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Methods of Mixing
1. Short-Mealy Crust: To produce a Short-Mealy crust, obtain a thorough distribution of the fat throughout the flour. To accomplish this, take one-half of the flour and all of the Crisco, and mix thoroughly. Then add the balance of the flour and mix it in to break up the creamed mass. This requires little mixing. Add the cold water last and mix just enough to incorporate it.
2. Flaky Crust: You can obtain a Flaky crust by lightly mixing all the Crisco with all the flour so that you obtain an irregular mixture, with little lumps of fat throughout it. Then add the cold water and mix very little. This dough will require slightly more water than the dough for the Short-Mealy crust in order to make a dough of the same consistency. This is because less flour has been coated with fat–the flour is free to absorb moisture. When the dough is rolled out, the little lumps of fat throughout the dough are rolled out into layers between the layers of dough. This causes the “flake.” It is advantageous to have the shortening cool so that it will break into lumps. This dough should be handled at not over 65° F.
3. Short-Flaky Crust: To make the Short-Flaky crust, mix one-half of the Crisco with all of the flour until you obtain a thorough distribution of the fat. Then add the other half of the Crisco and mix it in lightly–so that it is left in little lumps throughout the dough. Next add the cold water and mix lightly.
The dough for the Short-Flaky crust is really a composite mixture (that is, flour coated with fat is surrounding lumps of fat). The first half of the shortening, distributed throughout the flour, produces shortness (as in the method for making a Short-Mealy crust). The last half of the shortening, in little lumps throughout the dough produces the flaky effect (as in the method for making the Flaky type of crust).
The Flaky crust method will often produce a crust similar to the Short-Flaky crust–if the shortening is soft enough to work into the flour and at the same time has body enough to form some lumps throughout the dough.