Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Wonderful World of Pastries!

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pastry,  general name for baked articles of food made of paste or having paste as a necessary ingredient. The name is also used for the paste itself. The essential elements of paste are flour, liquid (usually milk or water, sometimes beaten egg), and shortening. The making of pastry was known to the ancient Greeks and Romans, but its modern development in the Western world dates from the late 18th cent. Pastry is classed according to the amount of shortening used and the method of blending it with the flour as plain, flaky, and puff pastry. Plain pastry is used to cover meat or fruit pies; flaky pastry, which requires more shortening than plain, is used in strudels and the Turkish baklava. Puff pastry is used in the making of cream puffs and éclairs.

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pastry - any of various baked foods made of dough or batter
flour - fine powdery foodstuff obtained by grinding and sifting the meal of a cereal grain
baked goods - foods (like breads and cakes and pastries) that are cooked in an oven
pie crust, pie shell - pastry used to hold pie fillings
pandowdy, dowdy - deep-dish apple dessert covered with a rich crust
frangipane - pastry with a creamy almond-flavored filling
streusel - pastry with a topping of streusel
tart - a pastry cup with a filling of fruit or custard and no top crust
timbale case, timbale - small pastry shell for creamy mixtures of minced foods
pie - dish baked in pastry-lined pan often with a pastry top
French pastry - sweet filled pastry made of especially puff paste
bouchee, patty shell - shell of puff paste
sausage roll - sausage meat rolled and baked in pastry
toad-in-the-hole - sausage baked in batter
vol-au-vent - puff paste shell filled with a savory meat mixture usually with a sauce
strudel - thin sheet of filled dough rolled and baked
baklava - rich Middle Eastern cake made of thin layers of flaky pastry filled with nuts and honey
profiterole - a small hollow pastry that is typically filled with cream and covered with chocolate
puff - a light inflated pastry or puff shell
rugelach, ruggelach, rugulah - pastry made with a cream cheese dough and different fillings (as raisins and walnuts and cinnamon or chocolate and walnut and apricot preserves)

Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2008 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
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noun tart, Danish (pastry), pasty, tartlet high fat foods such as cakes and pastries see cakes and pastries

Types of pastry
choux pastry, filo pastry, flaky pastry, hot water pastry, pâte brisée, pâte feuilletée, pâte sucrée, puff pastry, rough puff pastry, shortcrust pastry, suet pastry

Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
Phyllo (filo) pastry Phyllo pastries are usually paper-thin and greatly stretched. They involve several stretched out layers and are wrapped around a filling and brushed with butter. These pastries are very delicate and can break easily.

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Pastries go back to the ancient Mediterranean almost paper-thin multi-layered baklava and filo. Medieval Europe took on pastry making after the Crusaders brought it back. French and Italian Renaissance chefs eventually perfected the Puff and Choux pastries, while 17th and 18th century chefs brought new recipes to the table. These new pastries included brioche, Napoleons, cream puffs, and éclairs. French chef Antonin Careme reportedly was the first to incorporate art in pastry making.

European traditions of pastry-making is often traced back to the short crust era flaky doughs that were in use throughout the Mediterranean in ancient times. These recipes were popularized in Western Europe by Crusaders returning home.
In the Mediterranean, the Romans, Greeks and Phoenicians all had filo-style pastries in their culinary traditions. There is also strong evidence that the ancient Egyptians produced pastry-like confections. It is very possible that Egyptians made and ate pastries. They had professional bakers that surely had the skills to do so, and they also had needed materials like flour oil and honey. In the plays of Aristophanes, in 5th century BC, there are mentions of sweetmeats including small pastries filled with fruit. The Romans used flour, oil and water to make pastries that were used to cover meats and fowls. They did this during baking to keep in the juices, but this was not meant to be eaten by people. A pastry that was meant to be eaten was a richer pastry that was made into small pastries and contained eggs or little birds. It was often served at banquets. Greeks and Roman both struggled in making a good pastry because of the fact that they both used oil in the cooking process and oil causes the pastry to lose its stiffness.
In medieval North Europe they were able to produce nice, stiff pastries because they cooked with lard and butter. There were some incomplete lists of ingredients found in medieval cookbooks, but no full, detailed versions. There were stiff, empty pastries called coffins or 'huff paste', that were eaten by servants only and included an egg yolk glaze to help make them more enjoyable to consume. Medieval pastries also included small tarts to add richness to the snack. It was not until about the Mid 16th century until actual pastry recipes showed up. These recipes were adopted and adapted over time in various European countries, resulting in the myriad of pastry traditions known to the region, from Portuguese "pastéis de nata" in the west to Russian "pirozhky" in the east. The use of chocolate in pastry-making in the West, so commonplace today, arose only after Spanish and Portuguese traders brought chocolate to Europe from the New World starting in the 1500s. Many culinary historians consider French pastry chef Antonin Carème (1784–1833) to have been the first great master of pastry making in modern times.
Pastry-making also has a strong tradition in many parts of Asia. Chinese pastry is made from rice, or different types of flour, with fruit, sweet bean paste or sesame-based fillings. Beginning in the 19th century, the British brought western-style pastry to the far east, though it would be the French influenced Maxim in the 1950s that made western pastry popular in Chinese-speaking regions starting with Hong Kong. Still, the term "Western Cake" (西餅) is used to differentiate between the automatically assumed Chinese pastry. Other Asian countries such as Korea have traditionally prepared pastry-confections such as tteok, hangwa, and yaksi with flour, rice, fruits, and regional specific ingredients to make unique type desserts. And Japan also has specialized pastry-confections better known as mochi and manju. Pastry-confection that originate in Asia are clearly distinct from those that originate in the West that are generally much sweeter.

Definitions of Terms:

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Pastry A mixture of flour, fat, possibly egg and sugar, the fat usually dispersed as small solid globules coated with flour and the whole brought together with liquid prior to shaping and baking. There are many types of pastry.
Pastry bag or Piping bag An often cone shaped bag that is used to make an even stream of dough, frosting, or flavored substance, to form a structure, decorate a baked good, or fill a pastry with a custard, cream, jelly, or other filling.
Pastry board A square or oblong board preferably marble but usually wood on which pastry is rolled out.
Pastry brake Opposed and contra-rotating rollers with a variable gap through which pastry can be worked and reduced in thickness for commercial production. A very small version is used domestically for pasta production.
Pastry case An uncooked or blind baked pastry container used to hold savory or sweet mixtures.
Pastry cream Confectioner's custard. An egg and flour thickened custard made with sweetened milk flavored with vanilla. Used as a filling for flans, cakes, pastries, tarts, etc. The flour prevents the egg from curdling.
Pastry cutters Various metal or plastic outlines of shapes, e.g. circles fluted circles, diamonds, ginger bread men, etc. Sharpened on one edge and used to cut out corresponding shapes from biscuit, scone, pastry, or cakes mixtures.
Pastry blender A kitchen implement used to properly combine the fat and flour. Usually constructed of wire or plastic, with multiple wires or small blades connected to a handle.

Pastry chef

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Those who make pastries professionally are known as either bakerspastry chefs, depending on whether they produce pastries for a bakery or a restaurant. Pastry chefs use a combination of culinary ability and creativity in baking, decoration, and flavoring with ingredients. Many baked goods require a lot of time and focus. Presentation is an important part of pastry and dessert preparation. The job is often physically demanding; requiring attention to detail and long hours. They are also responsible for creating new recipes to put on the menu. Pastry chefs work in restaurants, bistros, large hotels, casinos and bakeries. Pastry baking is usually held in a slightly separate part from the main kitchen. This section of the kitchen is in charge of making pastries, desserts, and other baked goods.


(Photos by, Simon Lee Bakery)

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Taguig City, Metro Manila, Philippines
I got a confession to make. I am food addict, over-indulgent! I crave for anything especially sweets, chocolates, cakes, ice cream, strawberries, halo-halo, leche flan, banana Q, breads, pasta, Nasi Goreng....tell me what you got in your fridge ;-D. Thank heavens for I got my mum's genes, I can gain and lose pounds that easy and quick. I am here to share with you my food recipe collection (almost forgotten in a corner of my room) and search for new, exciting recipes, meet good people, and discover more about the world of baking. I am no professional baker or chef (just a wanna-be for now) but we'll get there in time. In sha Allah. Afterall, DREAMS just got to start somewhere, and it starts right here, right now! Meantime enjoy this food journey with me among other stuff....amigos to the kitchen! [Thank you for visiting my blog,you're always welcome to come by! Feel free to dig deep into the posts, much treasures there. And leave your comments, I'd appreciate your words....] [P.S. Borrowed articles/photos can be deleted anytime, please advise.Thank you.]

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