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Pastry - recommendations wanted

Hello any recommendations out there please? Already have been disappointed by 3 brands which did not rise to the occasion. Thanks.

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Home made is best, I’ve been happy with my own shortcrust and puff varieties, plenty of recipes available online.

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What are your requirements? There are many kinds of pastry with different uses.

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Savoury or sweet recommendations would be most appreciated thanks.

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The most popular is the shortcrust pastry, my recipe is:
equal quantity of butter and sugar and double quantity of flour.
4 eggs x kg.

Puff pastry is equal quantity of flour and butter, and pinch of salt.
It’s a bit fiddling because of the way the dough needs to rest in between rolling and folding.

@MaryS, You say you have tried a few brands,
What went wrong?

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Thanks Gaby. I am looking for a ready -made brand please. The 3 brands tried did not rise thus cook as it should.

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At a guess, Filo or puff pastry?
And what was it being used for?

Short crust is the other common store sold pastry, but does not rise. I’ve not seen other types in store.

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Which brands were you dissatisfied with?

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Aldi, Coles and Pampas puff pastries. Though I do appreciate that it may have been caused by other factors and their formulas may change any time. But I find tried recommendations the best way to go…Am pissed off with ruined snacks or meals, otherwise having to make own pastry not desired for the energy poor cooks.

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Yes it was filo and puff pastries thanks.

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We use both, Pampas mostly, for Sausage rolls, spinach & feta/ricotta triangles and large family pie tops, etc. Sometimes there are problems with older pastry sheets, or those with freezer burn which we don’t use. There is the occasional fail where the tops of the pies give inconsistent results, which we put down to too wet a mixture.

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I always use Pampas for sausage rolls.

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I have bought ready-made puff pastry from time to time over the years, usually Pampas. I have never had a problem with it. Likewise filo of various brands always puffs up and crisps nicely for me. It seems odd that three different brands have given you problems. Making pastry is such a mechanistic thing that I can’t think of any reason for the quality to be variable. As others have mentioned an open packet can get freezer burn but this is fairly obvious.

First suggestion, can you give more information: what exactly goes wrong? For puff pastry and for filo what do you expect to happen and what actually happens?

Second suggestion: check your oven temperature, I suspect that it is not hot enough. If you don’t have one that you trust you can get an analog oven thermometer for a few dollars, or borrow one. I use an IR thermometer, which I recommend although they are more expensive. One advantage of the IR ‘gun’ is you can quickly see the variation in temperature in different parts of the oven, even with a fan it can be noticeable. For sensitive baking it may pay to wait a little while for temperatures to even out after it reaches the set figure. The red light going off says the thermostat is at temperature not the whole oven.

Thirdly: often pastry (and pizza) cooks best with bottom heat. If your oven has a choice of elements try the bottom one if you haven’t already. If you have a top element also (a griller) see if you can turn it off.

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I am sorry @MaryS that I cannot recommend any ready made pastry. I seldom buy ready made mixtures of bread, cakes, biscuits etc because having high cholesterol I want to be sure what type of fat has been used, but the list of the ingredients is often vague.

Unfortunately, baking requires lots and lots of practice for the inevitable troubleshooting which only comes with experience.
As Syncretic has suggested it does look like you’re having oven temperature problems.

Keep at it, it’ll get easier with time :wink:

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Thanks, puff pastry I presume, will try it again for my vegetable rolls😋

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We have used the Woolworths puff pastry for years, and never encountered a problem with it.

I agree that it would seem to be an oven issue. Do you have problems with other things you cook in the oven? Does it take longer to bake in your oven than indicated in recipies?

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Thanks so much. No oven problem but will try WW pastry. (You and others helped me with my flour issue and am now happily baking with Coles and WW flours). :+1:

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Thanks very much. Do you use oil instead of fat for your pastries? (I only use oil).

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Thanks syncretic for your comprehensive response. (I am actually really gobsmacked that so many rrdpon8have come in over what is quite a menial subject). It is all very useful and borne in mind and to share with my community neighbours here who have experienced similar pastry issues. Thanks again.

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You might also find this website useful…

The other consideration is if you are using wet ingredients with puff pastry, this will prevent it ‘puffing’.

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