The Pass. The Judgement day of plates.

The Pass. The Judgement day of plates.
Bring the finished plates up to the pass for inspection.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Whole Wheat Tarts vs Plain Flour Tarts

Lately, I've been playing around with tarts made out of whole wheat flour instead of regular pastry flour or plain flour for the reasons that it will be healthier choice. As you may or may not know, whole wheat products will provide you with a source of proteins, fibers, vitamins and minerals which are always good for your body. My mom cannot consume too much white flour, so in house, we have mainly whole wheat products when it comes to baked goods such as whole wheat buns and breads. My parents are quite conscious when it comes to eating healthy, and I don't even want to get into the kind of drinks that they blend up every morning for my sister and I to drink. But that aside and back to the point, whole wheat tarts.

There are many doughs out there for tarts and pies and endless recipes to match with it. But as I have learned, the key to a strong tart/pie dough is allow to time for maturity of the dough. This means you must let your dough rest, best overnight, thus giving time for the flour in the dough to absorb any fat or moisture in the recipe. When flour is mixed in liquid, gluten is naturally developed and it helps strength the dough's ability to stretch when rolled. Same goes for tart doughs made with whole wheat flour, and it may take longer periods of resting time compared to pastry flour. This is due to the slower absorption of moisture from the whole wheat flour.
Then through a few trials, I found that whole wheat tarts tend to take a longer time to bake, and you couldn't use the same temperature used for regular tarts. The color of the tarts became too dark before it was fully baked. The whole wheat dough itself is much more dense compared to the regular flour tarts, and therefore, the release of moisture through baking took longer, and this cause the oven to steam up, and instead of baking you are now, steaming. So I had to open the oven doors to let out the steam and continue baking. Normally, the best oven for baking tarts are the convection ovens, the ovens with the built in fan to circulate the hot air better. And better this, you can buy yourself a convection oven with a vent function to let out steam when built up in the oven. It will provide your tarts with a nicer color on the crust and also giving you that crispy shell which is always desired.

I prefer to bake my tarts a little longer to evaporate more moisture. I do this because, although the tart shells will be a lot more dry, but when I add in the fillings it will soak up juice and balance out. Also, when living in humid climate, baking your shells a little longer than required will also help prevent your shells from becoming soft too fast due to the moisture in the air. Nobody likes a soggy tart shell.