Bakeology: On Pie Crusts and Gluten Formation

Pie Crusts and Gluten Formation

Welcome to the first post in the Bakeology series!

Since pie season is upon us, and the holidays are right around the corner, I figured my first Bakeology post, very fittingly, would focus on the star of my holiday meals:  Pie!  More specifically, pie crust.  And gluten.  And what is all that about?  I just recently tried a pie crust recipe with vodka in it, and had great success.  The crust was buttery, flakey, and delicious.  But why?  What does the vodka do that makes this recipe better than one with 100% water?  Let’s explore…

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First, what is gluten? 

Gluten is a strong, sticky, stretchy protein found in foods made from wheat and similar grains that helps give dough its elasticity.  When you add water to flour, the two wheat proteins, glutenin and gliadin, combine and form gluten.

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Father’s Day Fudge Brownie Tartlets

Sunday was Father’s Day, and as with any other small or big event, I saw it as the perfect opportunity to try out a new recipe.

This week’s challenge: Fudge Brownie Tartlets.

Fudge tartlets

Now, I’m not sure why it’s called a tartlet, because there is nothing tart about it, but I try not to ask too many questions. I guess it is because it is in a little pie crust type pastry just like your typical fruit tartlet. But again, nothing tart about it. There is definitely room for improvement on the name.  As for the fudge part? Right on.  This recipe was just the right amount of sweetness and rich chocolatey-ness, paired with a refreshingly light and flaky crust.

Read more sweetness…