A sweet dough differs from one that contains no sugar in one important way: The presence of the sugar makes the dough much less elastic, since sugar naturally inhibits the formation of a strong gluten. The resulting dough is easier to handle and also won’t toughen from excess handling the way a flaky or other sugar-free dough might. In fact, before beginning to roll a sweet dough, I always like to give it a gentle kneading to soften it slightly so it won’t break apart when I start rolling. Chapter 4 for photographic instruction of rolling dough, as well as instructions for forming tart and piecrusts. Regarding the quantity of dough to use, whether you roll it or press it into the pan.
Start rolling the dough by rolling away from you to the far end and back again without rolling over the ends. Use a firm but gentle pressure—pressing too hard might cut right through the dough. Turn the dough 45 degrees as before and roll again. Continue turning and rolling until the dough is the desired size. As you roll, don’t forget to add pinches of flour as needed. For a
© 2008 Nick Malgieri. All rights reserved.