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Pastry For Pizza Rustica

Asked by Philcape. Answered on 10th May 2021

Full question

The dough for my Pizza Rustica, far from being “too wet”, was very dry - even after adding an extra splash of waterThere was no hint of it wanting to bind in the processor. I did manage to wodge it eventually but it wasn’t easy to roll out as thinly as is needed to line a 22cm tin. I’m certain I used the ingredients in the right proportions. Might my butter have been too long in the freezer? Something else? (The pastry baked up beautifully though!)

Pizza Rustica
Photo by Petrina Tinslay
Pizza Rustica
By Nigella
  • 14
  • 2

Our answer

Niigella's Pizza Rustica (from HOW TO BE A DOMESTIC GODDESS) is a deep-filled sausage and cheese pie, called a pizza as the word "pizza" in Italian actually means "pie". The pastry for the crust is a buttery shortcrust pastry, made by deep chilling all of the ingredients before mixing, to ensure that the pastry is crisp and tender. If possible also use 00 (pasta) flour, as this is made with durum wheat and rolls out slightly more easily, without getting too tough. The good news is that slightly dry pastry dough tends to be "shorter" and more crumbly and melt in the mouth once cooked.

The pastry uses two egg yolks and two tablespoons of cold water. This is usually enough to bind 250g/2 cups of flour, but all flours have different absorption rates and the size of egg yolks can vary slightly. To test if the pastry is ready, squeeze a small amount between a finger and thumb to see if it sticks together easily to form a smooth dough. If it doesn't then add extra ice-cold water a teaspoon at a time and use the "pulse" button on the food processor, just until the small lumps reach this stage. Try to avoid processing the pastry to a ball, as this will make it more tough.

Bara Brith

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