If you want to prevent pastry shrinkage, you should use a baking sheet that has been preheated at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. This will ensure that the dough doesn’t shrink when it cools down.
Avoid Pastry Shrinkage: A Few Golden Rules
The golden rule of preventing pastry shrinkage is to keep your oven temperature between 350 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you don’t have an accurate thermometer, then just check on the progress every few minutes until the desired size is achieved.
You can also try using parchment paper instead of greasing the pan with butter or oil. The reason why this works so well is that the grease prevents the crust from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
The best way to make sure your dough doesn’t shrink too much when it’s rolled out is to roll it as thinly as possible. If you don’t want to spend money on one, then just get yourself an old rolling pin or something similar.
1. Make sure to proof the dough for longer periods of time
You may be tempted to proof your dough in the fridge overnight but if you do this, there are two things that could happen.
First off, the yeast might not work properly because they need warm temperatures to activate them. Secondly, the gluten network inside the flour won’t develop fully unless the dough is left to rise slowly over time.
So what we recommend doing is letting our dough sit at room temperature for about 2 hours before putting it into the refrigerator.
In addition, you’ll notice that some recipes call for resting the dough after shaping it. Resting allows the gluten strands within the dough to relax and form stronger bonds. It also helps the bread to retain its shape better during rising.
2. Utilise the Right Amount of Yeast
When making any kind of bread, you always want to start by adding enough yeast to the recipe. Too little yeast means that the bread won’t rise very high while too much yeast makes the bread taste sour.
Furthermore, you shouldn’t add more than 1/4 teaspoon per cup of water during baking. Adding less yeast than this would mean that the bread wouldn’t rise at all.
On top of that, you should only mix the ingredients together once. Mixing twice causes the proteins in the flour to clump up which results in poor mixing.
Hence, you should wait until everything else is mixed thoroughly before adding the yeast. Once you’re done mixing, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and leave it somewhere where it stays warm. Let it ferment for around 20 – 30 minutes.
Afterward, remove the lid and stir the mixture gently. Cover the bowl again and allow it to stay undisturbed for another 15 – 45 minutes. At this point, the dough should begin to bubble slightly.
3. If the dough is too cold, do not stretch it
If you’ve ever tried stretching a cold piece of dough, you know how difficult it is. This is especially true if you stretch the dough right away.
When you first put the dough into the fridge, it will take quite a while for it to cool down completely. During this process, the dough will continue to expand due to the heat trapped inside. As soon as you pull the dough out of the fridge, however, it starts contracting immediately.
When making any kind of bread, you always want to stretch the dough first before placing it onto the baking tray. But if you’re working with cold dough, you’ll find that stretching becomes very difficult.
Instead, place the dough onto the countertop and let it rest for 10-15 minutes while you heat up the oven. Once the oven reaches its target temperature, start stretching the dough by hand.
4. Wait for the dough to rest.
After you’ve shaped your dough, give it a little bit of a resting period before moving forward. This helps the gluten relax and allows the dough to expand more evenly.
In addition, it is important that there’s no dough over proofing. Overworking will cause the gluten in the flour to develop and make the pastry tough. If this happens, simply let the dough rest for a few minutes before rolling out again.
The final step of making puff pastry involves baking the dough at high temperatures until golden brown. This causes the butter inside the dough to melt into pockets which expand as they bake.
5. Shape The Loaf Into A Round Buns
Once the dough has risen sufficiently, take a piece of waxed paper and place it underneath the dough ball.
Then use both hands to stretch the dough evenly across the surface of the baking sheet. This will ensure an even distribution of the weight throughout the entire loaf.
6. Chill the pastry before baking.
Chilling your pastries before baking ensures that they bake perfectly without getting soggy. To chill your pastries, simply put them in the freezer for 15 – 20 minutes. The perfect dough time.
After chilling, remove them from the freezer and allow them to thaw slightly. Then transfer them back to the freezer again for another 30 minutes.
Repeat these steps twice more before removing them from the freezer completely.
7. Bake Your Pasties Properly (Heat for Baking)
Bake your pasties at 375°F for 25 – 35 minutes depending on how thick your pastry is.
When checking whether your pasties are done enough, insert a knife through the middle of each piece. If the blade comes out clean, then your pasties are ready!
8. Add Salt And Sugar To Your Bread
Salt and sugar help improve flavor and texture. They also act as preservatives. However, these additives aren’t necessary if you plan on storing your baked goods for longer periods of time.
In fact, most people prefer their bread without salt and sugar since they tend to overpower other flavors.
However, if you really like salty-sweet tastes, feel free to sprinkle some extra salt onto your loaf.
9. Let Them Cool Down Before Serving
Once your pasties are baked, leave them to cool down for around half an hour before serving.
10. Serve With Warm Sauce
Serve your pasties hot with a sauce like a tomato ketchup or honey mustard. These sauces add flavor and moisture which makes your pasties taste even better!
In conclusion, I would like to say that it is not easy to make a good puff pastry. It requires time and patience. The dough must be handled with care so as not to overwork or under-handle it. If you are going to use this recipe for making croissants, then do not forget to roll them out very thinly.