Chef Dez.

On Cooking: Holiday baking tips

It is best to keep pie pastry as cold possible.

Nothing compares to the aroma of baked Christmas goodies when coming in from the cold winter weather.

Our olfactory sensations (our sense of smell) contribute up to 80 per cent to our sense of taste, thus is an important part of our ability to recognize and enjoy flavour.

Flaky pie dough is a pastry that has a mixture of shortening and/or butter that is “cut in” so that there are small chunks still left in the finished product. This aids in creating steam pockets within the crust, which helps with the leavening process and, thus, creating the flaky texture.

It is best to keep pie pastry as cold possible while mixing and rolling to prevent melting the butter and shortening pieces prematurely.

The best way of doing this is to first focus on your ingredients. Make sure you are using ice water (water from the fridge) instead of cold water, and frozen butter grated into the flour mixture is ideal. The frozen butter particles then are already the required size from the grater and will not suffer from the warm friction of too much mixing or “cutting” in.

Secondly, try not to touch the dough with your hands too much as the warmth from them will melt the butter. It is best to form the dough by folding it over consistently with a chilled metal dough cutter (or called a bench scraper).

Once the dough is formed into a flat disk, wrap and place it in the refrigerator until thoroughly chilled. Remove and proceed with rolling, ideally on a chilled marble surface.

Overworking flour with liquid will create more gluten and, thus, a tougher more structured dough.

Use baking soda or powder.

Happy holidays.

Just Posted

New Pitt Meadows fire hall in design stage

Should be ready for tender by April 2020

Flames double Pilots 6-3 Friday

Bourhill scores two in return from injury

Giant pumpkin growing new tradition in Whonnock

Hungry goats and sheep take out many entries in first contest

Maple Ridge goaltender in WHL Cup

Kelsey with Team BC in prestigious tournament

LETTER: Elderly Maple Ridge woman grateful to retrieve her purse

Arlene Streng wishes she could personally thank the kind ‘lady’ who rescued her

ELECTION 2019: It’s so close, it could come down to who turns out to vote

Black Press Media’s polling analyst on the origins of predictive seat modelling in Canada

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Two charged after owner’s wild ride through Kamloops in his stolen truck

Crystal Rae Dorrington, 37, and Derrick Ronald Pearson, 32, facing multiple charges

Kamloops Blazers blank Vancouver Giants

A loss on the road for G-men

Man found dead inside Richmond business, IHIT investigating

Police believe the incident was not random

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Allegations of racism lead to ministry investigation at Vancouver private school

St. George’s School was contacted over what the school describes as ‘deeply offensive behaviour online’

Not a political question: Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta

Edmonton police estimated the size of the crowd at about 4,000

Most Read