NATIONAL PASTRY DAY
National Pastry Day celebrates one of the world’s most favored baked goods. On December 9th, visit your local bakery and pick up one or two of your favorite kinds.
The pastry is a name given to a large variety of baked goods which are made with ingredients such as flour, sugar, milk, butter, shortening, baking powder, and eggs. Pastry dough is rolled out thinly and then used as a base for different baked products. A few of the more common bakery items include pies, tarts, quiches, and pasties. Bakers create both savory and sweet dishes from the doughs they create. Additionally, they continue to develop new and delicious creations all the time!
- Pastries can be traced as far back as the ancient Mediterranean where they had almost paper-thin, multilayered baklava and Phyllo dough.
- Pastry-making began in Northern Europe after the Crusaders brought it back from the Mediterranean.
- French and Italian Renaissance chefs eventually perfected the puff and choux pastries while 17th and 18th-century chefs brought new recipes to the table. Included in the innovative recipes were Napoleons, cream puffs, and eclairs.
Culinary historians often consider French pastry chef Antonin Careme (1784 – 1833) to have been the original great master of pastry making in modern times.
Many different types of pastry deliver baked goods that make our mouths water. Most of them fall into one of the following categories:
- Shortcrust pastry – simplest and most common.
- Sweetcrust pastry – similar to the shortcrust but sweeter.
- Flaky pastry – simple pastry that expands when cooked.
- Puff pastry – has many layers that cause it to puff when baked.
- Choux pastry – very light pastry that is often filled with cream or other fillings.
- Phyllo pastry – paper-thin pastry dough that is used in many layers.
HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL PASTRY DAY
Get baking! Choose your favorite recipes, or try one of the delicious ones below. While you’re baking, be sure to invite someone over to help you enjoy the delicious results. Another way to celebrate is by visiting your local bakery and giving them a shout-out. It’s one of the best ways to #CelebrateEveryDay! Be sure to use #NationalPastryDay and share it on social media when you do.
NATIONAL PASTRY DAY HISTORY
National Day Calendar® continues researching the origins of this flaky day.
Q. Why do recipes call for cold butter when making pastries?
A. Cold butter helps ensure the final product is light and flaky. When kneading dough for pie crust, croissants, and puff pastry, for example, the butter helps create those layers called laminating. Those bits of butter melt when baked creating pockets of air and separate layers. If warm butter is used, there’s nothing left to melt when the pastry goes into the oven, resulting in a denser product.
Q. What is a shortcrust pastry?
A. Shortcrust recipes are made using a 3:2:1 flour, fat, water ratio. As the name suggests, this pastry is used to make crusts for pies, tarts, quiche, and hand pies.
Q. Are pastries savory or sweet?
A. Pastries are both savory and sweet. Examples of savory pastry recipes include pot pies, hand pies, pizza crust, biscuits, and tarts. The same pastries we use for savory dishes can also be used to make sweet desserts filled with fruit, chocolate, and cream.