The Broken mass, also called shortbread dough or pasta –pâte briseé in French-, it is one of the basic pastry creations that are worth mastering at home. Its elaboration is actually very simple and has countless applications, both in sweet and savory recipes, and adapts to all the occasions that lie ahead.
A good artisanal shortcrust pastry has no comparison with the commercial industrial ones. Always looks good and with it we can mark a refined and elegant dessert or seduce with a more rustic and homely appearance. Savory cakes are popular with everyone, they are ideal on a holiday or to take to an event away from home, and it also gives a lot of play to prepare appetizers, canapes or miniature pastries.
Basic broken dough: the keys to success
The most elementary breeze mass is made up of few ingredients:
- Common wheat flour, preferably loose or pastry flour.
- Cold butter, better without salt.
- Sugar, if any.
- Cold water.
One of its advantages is that you do not have to wait for the butter to warm or soften, because we actually need it very cold. A good trick is to first cut it into small squares or cubes and leave it in the freezer for a few minutes to ensure that it regains the necessary firmness.
Using unsalted butter we can control the exact amount of this ingredient that we add in the recipe, while sugar will depend if we are going to make a sweeter cake or if we are preparing a savory recipe. The water should be kept in the fridge in advance, a step to remember if we are in winter.
Due to its simplicity, it is essential to bet on top quality ingredientsOnly in this way will we obtain a really delicious short dough, with an irresistible flavor and aroma. The quality of the butter and eggs is key and will make a difference in the final result.
This dough is not made by whisking or simply kneading. We need to have very cold butter to incorporate it with the flour without melting with it, that is why it is very useful to have a robot, food processor or similar. Failing that, we can manage with a wire mixer or our hands, as long as we work very quickly so as not to heat the dough.
Better results are obtained if the dough is baked cold
Eggs and water help blend the ingredients; it is difficult to give an exact amount of liquid because there are minimal variations that we will have to adjust by eye. We are looking for a malleable and somewhat moist mass, but not sticky, that can be compacted without cracking. With a robot, it turns into a ball that peels off the walls of the container.
It is important to act quickly to do not overwork it, since this would cause an excessive development of gluten that would affect the final texture, even “shrinking” it after baking. To avoid this it is also necessary let it cool in the fridge, before and after lining the mold: it has to be baked cold.
Depending on the recipe, we can bake the shortcrust dough alone, in white, with a weight to prevent it from rising and warping, or directly with the filling.
The sugar or sugar dough –pâte sucrée– have a higher sugar content which makes it more elastic, to which ground almonds are sometimes incorporated to make it softer, crunchy and tasty. It is not uncommon that the term breeze mass is also used for the sucrée; In addition, it is sometimes made with soft butter, but it must also be allowed to cool well.
THREE RECIPES to make QUICK AND EASY CAKES
Sweet recipes with shortcrust dough
Apple and pear tarts: two classics that never fail
The concepts “cake” and “apple” seem to have been born to come together in the form of a multitude of delicious recipes. The shortcrust dough stars in many of the best cakes of this fruit, either thinner or thicker, with cover or tartlet plan, in the style american pie or more French … But the pear is also another great option that sweetens many cakes with this dough.
Cakes with other fruits
Let the apples not prevent us from seeing the forest of the other fantastic fruits. The combinations are almost endless; we can bet on seasonal products or take advantage of some canned versions, even frozen fruit. The lemon does not fail, for example in a cake with lemon cream, although we must not lose sight of it. recipes with banana, like the surprising banana and clementine tart.
Cakes with chocolate
Cocoa lovers cannot miss the delicious shortbread cakes with chocolate fillings. On its own or with fruitAs in the chocolate and apricot cake, it is a complete downfall, and it also looks great at the table if we have guests or a special occasion.
Savory recipes with shortcrust pastry
Vegetable and vegetarian cakes
We leave the sweet world to vindicate savory pies and cakes with shortcrust pastry. It is a perfect resource to mount delicious dishes simply with vegetables that is around the house, giving it the way we want it the most. A little cheese already completely rounds out the recipe, for example in a broccoli, goat cheese and mustard quiche.
Recipes with meat and fish
Already becoming a the most complete food, the recipes that incorporate meat and derivatives, or fish, are great for not getting complicated in everyday menus. As a single dish or as part of a more complete meal, as an aperitif or at a picnic, recipes such as the classic quiche Lorraine will also be a hit at parties.
Tartlets and other sweet recipes with shortcrust dough
We finish this tribute to shortbread with more original options, including those pastry-worthy snacks such as tartlets, for example stuffed with applesauce or that we can improvise with homemade jam.
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