How to choose pie crust ingredients for the dough you want

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When you have only one sort of flour in your pantry, likelihood is it’s all-purpose. “For a basic pie dough, nothing beats all-purpose flour,” Erin Jeanne McDowell wrote in “The E-book on Pie.” Even so, it may be bleached or unbleached, and the protein content material can differ amongst manufacturers even inside one class. Different varieties embrace cake, pastry, bread and whole-wheat flours, simply to call a couple of.

For essentially the most half, there isn’t a lot of a distinction within the closing pie product whether or not you employ bleached or unbleached flour, McDowell wrote. Completely different flours may also take in moisture otherwise, however the largest think about your determination is a flour’s capability to type gluten, which usually correlates with its protein content material.

“Flour excessive in protein requires extra water and kinds gluten extra readily, which makes the dough constituted of it stretchy and arduous to roll skinny, leading to a chewy or powerful crust,” Rose Levy Beranbaum wrote in “The Pie and Pastry Bible.” “Flour low in protein, resembling cake flour, will normally produce a dough that’s so tender it tears when it’s transferred to the pie pan and develops cracks throughout baking.” As such, her choice is for pastry flour, which has a protein content material between all-purpose and cake flours. (An on the spot flour, resembling Wondra, behaves equally.)

Pastry chef Camari Mick of Raf’s and Musket Room, each in New York Metropolis, makes use of a mixture of roughly 80 p.c all-purpose and 20 p.c whole-wheat flours. “I try this as a result of I prefer to see a bit little bit of coloration in all of my doughs,” she stated, and she or he additionally enjoys that it provides “a bit bit extra strong taste, too.” Whereas whole-wheat flour is usually greater in protein than all-purpose, its construction inhibits its gluten-forming capability, so that you wish to hold the ratio low. “You don’t wish to mess with the gluten improvement.”

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