So, what does a pastry blender do? A pastry blender is a hand instrument used to make pastry dough. It is also known as a “pastry cutter” or “dough blender.” It’s especially useful when it comes to mixing (or “cutting”) solid fat into flour.
A pastry blender, shaped like a mezzaluna but with several blades, is often used for pie crust but may also be used to make biscuits, rough puff pastry, streusel, and scones.
It was invented by William Pratt in 1827 to make the process more efficient, and its name comes from the Italian word panzetta, which means “little shoe.” The first patent for this type of cutting device was granted in 1880. In this blog, we also have an article about best pastry blender for mixing dough that you might want to read about it.
A pastry blender is a cooking utensil used to mix a hard (solid) fat into flour in order to make pastries.”Wikipedia.org
What Does A Pastry Blender Do
So, what does a pastry blender do? To cut and mix the fat components into the dry ingredients, the pastry blender features a curved, slotted end with blades or wires that link to a handle on the other end that is grasped and operated in an up and down or rocking action. The blender aids in the removal of lumps in order to fully mix the dough and the elimination of pockets of concentrated components so that they do not negatively impact the taste of the dish being made.
Recipes that include the phrase “cutting in the butter” as a technique advise that the butter be mixed with the other dry ingredients in a way that slices the solid butter into smaller pieces, integrating into the combination of components without melting and then combining. This operation is simplified and made easier by using a pastry blender.
This is a hand-held tool with several metal tines that will cut the butter into small pieces as it incorporates it into your dough.”Bakingbites.com
What Else Should You Know?
Pastry cutters/pastry blenders are usually made out of steel, aluminum or plastic. They may have sharp edges that could potentially hurt your hands if you over-mix dough. These blades will dull quickly if not used frequently
Benefits of pastry blender
Using it makes the job much easier, especially when mixing large amounts of dough, and reduces the amount of time needed to prepare the finished product. Because there’s less fat in the dough, the texture of the final product is flakier than if the fat were melted into the dough.
You don’t need two hands to use a pastry blender – just one! You can cut, stir, knead, fold, roll and score with one pair of hands. This saves time and energy, and lets you concentrate on what you’re doing, rather than having to break apart the dough every few minutes. When working with small quantities of dough, you might want to double check how well the blade is cutting through the flour before adding more liquid.
How to use a Pastry Blender
Use a pastry blender to add uniform size chunks of fats such as shortening, margarine or oil, and combine them completely into the flour. To combine the fat evenly into the flour without overworking the dough, start off slowly, moving the blender back and forth at low speed until the fat begins to stick together. Then reduce the speed slightly and continue blending until the fat starts to come together. Once the fat is incorporated into the flour, increase the speed again briefly while continuing to move the mixer forward and backward.
Once all the fat is blended into the flour, transfer the dough to another bowl or container and sprinkle with additional flour to prevent sticking. Use the tips below to help form the dough into a ball.
Tips for Forming Dough Balls
If your dough is too sticky and doesn’t hold together properly, work in additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough is firm enough to roll out. As you kneed the dough, you’ll feel it getting softer – this is normal. Continue to add more flour as necessary throughout the rolling process.
If your dough seems too dry, add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, to moisten the dough. It will become soft and pliable but won’t turn to mush if added too much.
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