Friday, December 30, 2005

Learning the basics of French Bistro (pt 2) - Pate Brisee

This is the second of a series of posts of recipes that I promised to do from a list of basics of French Bistro from one of my favorite cookbooks, the Bouchon Cookbook by Thomas Keller. Pate Brisee is Francophied terminology for a simple pastry crust. There are a lot of steps involved in making a good Pate Brisee, but there are reasons for each and once you understand those reasons the steps will become second nature.

The basic recipe for Pate Brisee is 3 parts flour to 2 parts butter with a little salt and water (1 stick of butter makes 1 Pate Brisee). This is a standard recipe for 2 doughs - either for 2 separate crusts or for a recipe that needs a top crust. The trick to making a flaky crust is to keep the butter cold and use a minimal amount of water.

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