Dough for savoury dishes

Basic recipes

Preparing dough is a question of touching and feeling. Basic ingredients are flour, water and salt. Eggs or butter can also be used. Recipes give certain amounts. You should start with these amounts, but, depending on a variety of circumstances such as the freshness of the flour you use, the size of the eggs, et cetera, your dough can end up either too moist or too dry. Add little amounts of flour (when too moist) or water (when too dry) and keep kneading until you like what you feel and see.
Even though the food processor is a fantastic appliance, you should finish kneading the dough with your hands. That way you'll know the consistency of the dough, and, to be honest, kneading dough is one of the most satisfactory things you can do with your hands.
After kneading, you should let the dough rest for a while.
In most instances dough should rest for a while before using it.
If you add two to four tablespoons of sugar, the dough can be used for sweet pastry.
You can also add spices to dough, but these should not interfere with the taste of the stuffing.

Index of dough recipes

Pastry dough
Puff pastry with eggsSimple puff pastrySimple short crustFirm short crust
Medieval short crust Medieval pastry for Lent17th-century dough version 117th-century dough version 2
 Empenada dough version 1Empenada dough version 2Empenada dough version 3
Classic puff pastry
 Puff pastry according to Glasse and FarleyPuff pastry according to Carême 
pasteirecepten op Coquinaria
Lamb chop pastyMushroom pastiesMushroom pieMarrow pasties
 Spinach pie  
Yeast dough
 Roman breadMedieval breadFeast bread,
Pasta dough
 Italian pasta doughEastern pasta dough 

PUFF PASTRY WITH EGGS

Ingredients
500 gram (4 1/4 cup) flour
2 tsp. salt
125 gram (1/2 cup) butter from the refrigerator
2 eggs
11/2 deciliter (2/3 cup) cold water
1 Tbsp. vinegar

Preparation
Mix salt and flour. Cut the butter to pieces the size of a pea into the flour with two knives. Stir the eggs with water and vinegar, add to the flour and butter. Mix shortly with a fork. Pour the contents of the bowl on the worktop, and shape the mass into a ball with floured hands, without kneading. The pieces of butter must remain visible.
Wrap the dough in plastic foil and let it rest for at elast one hour in the refrigerator.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator half an hour before continuing, because otherwise the dough may be too firm to roll out.
Roll the dough out on a worktop sprinkled with flour. Fold the sheet in three, roll out again, fold it again. Now roll out the dough to a sheet of 1/2 centimeter (about 1/4 inch) thick, and make the pasty.

SIMPLE PUFF PASTRY

Ingredients
500 gram (4 1/4 cup) flour
2 tsp. salt
250 gram (1 cup) butter from the refrigerator
2 1/2 deciliter (1 cup) cold water

Preparation
Mix salt and flour. Cut the butter to pieces the size of a pea into the flour with two knives. Stir the eggs with water and vinegar, add to the flour and butter. Mix shortly with a fork. Pour the contents of the bowl on the worktop, and shape the mass into a ball with floured hands, without kneading. The pieces of butter must remain visible. 
Wrap the dough in plastic foil and let it rest for at elast one hour in the refrigerator.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator half an hour before continuing, because otherwise the dough may be too firm to roll out.
Roll the dough out on a worktop sprinkled with flour. Fold the sheet in three, roll out again, fold it again. Now roll out the dough to a sheet of 1/2 centimeter (about 1/4 inch) thick, and make the pasty.

SIMPLE SHORT CRUST

Ingredients
500 gram (4 1/4 cup) flour
2 tsp. salt
150 gram (2/3 cup) melted butter
1 1/2 deciliter (2/3 cup) water

Preparation
Mix salt and flour. Melt the butter on low heat or in the microwave. The butter most not turn brown. Stir the water in the liquid butter. Make a hole in the flour, pour the liquid into it. knead until you have an elastic ball of dough. Let it rest for half an hour (not necessarily in the refrigerator).
Roll out the dough to a sheet of the desired thickness and drape into a mould or tin, or form a pasty by hand.

FIRM SHORT CRUST

Ingredients
500 gram (4 1/4 cup) flour
2 tsp. salt
90 gram (3 ounces) lard
1 3/4 deciliter (3/4 cup) boiling water

Preparation
Mix salt and flour. melt the lard in the boiling water. Make a hole in the flour, pour the liquid into it. knead until you have an elastic ball of dough (use a wooden spoon at first if the dough is too hot to handle). With this dough you can make raised pasties, it is very firm. You can also use it in e.g. a springform, but if you wrap the dough around a large tin or other cylindric form, you can decorate the sides of the pasty.

MEDIEVAL SHORT CRUST
Some medieval pastry recipes mention 'dark pasty dough'. Contemporary recipes for dough are rare. Below is a recipe from me.

Inredients
350 gram (3 cup) whole wheat meal
150 gram (1 1/4 cup) rye flour
2 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. lard
2,5 deciliter (1 cup) boiling water
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
black pepper to taste

Preparation
Mix salt, spices and wheat and rye meal. Melt lard in the boiling water. Make a hole in the flour, pour in the water with lard. Stir with a wooden spoon and knead (if it is still hot, use a spoon here also, or the kitchen machine) until the dough is firm, smooth and elastic. This dough can be used to form high pasties without a mould, it is very firm.

DOUGH FOR EMPENADAS
Empenadas are Spanish savoury pastry. A small pastry is an empenadilla. The stuffing can be almost anything, like cheese, tuna, chicken, olives, spinach. The pastries are baked in an oven (175dgr C/345 oF), large ones need 40 minutes, the smaller ones are done in 20 to 30 minutes. For empenadas I use a piedish. For empenadillas I use the serrated little doughpinchers I also use to make Chinese won-ton with.
These recipes for dough for empenadas can also be used for other savoury pies and pastry.
The gluten free 'dough' is difficult to roll out, what is often the best way to use it is to model the dough into the baking form or around the stuffing. (Don't forget to dust your hands and any working surface with corn flour). The crust also will remain softer, it is not easy to cut into slices.

VERSION 1

Ingredients
300 gram (2 1/4 cups) flour
1 decilitre (3 fl.oz) olive oil
4 Tbsp. milk
2 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. beer
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
salt

Preparation
Mix all the ingredients together, knead until you have a slightly elastic ball. Cover with kitchen foil and let it rest until you need it (at least 45 minutes).

VERSION 2 WITH LARD

Ingredients
275 gram (2 cups) flour
1 decilitre (3 fl.oz) olive oil
55 gram (1/4 cup) melted lard
1 decilitre (3 fl.oz) water
salt

Preparation
Mix all the ingredients together, knead until you have a slightly elastic ball. Cover with kitchen foil and let it rest until you need it (at least 45 minutes).

VERSION 3 GLUTEN FREE

Ingredients
400 gram (3 cups diced) mushy potatoes
100 gram (2/3 cup) corn flour
120 gram (1/2 cup) butter or lard at room temperature
4 egg yolks
4 Tbsp. cream or milk
salt, pepper
nutmeg to taste

Preparation
Boil the unpeeled potatoes. Peel them when they are done, puree them. Get rid of any excess moisture by heating the puree carefully in a pan with a thick bottom. The puree must be sticky (not burned!).
Add the cornflour, mix well.
Temper the egg yolks with cream and spices. Work it into the puree with butter or lard until the puree is smooth and firm.
This dough is not easy to roll out, but you CAN bake with it!

Ingredients
All descriptions of ingredients

Lard - This is pig fat, heated and strained. Nowadays lard is not as popular as it used to be, because of the high percentage of saturated fat. But, just as one can occasionally eat an oversweet cake with heaps of whipped cream, one can prepare a dish with lard once in a while. Lard was widely used as cooking fat in the past, and modern Chinese cuisine still uses lard a lot.
To make lard: Take a pound of fresh or salted pork fat. Chop it in chunks, put in a skillet without adding anything, heat at low temperature, stir occasionally. After 30 to 45 minutes you'll have cracklings and lard. Craxcklings are a treat for those people who like them (I do!). Dogs and cats also love cracklings, but give it sparingly if at all, because of the fat, and the salt (if you used cured fat). During the heating of the pork fat you can add herbs or spices like bay leaf, mace, clove, pepper. Strain the lard, put in a jar and keep in the refrigerator (keeps for months).
Pastry dough prepared with lard in stead of butter tastes great. An added bonus is that your hands will become incredibly smooth when kneading the dough, very good for dry skin (and your dog/cat will surely love to be petted by you afterwards!).

Bibliography
The editions below are in my possession. Links refer to available editions.
All books mentioned on this site (with short reviews)