October 7, 2017

From The L’Academie Kitchen: Pâte Brisée

Pâte brisée is a French flaky dough that acts as a core component of several recipes we teach as part of the curriculum here at L’Academie de Cuisine. Its light, crumbly, and flaky texture makes it an ideal container for quiche and tarts that have wet fillings.

When making a brisée, remember these three fundamental rules:

– Don’t make the butter pieces too small in step one. They are critical to producing a flaky texture.

– Only add enough water to hold the dough together. Too much water makes the brisée tough.

– Don’t overwork the dough.

Brisée must be cold and rested before use, otherwise it can shrink when rolled and baked. The dough can be refrigerated for two days or frozen for a month. If frozen, defrost in the refrigerator overnight before rolling out. Baked tart shells will hold at room temperature for one day.

The Recipe: Pâte Brisée

Makes: two 8” tart shells

Tools:

Electric mixer
Paddle attachment OR bench scraper
Tart or pie pan
Parchment or foil paper
Dry beans or rice

Ingredients:

2 2/3 Cups (12 oz) all-purpose flour
12 Tbsp (6 oz) cold, unsalted butter
Cut into ½ inch cubes
¾ Tsp salt
8-9 Tbsp ice water

Technique

Prepare Dough

1. Combine flour, butter, and salt in the mixer bowl. Cut butter into flour using paddle attachment until the pieces of butter are pea-sized or slightly smaller.

Alternative method: Put the ingredients on your tabletop and use a bench scraper to cut the butter into the dry ingredients.

2. Add water one tablespoon at a time and gently blend the dough together.
Pro tip: Use only enough water to hold the dough together. Do not knead the dough.

3. Divide dough into two pieces and shape each piece into a ½ inch thick round. Wrap and chill dough for at least one hour prior to use.

Roll Dough

1. Lightly flour the work surface. Gently push down on the brisee with your rolling pin to make it pliable.
2. Once dough is pliable, begin rolling. Turn the dough with each roll.
3. For a large tart (8 to 10 inches), roll the dough about 1/8 inch thick.
4. Line your tart pan or pie pan with the brisee, being sure to push the brisee into the corners of the pan. Trim off excess. Return to refrigerator or freezer and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Baking

Line the brisee with parchment paper or aluminum foil and fill with dry beans or rice. Bake at 375-400 degrees, about 30 minutes for an 8-inch tart shell. Remove the paper and beans after the first 20 minutes and return to the oven to finish baking.