Pastries are some of the most popular food items. No matter where you go, there always seems to be a line building up at the local pastry shop. Whenever you walk into a bakery or pastry shop, expect your senses to be overwhelmed by that enticing buttery smell of freshly made bread and pastry.
Well for some, they decide to take up the challenge of recreating these delicious treats themselves. If you are one of them, here are some of the things you should know about baking and pastry making.
There are many types
Dating back as far as 5th Century BC, pastries have had a long history. This also means that there are tonnes of different pastries out there. You have puff pastry, shortcrust pastry, phyllo pastry and more! For breads, you have sourdough, brioche, wholewheat and a lot more. To top it off, all of them require different techniques and ingredients. If you are only starting out with making bread and pastries, it’s a good idea to learn the basics rather than trying to do all at the same time.
It needs rest too
Kneading dough is no easy task as it will require some elbow grease. You would need to learn how to gauge when to stop kneading. Over-working it will make the pastry thick and crumbly. For breads, resting your dough after kneading allows it to rest and rise so that you get that wonderful airy inside.
Butter is everything
This key ingredient is what makes pastries smell and taste so good. When butter is talked about in making pastry, it always revolves around temperature. Pastry making usually uses butter in 3 forms – melted, chilled and soft. Melted butter should be lukewarm to prevent burning or cooking other ingredients. Chilled butter should be properly refrigerated so that it does not melt during mixing. Soft butter should be at room temperature and easily spreadable.
Learn to measure everything
Just like chemistry, you need precise amounts of everything for it to come together at the end of the baking process. You cannot simply chug in several ingredients and expect it to come out perfect. Use measuring spoons, cups and kitchen scales to get precise amounts of ingredients.
Attend a workshop or class
There are plenty of baking and pastry workshops out there in Malaysia. Signing yourself up for a pastry course in Malaysia can definitely help you out especially when you are just starting out. While one or two sessions will not make you an overnight pâtissier, you can still learn some useful techniques and skills to up your game.
Etasgo Academy is an esteemed culinary academy in Malaysia that offers both cooking and baking courses. Click here for more information about Etasgo Academy!