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What are some common cooking questions about pastry?

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Some common cooking questions about pastry are: "What would be causing the bottom pastry of meat pies to crack?" "What flour should be used in making crepes?" and "What is the role of salt in bakery products?" These and more questions and answers are available on BakeInfo.co.nz and PastrySampler.com.

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There are a number of possible causes of cracks in the bottom pastry of a pie. In general, pastry tends to crack when the dough is dry or contains too little fat. Leaving the pastry uncovered for a period of time, not adding enough water to the dough mix or over-mixing the dough are factors that contribute to cracks in a cooked pie crust.

Crepes are typically made from all purpose wheat flour, though a variety of other flours may be used to achieve different flavor profiles. Salt fulfills a number of different functions in baked goods. Salt modifies the flavor of cooked pastries, controls the rate at which yeast ferments and increases color in pastry crust. Salt also helps to strengthen gluten when used in a recipe with wheat-based flour. This leads to a stronger dough that is less sticky and stretches further without tearing. Professional pastry chefs add may add salt sooner or later in the mixing process depending on the strength of the flour.

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