The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Trouble with what the book calls pastry dough

CJtheDeuce's picture

Trouble with what the book calls pastry dough

I have made this recipe before & added extra flour to get the dough workable. This is from Justin Wilson, homegrown Louisiana cookin. The recipe is called Natchioches meat pies, my problem is there is something not right about the crust or pastry dough portion.

2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons salt

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup shortening

1 large egg

1 cup milk

mix the dry ingredients, cut in the shortening, add egg & milk mix well, refrigerate 2 hours. roll out cut 5 in circles, place meat mix on half, fold over & fry in oil till golden brown.

My question, is there not enough flour or way to much milk ? The dough needed almost twice the flour to get it workable. This taste great & I would like to make it again with a corrected formula. It's on page 158 if you have the book.


lazybaker's picture

It seems like too much milk. Maybe it's between 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup of milk. Add the milk gradually instead of pouring it all at once.

gerhard's picture

Seems like a lot of salt and milk.  I would start with a table spoon of milk and see how that feels.


FoodFascist's picture

Agree with Gerhard, there seems to be a ridiculous amount of salt and also baking powder. Salt - 2 teaspoons - that's twice the recommended daily allowance for an adult! No mind if you give your meat pies to a kid! And when you consider the combined amount of Sodium in both salt and baking powder, it just gets silly! 1 tsp baking powder - is that 1 tablespoon? I bet you the author meant teaspoon! If not, someone better correct him. Anyways, this is very similar to a recipe for pelmeni, apart from the fact that pelmeni dough hasn't got any baking powder in it.  My point is, you could cut the baking powder out altogether and still have a great result - and a much healthier sodium intake!

Basically, if I were making this dough, I'd use 1/3 teaspoon salt or less and 1/2 level teaspoon baking powder, IF ANY.

As to the liquid/flour ratio, compare your recipe with this one for pelmeni:

250 g  flour  (approx 2 US cups), 75 ml very cold water ,  1 egg, pinch salt. Mix water, egg and salt, gradually add flour. Or, you could sift the flour onto the table, make a well, and gradually pour the liquid into that. Whichever way you prefer.

Milk is approx 77% water, so if replacing the water in the above recipe with milk, you'll need 85 ml milk. From my experience, you may actually need a little more milk (100 ml maybe), depending on the size of the egg. If you want some air in the crust, add about 1/2 level teaspoon baking powder.

GermanFoodie's picture

W/ the shortening etc. that is close to 100% hydration?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

cut the milk in half

mimifix's picture

I agree with other TFL members. Cut the salt way back (1/2 teaspoon) and the baking powder and milk in half. Then slowly add milk until dough barely holds together. It's unfortunate that many recipes (in cookbooks, magazines, on internet) are not correct.

CJtheDeuce's picture

I knew the Fresh Loafers would have the answer. I could tell the cookbook was wrong but not having much experience with this kind of dough I didn't know how much of an adjustment to make.

My very pregnant daughter is asking me to make this, kind of a pickles & peanut butter thing I guess. I'll mix this similar to the Pelmeni that FoodFacist listed. Meat pies this weekend, got to beat the DEC 27th due date.

Thanks again


thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

If you watch old episodes of his TV show, measuring cups and spoons are never in sight.

Heavy Cajun accent: "Dat look like about a teaspoon, ya? Whatcu think? Mais chere, if dat not 'nuff, we just adds some mo' come later."


You probably know this already, but it's pronounced NAH-KO-DISH Meat Pies. Most go for the very funny NACHEEDOUGHCHEEOCHUS pronounciation.

CJtheDeuce's picture

PBS was great. Justin entertained as he cooked. His cookbook is in a gallon freezer bag the binding long ago fell apart from use.


thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

It seems like a lot for pastry dough, but this is a savory pastry dough and uses a lot of salt.

Dough for crawfish pies, etc. use a similar amount.

There's a reason why the best cardiac surgeons can be found in Louisana. :)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and her prego ankles will be thanking you to use less.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

"Would you like some meat pie with your salt, dear?"


thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I retract.

Mini Oven is right about the saltz.

Just checked my recipe for crawfish pie dough, which is basically the same as for this pie, and it has ~2% salt. Still salty, but not prego ankles salty. (I'm glad I'll never know what prego ankles really are!).


FoodFascist's picture

you might if you ever develop heart failure... (and I sincerely hope you never will!)

PastryPaul's picture

As per

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 tablespoons lard
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk

I'd replace the lard with shortening, but that's just a personal thing. Still seems pretty salty, though. Guess you'll just have to try it and see.


EvaB's picture

in the first post is closer to biscuit dough than a dough for pies of any sort. And 2 tsp of salt is way over what my recipe calls for for a 2 cup of flour batch of biscuits, the baking powder is way under so it wouldn't raise a lot, but it would be puffy flat dough. The milk is more since my rolled biscuit recipe calls for 7/8 of a cup of milk or water and its a very soft dough, not really rollable like a pie crust or plemeni dough. With that much liquid my mother would have called them drop biscuits, and dumped the whole mess onto a pan and baked them without cutting, sort of patting them out onto the greased sheet. Then she would break or cut the baked mass into chunks and everyone would grab the size we wanted and butter hot!

I love meat pies no matter what you call them, and what you flavour them with!