by | Apr 19, 2024


Basic pastries are doughs made with flour, fat (usually butter), and water. They are the foundation of many delicious desserts and savory dishes. There are three main types of basic pastry dough:

  • Pâte Brisée (Shortcrust Pastry): This is a flaky pastry dough that is commonly used for savory pies and tarts. It is made with all-purpose flour, cold butter, and a small amount of water. The butter is cut into the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs. The water is then added, just enough to bring the dough together. The dough is chilled before being rolled out and used.
  • Pâte Sucrée (Sweet Pastry): This is a richer pastry dough that is used for sweet pies, tarts, and pastries. It is made with all-purpose flour, butter, sugar, and eggs. The butter is creamed with the sugar until light and fluffy. The eggs are then added, followed by the flour. The dough is chilled before being rolled out and used.
  • Pâte Sablée (Shortbread Pastry): This is a crumbly pastry dough that is used for cookies and shortbread bars. It is made with all-purpose flour, butter, and sugar. The butter is creamed with the sugar until light and fluffy. The flour is then added and mixed until just combined. The dough is chilled before being rolled out and used.

These are just a few basic pastry doughs. With a little practice, you can easily master these techniques and create delicious pastries at home.


Shortcrust pastry, also sometimes called rough puff pastry, is a time-saving version of traditional puff pastry. It achieves a similar flaky texture but requires less time and effort to make. Here’s what shortcrust pastry is and an example of its use:

Shortcrust Pastry

Shortcut pastry is made with similar ingredients to traditional puff pastry (flour, butter, water, and sometimes salt), but it uses a different technique. Instead of repeatedly folding layers of butter into the dough, the butter is simply cut into the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs. Water is then added to bind the dough together, and the dough is chilled before being rolled out and used.

Example: Sausage Rolls

Sausage rolls are a popular savory pastry made with a shortcut pastry dough. The dough is filled with sausage meat, rolled up, and baked until golden brown and flaky.

Sausage Rolls

Here’s a simple recipe for sausage rolls using shortcrust pastry:

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
    • 1/4 cup ice water
    • 1 pound ground sausage meat
    • 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
  • Instructions:
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Cut the cold butter into the flour using a pastry cutter or your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Gradually add the ice water, mixing with a fork until the dough just comes together. Be careful not to overmix.
  3. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a rectangle about 1/4-inch thick. Spread the sausage meat evenly over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border at one long edge.
  6. Brush the edge of the dough with egg wash. Roll up the dough tightly, starting from the long edge without sausage meat. Seal the seam by pinching the dough together.
  7. Cut the sausage roll into individual pieces about 1-inch thick. Brush the tops of the sausage rolls with egg wash.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and flaky. Let cool slightly before serving.

Shortcut pastry is a versatile dough that can be used for a variety of sweet and savory pastries. With its ease of use and delicious results, it’s a great option for both beginner and experienced bakers.



Choux pastry, also known as pâte à choux (French for “cabbage paste”), is a unique and versatile dough used for many delightful pastries. Unlike other pastries that rely on baking powder or yeast for rising, choux pastry puffs up due to steam created during baking. Here’s what choux pastry is all about, along with some delicious examples:

Choux Pastry

Choux pastry is made with a simple combination of water, butter, flour, and eggs. The key to its success lies in the cooking process. Here’s what happens:

  1. Scalding: The water and butter are first brought to a boil, scalding the flour. This pre-cooks the flour slightly and helps create a strong structure.
  2. Egg Power: Eggs are then beaten into the hot mixture, one at a time. This creates steam pockets in the dough, which expand during baking, causing the pastry to puff up.

The result is a light and airy pastry with a crisp shell and a hollow center, perfect for all sorts of sweet and savory fillings.

Examples of Choux Pastry Treats:

Choux pastry’s versatility shines in a variety of delectable treats. Here are a few popular examples:

  • Éclairs: These oblong pastries boast a light and airy shell filled with rich cream (pastry cream or chocolate cream are popular choices) and topped with a chocolate glaze.
  • Cream Puffs: These small, round puffs are filled with sweet fillings like whipped cream, pastry cream, or fruit curd.
  • Profiteroles: Similar to cream puffs, profiteroles are typically arranged in a pyramid shape and drizzled with chocolate sauce or caramel.
  • Gougères: These savory puffs are made with cheese (gruyere or parmesan are common choices) added to the choux pastry dough. They are perfect as an appetizer or a delightful snack.

These are just a few examples, and choux pastry can be used for many other creative sweet and savory treats.


Danish pastries are delightful flaky pastries originating from Denmark (though sometimes called Viennese bread due to their baking technique). They are known for their buttery, layered dough and a variety of sweet fillings and toppings. Here’s a breakdown of Danish pastries with some tasty examples:

Danish Pastry

Danish pastry dough is made with yeast-leavened dough similar to croissants. The magic lies in the lamination process. Here’s how it works:

  1. Dough and Butter Layers: A yeast dough is rolled out and layered with cold butter.
  2. Folding and Chilling: The dough is repeatedly folded and chilled, creating numerous layers of dough and butter.
  3. Baking Magic: During baking, the butter steams, separating the dough layers and resulting in a flaky, airy pastry.

Sweet Satisfaction: Examples of Danish Pastries

Danish pastries come in various shapes and sizes, each offering a unique taste sensation. Here are some popular examples:

  • Kanelsnegle (Cinnamon Snail): This is a classic Danish pastry in its simplicity. It’s a swirl of buttery dough with sugar, cinnamon, and sometimes butter, shaped like a snail.
  • Spandauer: Think of a round danish with a well in the center, often filled with fruit preserves (like apple or plum) and a crumbly streusel topping.
  • Almond Danish: This beauty features a buttery dough base filled with almond paste and sometimes topped with sliced almonds or a sugary glaze.
  • Cheese Danish: A delightful savory option with a base of danish pastry dough filled with cheese (ricotta or cream cheese are common choices) and sometimes topped with herbs or fruit.

These are just a few examples, and bakeries offer endless creativity with fillings and toppings. So next time you have a craving for something flaky, sweet, and delicious, explore the wonderful world of Danish pastries!


Laminated pastry is a type of dough known for its light, flaky, and airy texture. This is achieved through a specific technique called lamination, where layers of butter are incorporated into the dough. Here’s a closer look at laminated pastries and some delicious examples:

The Flaky Magic of Laminated Pastries

The secret to laminated pastry lies in the intricate process of lamination:

Laminated Pastry

  1. Dough Base: A basic dough is prepared using flour, water, and sometimes yeast (depending on the pastry type).
  2. Butter Block: A cold block of butter is incorporated into the dough.
  3. Folding and Chilling: The dough is repeatedly rolled out, folded with the butter block in the center, and chilled. This creates many alternating layers of dough and butter.
  4. Baking Transformation: During baking, the butter layers melt, creating steam that separates the dough layers. This results in the characteristic flaky texture.

Examples of Laminated Pastries

Laminated dough forms the base for many delectable pastries, both sweet and savory. Here are a few popular examples:

  • Croissants: The quintessential laminated pastry, boasting a buttery, flaky, crescent shape. Often enjoyed plain or filled with sweet or savory ingredients.
  • Danish Pastries: Similar to croissants but often richer with yeast and sometimes filled with fruits, jams, or custards.
  • Pain au Chocolat: A chocolate lover’s dream, featuring a croissant dough wrapped around a bar of dark chocolate.
  • Palmier Cookies: These delightful pastries are made from puff pastry (another type of laminated dough) cut into strips, twisted, and sprinkled with sugar, resulting in a crispy, caramelized treat.
  • Kouign Amann: A decadent Breton pastry made with laminated dough, sugar, and butter. It boasts a caramelized crust and a gooey, buttery center.

This is just a taste of the versatility of laminated pastries. Bakers around the world use this technique to create an array of delicious treats. So next time you bite into a flaky, buttery pastry, remember the magic of lamination!




Meringue is a type of light and airy dessert topping or candy traditionally made from whipped egg whites and sugar. It has French origins and can be enjoyed in various forms, from soft and billowy to crisp and chewy.

Here’s a breakdown of meringue:

  • Key Ingredients:
    • Egg whites: The air incorporated while whipping the egg whites is what gives meringue its light and airy texture.
    • Sugar: Provides sweetness and helps stabilize the meringue.
    • Sometimes an acidic ingredient like lemon juice, cream of tartar, or vinegar is added to aid in volume and stability.
  • Types of Meringue: There are three main types of meringue, each with a slightly different preparation method and resulting texture:
    • French Meringue: The simplest type, made by whipping egg whites and sugar together until stiff peaks form. It’s often used for piped decorations or as a base for other meringue variations.
    • Swiss Meringue: Heated sugar syrup is slowly incorporated into whipped egg whites, creating a glossy and stable meringue that’s resistant to collapsing.
    • Italian Meringue: The most stable type, made by pouring hot sugar syrup into whisked egg whites until stiff peaks form. Often used for frostings and cake fillings due to its stability.
  • Uses of Meringue: Meringue is a versatile ingredient used in various desserts:
    • Pie and Tart Toppings: A popular use for meringue is as a topping for lemon meringue pie, key lime pie, and other fruit tarts. The meringue is baked until golden brown and adds a sweet and textural contrast to the filling.
    • Cookies: Meringue cookies, like meringues and pavlovas, are made from piped or shaped meringue that’s baked until crisp and light.
    • Decorations: Due to its ability to hold its shape, meringue can be piped into decorative designs to adorn cakes and pastries.
    • Floating Islands: A classic French dessert featuring soft meringue poached in milk or custard, often served with a caramel sauce.