Using Vinegar When Making Pastry
Q: Why would I add apple cider vinegar to my pastry? What does it do?
A: Vinegar, or other acidic ingredients such as lemon juice or buttermilk, are gluten inhibitors and are usually added to pastry to help 'shorten' the gluten strands resulting in a more tender pastry. However, if the pastry is overworked during mixing or rolling its addition won’t be enough to overcome the results of heavy handling.
The other important thing that and acid can do in a pastry is that it helps stop the pastry from discolouring – have you ever wondered what the grey speckles or streaks that can form in your pastry if it has been stored for a couple of days in the fridge? This is a result of oxidation and vinegar and other acidic ingredients can help prevent this.
When adding vinegar to a pastry you will only need to add a small amount – about I teaspoon for a standard pastry recipe with about 150g butter – as a substitute for some of the water content. Try it in your next batch of pastry and see if you notice the difference!