Sunflower Oil Pastry

This is a recipe for those with cholesterol problems. It can be used to replace shortcrust pastry. The resulting dough may come out a bit stickier or softer than normal, so you may want to adjust the quantities. This was my first attempt which worked quite well. Watch this space if you regularly want to use this recipe, as I may update it if I find a better combination.

4 oz
2 fl oz water
1 fl oz sunflower oil

Mix the oil and water so that they're intermingled well, (e.g. you could put them in a bottle and shake them together. Put the mixture in a bowl, then gradually sift in the flour, stirring (with a blunt knife). When all the flour has been added, you should be left with a soft dough which can be rolled out for normal pastry purposes.

Ever wondered how pastry works? Well, I'm not exactly sure myself, so I had a look at HowStuffWorks.Com to get the general idea. When you mix flour and water, the flour forms long strands of gluten, which hold whatever it is you're baking together. When you make shortcrust pastry, you don't want the strands to get too long, so you add fat as a "shortener" to shorten the strands. When you make bread, the ratio is something like a pound of flour to half a pint of water, with a little fat. My pastry recipe here is an adaptation of that idea, since 10 fluid ounces is half a pint. I took a quarter of the quantity of flour (so 4 ounces) and a quarter of the quantity of liquid, giving me the value 2.5. So, I decided to try using 2 fl oz of water and 1 fl oz of oil. This seems to work quite well, although you may want to reduce the oil down to half a fluid ounce per 4 oz flour / 2 fl oz water.

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