How to avoid cracks and breaks in your pastry base

The texture of your pastry can make or break a dish. Steer clear of disaster in the kitchen and read on for Mary Berry’s tips for achieving a beautiful base.

Dough can be difficult. Getting the right consistency is key because pastry can easily crack, split and break when you’re lining your baking tin.

One of Britain’s best chefs, Mary Berry, is on a mission to make cooking as simple and stress-free as possible. In her latest series, Mary Berry Classic, she shares her fail-safe formula for lining a pastry tin with ease.

Before you begin rolling out your dough, set your space up correctly. Sprinkle plain flour onto your bench and lightly dust your rolling pin. Carefully place the pastry dough on the floured surface, and roll it out a little to slightly flatten it.

Keeping your dough's round shape is important, don’t roll it into an oblong. Once you’ve rolled it out and you’re happy with the consistency, it’s time to line your loose-bottomed pastry tin.

First, slip the base under the pastry dough, before very gently folding your pastry inwards all the way around. Take your base and place it in the middle of your tin’s rim. With your fingers, gently press the folded pastry into the sides to give you a wonderful, fluted edge.

You’ll then need to bake your dough blind with beans and baking paper to set the base. To ensure the crispest of crusts, remove the beans and paper before popping your pastry back into the oven at the same temperature for about 5-10 more minutes to really dry out the base.

Once you’ve removed your cooked pastry base, add your desired fillings, serve and enjoy!

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