Sunday, July 19, 2015

A Pastry Cutter Makes Pastries and Breads Lighter and Flakier

The pastry cutter, also called a pastry blender, makes baking so much easier! I learned how to use a pastry cutter in home economics class (I won't say how many years ago!). For me, it was a revelation.

So, what is a pastry blender? A pastry blender is a tool used to cut butter or shortening into flour or other dry ingredients.

For years, I had used two knives to cut butter and shortening into flour for biscuits, pie crusts, and muffins.
 
The pastry cutter is so much better, since it can be done one-handed, uses a rocking motion instead of a scissoring motion with two blades, and cuts the butter or shortening into much smaller grains in the flour mixture.
  
In fact, the smaller the grains are, the lighter and flakier your biscuits or crust will be.
 
I love the blade cleaning
feature on this
pastry blender!
 
I really like the pastry blender pictured above. The handle is high enough from the blades that my fingers don't get into the butter while I am cutting it into the flour. The blade cleaning feature makes clean up so much easier.
And the color fits my kitchen d├ęcor!

How to Use a Pastry Blender Cutter

Many quick bread recipes will instruct you to 'cut the butter into the flour,' but don't give a detailed explanation for what this means.
 
To cut butter into your flour, measure the flour into your bowl, use a butter knife to slice butter into 1 or 2 inch pieces, and place into the bowl with the flour.
 
Next, use the cutter in a rocking motion to 'cut' the butter into the flour.
Turn the bowl several times while you are rocking the blade through the flour.
 
When the butter is cut into the flour so that the texture is similar to course corn meal, you are done!

Videos Demonstrating How to Use a Pastry Cutter

Check out the videos below for visual instructions on using a pastry blender:
 
Cooking Tips : How to Use a Pastry Blender
 
 
Using the Pastry Cutter to Make Flaky Pie Crusts
 
 
 Have you ever used a pastry cutter in your baking?
 

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