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The Importance of Proper Mixing
How the ingredients are mixed is a matter of utmost importance. The best of ingredients will give you unsatisfactory results if not properly handled. Upon the mixing depends not only the quality of the crust, but the character of the crust.
If you were to examine different kinds of pies offered for sale, or if you were to discuss with pie bakers the types of crusts which are satisfactory to them, you would find that pie-crust can be classified into three general types:
The Short-Mealy crust is very fine grained (mealy). This type of crust is demanded in certain localities. Many restaurants, too, prefer the Short-Mealy crust because it will cut with smooth edges and thus be easily handled.
The Flaky crust may be described as more nearly like the good old crust “which Mother used to make.” This type of crust has large flakes and is not so tender as the Short-Mealy crust. It is more difficult to cut into wedges, because the flakes tend to break unevenly.
The Short-Flaky crust is really a combination of the Short-Mealy and the Flaky types. Flakes are smaller and more tender than in the flaky crust. The flaky effect is there–but the crust is fine grained and tender enough to cut well.
Which type of pie-crust should you bake for your trade? Your neighborhood and the type of trade you cater to will best determine this.
We have found that the Short-Flaky crust is most generally useful. The Short-Mealy crust will cut best and, if not too tender, stand more handling. The Flaky crust is popular when served directly from the bake shop to the table (as in the case of the neighborhood baker). The Short-Flaky crust will serve almost anywhere.
Now that we understand the three types of pie-crust–what do we know about making them, so that we can secure the type of crust we want?
We have found, at the Crisco Research Bakery, that we can produce the three distinct types of crust with the same formula–simply by varying the manner of handling the dough and the amount of water.
For example, a typical simple pie-crust formula is:
50 lbs. flour
25 lbs. Crisco
12 oz. salt
20 lbs. cold water
Upon the method of mixing will depend the character of the crust. We do not recommend making large doughs unless you have a very efficient machine, for the water is hard to incorporate and the dough is toughened by working it in.