If you love tarts, croissants like the ones you can find at Bakery Lorraine, and eclairs, then you are into pastries. Most pastries are made with batter or soft dough and enhanced with other ingredients like chocolate, butter, fruits, and many others.
There are five basic types of pastry, and these are:
- Puff pastry
- Flaky pastry
- Short crust
Invented during the 17th century in France by Claude Gelée, the puff pastry is a light, flaky and laminated dough with multiple layers of butter and dough, so it’s a combination of crispy and soft. The gaps between the layers are leavened by water that becomes steam during the baking process. The puff pastry dough contains only butter, flour and water and you can make it into sweet or savory pastry.
There are variations to the puff pastry, including:
Many people confuse the puff pastry with the Danish pastry. A Danish is a variation of the puff pastry and it is leavened with yeast. Puff pastry, as mentioned earlier is raised by steam. Danish pastry also contains sugar in the dough making it better suited for sweet creations, like the blueberry Danish we often see in local bakeries and cafés. The Danish also uses egg in its batter, so it’s fluffier and more bread-like.
Crispy and flaky croissants, as well as pain au raisins and pain au chocolat are French signature pastries. These have crispy, crunchy and flaky exterior, with dense interior.
Flaky pastry, as the name suggests, is flaky pastry with fewer layers and less fat. Chunks of fat are added to the batter. It is layered, doesn’t use any raising agent and is made with unleavened dough. Pies and pasties use flaky pastry.
Short Crust Pastry
If you’re familiar with pies and tarts, these dishes use short crust pastry. The outer layer envelops the filling and has a 2:1 ratio of flour and fat.
Choux is pronounced “shoo” and it’s a French signature pastry. The term means “cabbage” which is probably appropriate considering that it looks similar to a cabbage-shaped decoration. It kind of looks like a cream puff and it’s delicate with a crisp exterior using batter with eggs, flour, water and butter. Choux pastry has a hollow interior that allows it to have cream or ganache pipings.
Filo also known as phyllo pastry is considered to be the oldest pastry to have ever been invented. It hails back to the Ottoman Empire. It’s made from thin unleavened dough that is likened to layered pastry. The dough is not layered but rather, stretched into thin sheets. Examples of filo pastry are borek rolls and baklavas.
View Turkey’s most loved baklava here: