, and the more you work the flour, the more the gluten develops and toughens the pastry, so always work quickly and lightly.
, or crumbly. Make sure all your ingredients are cold before you begin. This will help keep the pastry light and crumbly.
, use a minimal amount of flour, as too much flour can dry the pastry out and toughen it. If it’s a warm day or your pastry is particularly soft, roll it out between two sheets of greaseproof paper or cling film.
before baking, for at least 20 minutes in the fridge. This helps prevent the pastry shrinking in the oven.
during baking, brush the cracks with beaten egg and return to the oven for a couple of minutes to seal them.
and tough, this may because too much liquid was added or the pastry was over-handled, resulting in the development of gluten.
and hard to handle, this may be because too much fat was added, it was over-mixed or not enough liquid was added to bind the fat and flour.
during baking, the pastry might have been stretched during rolling, the oven temperature wasn’t hot enough, there was too much liquid in the pastry, or the pastry wasn’t chilled for long enough before baking.