Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About

Pastries are made from several different kinds of flour. A crumbly texture, which requires minimal gluten development, is best obtained with a pastry flour moderately low in protein; some protein is necessary to provide continuity in the dough particles, or the pastry comes out chalky rather than crumbly. Flakiness and the laminated structure of puff pastry depend on controlled gluten development, and can be achieved with pastry flour or with flour of a higher protein content, the equivalent of U.S. national all-purpose flours (11–12%). Highly stretched strudel and phyllo can benefit from the very high protein content of bread flours and the strong gluten they form.