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Perfecting puff, shortcrust and filo pastry with your stand mixer

Who doesn’t love tucking into a comforting pie on a cold evening, or enjoying a slice of delicious apple tart for dessert? Many of us are daunted by the prospect of making our own pastry, but the fact is it’s easier to make than you think.

The core ingredients of any type of pastry are flour, water and fat, but they are used in different ratios to produce different results. In this guide, we’ll share how to make three of the main types with your stand mixer - shortcrust, puff and filo, along with some delicious sweet and savoury pastry recipes for you to try.

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Shortcrust pastry

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Used to make sweet and savoury tarts, quiches and pies like this delicious chicken and wild mushroom pie, shortcrust is a thick pastry that’s really versatile. It’s also super quick and simple to make, especially when you use your stand mixer to work the butter in.

Preparing ahead

This easy recipe makes 440g of shortcrust pastry. That’s enough for a pie or tart serving 6 people, using a 26cm/10.25 inch tart pan. It only takes 5 minutes to make using your stand mixer, plus 30 minutes chilling time.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients
125g unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
250g plain flour
5g salt
1 egg yolk
50g iced water

Making shortcrust

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Fit the K-Beater to your stand mixer. Add the cubed butter, flour and salt to the mixer bowl and fit the splashguard.

Mix on speed 2 for 2 minutes. Add the egg yolk and water and mix on speed 2 for a further minute. Using your mixer for this stage means there’s less risk of overworking your pastry, which happens when it is handled too much by warm hands. This causes the butter to melt and can produce a dry, hard pastry which is difficult to roll out.

Tip the mixture onto a surface and gently knead with your hands until it comes together to form a dough. Be careful not to handle it for too long.

Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.

Puff pastry

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Created by a process called lamination, where the butter and pastry dough are repeatedly folded to produce layers, puff pastry is rich and buttery. It’s used for pie lids, tart bases, sausage rolls, vol-au-vents and cheese straws, as well as sweet treats like apple turnovers and mille-feuille. Impress your guests with this raspberry, passionfruit and mango mille-feuille, where the flaky pastry is layered with sliced mango and passionfruit vanilla cream, and topped with a fruity coulis.

Getting started

This puff pastry recipe makes enough for 6 medium sausage rolls, or 12 mini sausage rolls, or a pie lid for a 10-12 inch pie. You will need 2 hours 15 minutes to make it, which includes chilling time.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients
15g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
100g water
200g plain flour
3g salt
150g unsalted butter, chilled

Making puff pastry

Attach the dough hook to your stand mixer. Add the water, plain flour, salt and cooled, melted unsalted butter to the mixer bowl.

With the splashguard fitted, mix on speed 2 for 5 minutes, until a dough forms. Wrap with cling film and chill for 30 minutes.

Place the chilled unsalted butter between two pieces of parchment paper on your work surface. Use a rolling pin to roll out into a 15 x 10cm rectangle and set aside.

Lightly flour your surface and roll the chilled pastry out into a 30 x 30cm square. Place the butter in the centre of the pastry and fold over the edges of the pastry to fully envelop the butter. Tightly pinch the seams to seal.

Roll out until 3-5mm (⅛”) thick and fold the bottom edge up to the centre. With cold hands (run your wrists under cold water to cool if needed, and dry off) fold the top down to cover the first fold. Give the dough a quarter turn and repeat the rolling and folding process. Wrap with cling film and chill for 30 minutes.

Repeat the rolling and folding process twice more (6 folds in total), chilling for 30 minutes between each folding. Chill until needed.

Filo pastry

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Filo is a delicate pastry made up of several paper-thin sheets that are held together by a coating of oil or melted butter. It’s used in both sweet and savoury recipes, including Greek dishes like baklava or spanakopita, tarts, pies, spring rolls and samosas.

Ingredients list

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This recipe makes 6 servings of filo pastry, or 9 sheets. It takes 30 minutes to make, and you will need to use your mixer’s pasta roller attachment to roll out the sheets.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients
250g 00 flour
Pinch of salt
100ml warm water
10ml olive oil
Rice flour, for dusting
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Fit your mixer’s dough tool and add the 00 flour and salt to the mixing bowl. With the mixer set to speed 1, gradually add the warm water and olive oil.

Once incorporated to form a dough, mix on speed 2 for 1 minute. If the mixture looks dry add some more water, but only a very small amount. Your dough should be firm, but not wet and sticky. Wrap the dough in cling film and leave to rest at room temperature for 5 minutes.

Attach the pasta roller attachment. Adjust the setting to 0 and sprinkle some rice flour between the rollers.

Unwrap the dough and divide into nine equal pieces. Cover with a damp tea towel.

Flatten the first piece of dough and shape into a rough rectangle. Lightly dust with rice flour.

With your mixer on speed 1, pass the dough repeatedly through the rollers, adjusting the setting each time until you reach setting 9. Then place the rolled filo sheet onto a piece of parchment paper dusted with rice flour. Dust the top of the filo sheet with rice flour and cover with a damp tea towel.

Shape and roll the remaining dough pieces. Stack the rolled filo sheets in a pile, dusting the top of each one with rice flour and covering with a damp tea towel. Keep covered until needed. If you’re not using immediately, cover in cling film and chill in the fridge. You can also freeze filo pastry for up to 3 months.