What Is Puff Pastry? Different Types And Techniques To Learn

Pastries, such as flaky croissants and crisp shortbreads, are essential in both sweet and savoury dishes. You can use one of five distinct kinds of pastry dough as a foundation for your recipe, depending on the sort of pastry you're making. Once you have the correct equipment, such as a food processor or stand mixer, you may experiment with different recipes employing each kind of dough. Keep reading to find out about the five distinct kinds of pastries you can make in the comfort of your own home. 

Flaky, shortcrust, puff, choux, and filo are the five most common varieties of pastry dough used to make pastries. The three main ingredients in each of them are flour, water, and fat. There are five distinct varieties of pastry dough, each with its own unique combination of ingredients, proportions, and purposes. 


Flaky pastry, like the usual pie crust, is delicate and easy to produce; it is ideal for sweet or savoury foods that need to bake quickly. Flaky pastries are easier to make using a food processor or a pastry blender since the dough contains big bits of butter. Pay careful attention to the recipe guidelines since this flaky pastry requires a delicate touch and is easy to overwork. 


For those with a sweet tooth, there's shortcrust pastry, a firm dough ideal for making heavier pastries like cookies and tarts. Since the recipe calls for almost half as much fat as flour, the pastry will hold its shape even when overdone. Crumbles are an excellent addition to all four varieties of shortcrust. 


Puff pastry differs greatly in the amount of time required to prepare, yet having a texture comparable to flaky crust. The classic method for making it involves laying out dough and then laminating it over a rectangle of chilled butter. Pie crusts and meat pies aren't complete without flaky puff pastry, the signature of a skilled baker. Another option for a quicker but more labour-intensive type of puff pastry, known as rough puff, is to use a stand mixer. 


Choux pastry, which is also known as cream-filled pastry, is characterised by a flaky exterior and a hollow centre that can hold a variety of tasty fillings, both sweet and savoury. The odd thing is that eggs are the first ingredient in this airy pastry dough. The outer shell of choux pastry is made when the thick, moist substance is raised by steam. 


Baklava and spring rolls both use filo, a type of puff pastry that is similar to it, which is produced by stacking thin sheets of crust over filling. So that it doesn't puff up when cooked, the unleavened dough is stretched into a paper-thin sheet, sprayed with oil, and then stacked with more dough sheets and oil.  

Common Techniques Required for Pastries 


Puff pastry and croissants use this a lot. Roll out the dough sheets and put a layer of cooled butter on top. In order to get hundreds of extremely thin layers when cooked, the dough is folded, rolled, then folded/turned several times. 


The choux pastry is shaped into éclairs, profiteroles, and cream puffs by piping it with round tips. Rounds of dough are piped into macarons using smaller tips. To make pretty edges, you may use star tips on Danish pastries and other filled pastries. 

Filling and assembly 

French pastries like profiteroles, éclairs, and cream puffs have a hollow centre that is filled with custard, whipped cream, or pastry cream. Carefully stuff the sandwich without pushing it to its limits while making a macaron or cream sandwich. Evenly distributing the filling between the layers of delicate phyllo or puff pastry is essential for baklava and other stacked desserts. 


Improving baked goods with icing is as simple as sprinkling powdered sugar over desserts like cream puffs and éclairs, or as complex as piping elaborate designs onto cakes. It is common practice to layer buttercream or ganache between two macarons before decorating the top. 


Ideal for recipes calling for a delicate, airy texture, such as macarons, tarts, and cookies. When you whip egg whites with sugar until they are thick and frothy, you get meringue. When the sugar and egg white proteins link, a sturdy meringue is formed.