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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Whole-Wheat Pie Dough

Most of the vegetable tarts that I post on Recipes for Health call for a yeasted olive oil crust that I love to work with. With French quiches, however, I prefer a crust that resembles classic French pastry. However, I always use at least half whole-wheat flour – which is not so French – not only for its nutritional superiority, but also because it gives the resulting shell a nuttier, richer flavor that is particularly welcome in a savory tart. This dough, adapted from Jacquy Pfeiffer’s recipe for pâte brisée in “The Art of French Pastry,” involves more butter than you’re used to seeing in my recipes, but an occasional butter-based crust, especially when it’s made with whole-wheat flour and contains a filling that is all about vegetables, is not going to kill us. Instead, it’s a vehicle for the foods that we want to move toward the center of our plates.

2 9-inch pastry shells, 6 to 8 servings each nut free

222 grams French-style butter such as Plugrá (8 ounces, 1 cup), at room temperature
175 grams whole-wheat flour or whole-wheat pastry flour (approximately 1 1/2 cups less 1 tablespoon)
175 grams unbleached all-purpose flour (approximately 1 1/2 cups less 1 tablespoon)
7 grams fine sea salt (1 teaspoon)
92 grams water (6 tablespoons)

1. Place butter in the bowl of a standing mixer. Sift together flours and salt and add to mixer. Mix at low speed just until the mixture is well combined. Add water and beat at low speed just until mixture comes together. Do not overmix or you will activate the gluten in the flour too much and your pastry will be tough.

2. Using a pastry scraper or a rubber spatula, scrape dough onto a large sheet of plastic wrap. Weigh it and divide into 2 equal pieces. Place each piece onto a large sheet of plastic, fold plastic over and flatten into 1/2-inch thick squares. Double wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and preferably overnight.

3. Very lightly butter two 9-inch tart pans. (If you can see butter you’ve used too much.) Roll out dough and line tart pans. Using a fork, pierce rows of holes in the bottom, about an inch apart. This will allow steam to escape and aid in even baking. Refrigerate uncovered for several hours or preferably overnight. (If using only 1 pastry shell, double wrap the other in plastic, then in foil, and freeze.)

4. To prebake, heat oven to 325 degrees. Unwrap tart shell and place on a sheet pan or baking sheet. Line the dough with a sheet of parchment. Fill all the way with pie weights (you can also use beans or rice). Place on the middle rack of the oven for 15 minutes. Remove pie weights and parchment and return pastry to oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes more, or until light brown and evenly colored. There should be no evidence of moisture in dough. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Nutritional information per serving (8 per crust): 179 calories; 12 grams fat; 7 grams saturated fat; 2 grams polyunsaturated fat; 3 grams monounsaturated fat; 31 milligrams cholesterol; 16 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 285 milligrams sodium; 3 grams protein

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