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Need help understanding how to automate dough making

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Good morning,

 

Been making Cornish Pasties all my life (well just about) - My Great Grand Mother came from Cornwall England and the recipe has been handed down over the years.

 

We (My wife and I) have been making and selling small quantities to friends, family and acquaintances for a while and the manual process of making the dough has become a real pain.

 

Over the years the crust has become the favorite part of the pasty so we don't want to do anything to upset that, as it is making a "Good" crust has always been a challenge - that is repeating a recipe that was handed down over the year by word of mouth (pinch of this, a little of that) you all know.

 

Our question is:

 

How do bakeries produce good pie type crust at a medium volume that is repeatable, affordable, and doesn't have minimum batch sizes bigger than we need?

 

Can some please guide us two beginners to a reference source that would help us understand how to continue doing what we love with a little less manual time and effort and won't cost more than two home chef wanna be's can afford to spend.

 

We know a good crust and the process of getting one should not be under estimated but there has to be an easier way with today's technology.

 

Thanks a "Batch" - I mean bunch.

 

Tom & Lorie Hendrickson

Wonder Lake, Illinois

 

Originally from the U.P. of Michigan......

post #2 of 3

Love me some pasties, just made a batch last week. I grew up eating them. The pastry is the key to a great pasty. I have made them with lard and butter, I think I prefer butter. What is your basic method?

 

There are several pastry chef's here that should chime in on how you might upscale your batch.

One thing that I will add is being careful about producing goods out of your home and selling to the public. The health dept would consider a pasty a hazardous food. Butter in the crust, meat in the filling would be a no no. Look at your states cottage food laws.

post #3 of 3

Hi Pasty lady,

 

This is what I do:

 

Get yourself an electronic scale, one that goes up to 5 kg (10 lbs) in  5 gram (1/4 oz) increments, and two wood sticks.  I'll get to the wood sticks in a bit....

 

Make your dough as you normally do, but this time weigh out every ingredient with the scale after you have used your normal method of measurement, and note it down, even eggs and liquids. Now retire your measuring cup and spoons and use the scale from now on.   Using a scale to measure each and every ingredient assures you precise and repeatable batches--every time. Using weight will also help you figure out what each batch costs, since you are buying virtually all of your ingredients by weight, and not by volume.  Every professional bakery the world over uses this method--measuring by weight, not volume, and has been doing so for centuries.

 

Now roll out your dough as you normally do, and with a ruler measure the thickness of the dough--ie: 1/8" or 3/16", and if you can use a standard cookie cutter to cut out the discs you need, so much the better.  Now weigh out that piece of dough.  This is what you will base your future batch sizes on, the weight of one, plus 5-10% extra, times how many pasties you want per batch.

 

Now get someone to make you two wood sticks the thickness of the dough and maybe an inch wide by maybe 2 feet long.  Put your dough between these two sticks laying on a flat table, making sure your rolling pin is resting on either stick, and you are guaranteed to have consistent thickness of dough. If you use a cookie cutter to cut your discs, you are guaranteed to have virtually identical discs in terms of size, thickness, weight, and composition.

 

Same for your filling, measure each and every ingredient by weight.  Now trot down to a food eqpt store and get an ice cream scoop with a trigger. These scoops are colour coded and are numbered as well, with the larger numbers holding more volume.  Find out how much filling you want in your pasties, and see what size scoop fits this amount best.  While not accurate to the last milligram, this method is accurate for most professional kitchens to in portioning out everything from egg salad to muffins.

 

Hope this helps....

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