Users Posts: 15,963
    I always add more water than the suggested amounts when making pie or tart dough. There are a lot of factors that can affect this. Various flours have different amounts of absorbency, not to mention humidity levels when making them. I tend to use King Arthur all-purpose flour and so I know I need more liquid than I would with some other flours. If I use their pastry flour instead, it's usually not an issue.
    The dough should just come together, but it shouldn't be dry or too crumbly.
    If anything, more water leads to more shrinkage when you bake the tart shell, so that's one of the main issues.
    Try it with a bit more water next time, or try using an egg instead of water, adding a bit of water if necessary. This makes for an incredibly easy to handle dough, pretty much fool-proof dough.

    A lot of tarts I make I use Alice Medrich's tart dough that is simply a matter of melting one stick of butter, tossing in a bit of sugar and vanilla, and then tossing in a cup of flour and pressing the dough in. Very easy and buttery shortbread crust.

    Aside from that this unorthodox method is apparently excellent (though I probably won't bother since I have way too many crust recipes already):
    http://www.davidlebovitz.com/archives/2009/05/french_tart_dough_a_la_francaise.html

    Dorie Greenspan's tart shell is also good:
    http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/11/the-great-unshrinkable-sweet-tart-shell/
    por-que-no-te-callas.jpg
  • ninja dogninja dog Registered Users Posts: 23,780 Curl Neophyte
    Oh, I hoped you'd reply, Sairis.

    I was hesitant to wing it with more water. It came out tasting good, but a bit short for the pan in question.

    I'm going to check out the kinks you suggested.

    Thanks!
  • ninja dogninja dog Registered Users Posts: 23,780 Curl Neophyte
    I can't believe I wrote "kinks."

    I think it was all those references to "tarts" (remember that "Curlymix is a trollop" thread?).

    Ms. Ninja regrets.:oops:
  • wild~hairwild~hair Registered Users Posts: 9,890 Curl Neophyte
    I don't know if this will suit your purposes, but this all-butter crust recipe has never failed me.
  • SariaSaria New YorkRegistered Users Posts: 15,963
    Haha. Just blame it on curlymix!
    The dough you mentioned is a good one, and the type of dough I use for savory tarts most of the time, but I just know I'd probably end up adding six tablespoons of water instead of three.
    I forgot to say that a yolk instead of an egg makes for a more tender result as well, but egg in any form makes for a nice, easy-to-handle tart shell with less shrinkage.

    The David Lebovitz link has comments from people who have made the dough for both sweet and savory (cutting out most of the sugar) tarts and they all rave. It's quite an interesting method.
    Wild~hair, I recognize that as Melissa Clark's recipe and she and her recipes are indeed great. I make her lard crust (which is fab for savory tarts).
    por-que-no-te-callas.jpg
  • ninja dogninja dog Registered Users Posts: 23,780 Curl Neophyte
    The Lebovitz link method from the French baker freaked me out. I just know, given my general "head in the clouds" demeanor, that I'd touch the hot bowl.
  • ninja dogninja dog Registered Users Posts: 23,780 Curl Neophyte
    wild~hair wrote: »
    I don't know if this will suit your purposes, but this all-butter crust recipe has never failed me.

    Ooh! I like this one, too. I generally go with "Methods for Hapless" whenever possible.

    Sairis, you suggest doubling the amount of water, and adding egg to this one?
  • SariaSaria New YorkRegistered Users Posts: 15,963
    Heh, I don't see why you couldn't cook it on the stovetop. ;)
    I never go in with a set amount of water. I usually just use the amount in the recipe, and if it comes together, great, if not, I add a bit more. Usually I find myself using double the amount, though.
    I tend to use eggs when doing tarts, sweet or savory and when the dough isn't as rich. If it's a pie, I just do water, with maybe a touch of vinegar.
    That dough is pretty rich, so I wouldn't do eggs.
    por-que-no-te-callas.jpg
  • ninja dogninja dog Registered Users Posts: 23,780 Curl Neophyte
    Good point.

    Thank you both!
  • wild~hairwild~hair Registered Users Posts: 9,890 Curl Neophyte
    ninja, I'm kind of useless when it comes to cooking, so if I can make that crust happen every time I try it, anyone can.

    Seriously. :lol:
  • ninja dogninja dog Registered Users Posts: 23,780 Curl Neophyte
    I'm sold! Thanks again, w~h and Sairis.

    I generally read recipes and lists of ingredients for ease of implementation: "Can a mostly distracted person do it? If some ingredients fall on the floor, are they safe for dogs to eat?"

    Yes, it's nothing but the finest around Ninja's kitchen. (If I had my druthers, I'd eat Bugles and drink chocolate milk every day.)

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