How to stop pastry from shrinking

I need to bake 5 tarts for an event this weekend. No matter which recipe I used, I find that crust shell shrinkage happens, sometimes more than other times. I’ve tried the dough chilled in a mold at least 1 hour before baking. Dough rest was usually overnight. Are there ways to avoid this? TIA.

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Use as little liquid as possible and work the dough as little as possible to avoid developing the gluten.

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Thanks. This sounds like the problem, I used my KA to mix the dough perhaps too long.

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Another way is to roll the dough, and refrigerate overnight before baking. This allows the gluten to relax.

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I do that most of the time, the dough still shrinks.

Just curious, do you people put dried beans or weights when blank baking the crust?

Professional bakers say this is not necessary when the dough is done correctly.

No, I never do that, but I do dock the pastry. I don’t get a lot of shrinkage, but perhaps this is due to always chilling the dough at least an hour before rolling.

I’ll try my best to avoid gluten formation by a gentle message with the dough. It will then be chilled and can have an overnight sleep. Hopefully it will be happy in the oven! :upside_down_face:

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Yes! Wishing you good luck!

Thanks! LOL!

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I think I’ve to admit that h is probably a better baker than me, he is more into the science of baking: dough making in relationship with types of flour, temperature, liquid proportion, kneeling gestures, cooking temperature, heat distribution etc. But he is mono interest and only interested in pizza dough. LOL!

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Sometimes intentional overhang stops this - trim after blind baking.

I either dock or use beans if the recipe calls for it.

What kind of tarts? Maybe you can use a biscuit / cookie crust instead,

The sweet pastry has vanilla, so it’s a bit unusual and way better than a store bought dough.

Sweet Dough

125 g butter, softened

85 g icing sugar

30 g almond flour

55 g whole egg (1 egg)

1 tsp of vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla pod

2 g salt

220 g bread flour

To prepare the dough:

  1. Cream butter, sugar and almond flour until creamy and pale. Scrape down sides of bowl while mixing to fully incorporate

  2. Add egg, vanilla and salt. Mix until well combined. Scraping down bowl once to avoid clumps

  3. Add flour. Mix on low just until combined

  4. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour. For best results at least 4 hours or overnight

  5. When ready to bake roll out dough between two sheets of parchment or a floured surface to around 1/4″ thick. Refrigerate 15 minutes. Cut out circles one inch larger than that of your tart ring. Line ring, taking care to make the pastry fit snugly around the edges. Refrigerate again 15 minutes and preheat oven to 350F.

  6. Cut out circles of parchment again one inch larger than that of your tart ring and crumple.

  7. Trim edges flush with the top of your ring. Line with crumpled parchment and fill with pie weights, or baking beans or lentils

  8. Bake tarts for 15 minutes and remove pie weights. Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

  9. Let come to room temperature then refrigerate.

Very true. I hope I won’t crack the shell. LOL.

The event is a bit fancy, I have to be less lousy than usual.

In the US, bread flour has more gluten than all-purpose or cake flour. I would use all purpose here to avoid adding any more gluten than you need!