Pastries, cozonac and pies are favorites for everyone, especially in the years of childhood. Who could forget the pleasant aroma of a freshly baked pastry coming from the kitchen, that beckons us as if we were entranced toward it?
The preparation of such delights appears to be an easy and pleasant pastime. This is only true if we follow the basic rules for the preparation of a fluffy pastry or cozonac. If you have not mastered them however, you are bound to fail.
It is best to measure the right amount of products beforehand, so as to ease the cooking process. One of the most important rules for creating a delicious pastry or baked good is to use a high-quality yeast. It must be stored correctly and not be past its expiration date.
When preparing the dough, sift the flour in a bowl and stir the dry yeast well in it. When adding the rest of the ingredients and liquids, they must be at room temperature. Eggs, for example, must not be whisked right after being taken out from the fridge, but left for a short while at room temperature.
The way in which the Eggs (if there are any in the recipe) are beaten is extremely important for the making of a good pastry. The egg yolks must be separated from the egg whites, then the egg whites must be whisked for 1 to 2 min. and 3/4 of the sugar must be added to them. Mix with a mixer until floret-like shapes appear. They must solidify to the point where if the bowl is turned upside down, they will not run.
The beating of the egg yolks takes place with the remaining 1/4 of the sugar until the moment where, as with the egg whites, florets begin to form within the mixture. Once the whites and yolks are whisked well, the egg yolks are added to the egg whites gradually, without using a mixer.
All ingredients must be beaten in the same direction - either clockwise or counterclockwise.
The dough must be well kneaded. It is best to start off with a dough mixer with the specialized attachments for dough on a low setting, then on high for about 5 min. The longer you knead the dough, the fluffier the pastry will become.
The kneaded dough is left covered with a moist towel or buttered foil in a warm area. This way it will noticeably increase in volume.
It is mandatory for all containers used for baking to be absolutely dry. The pan, which you will use for baking must be smeared with oil and floured. Bake the pasty in the middle of the oven.
Depending on the type of baked good, initially the temperature on the bottom element must be higher for 10 to 15 min. so that the pie bursts on top. Then turn on the upper element and bake until the toothpick comes out dry after poking it.
If, during baking, it begins to burn on top but is still raw on the inside, place a sheet of aluminum foil, but without pressing the edges to the pastry - let it breathe, so that it can rise unobstructed.
Once ready, the pastry is left to cool so that it unsticks more easily.