What is it that makes Pâte Sucrée so different? It's the addition of a large amount of sugar as well as egg yolks to enrich the dough. With Pâte Brisée you are trying to stop the formation of gluten protein to produce that flaky texture. With Pâte Sucrée you are doing the same thing, however, you are adding egg yolk proteins, because they have different properties than the gluten, lending stability to the structure without making it chewy. Between the added sugar and the egg yolks you end up with a pastry that is not necessarily flaky but crispy and slightly crunchy yet tender due to the lack of gluten. It will also be more evenly browned thanks to the additional sugar.
The same three commandments hold true with Pâte Sucrée just as they did with Pâte Brisée, but the added fat from the egg yolks gives you a little more "wiggle room".
- Thou Shalt keep all things cold
- Thou Shalt be quick about it
- Thou Shalt keep it as dry as possible.
Cold is still your friend with this pastry dough. The butter and flour still needs to stay as cold as possible because the butter must be "cut" further into the flour. The texture will need to be a little finer than with Pâte Brisée, more granular.
Quickness is a virtue. Once you add the egg yolks, you need to move quickly as they DO contain water, which will trigger the glutenin to begin forming gluten.
Dryness is a little less important on this one, as the only moisture you are adding is in the egg yolks. Yes, it's water and yes, as stated above you do need to be quick as the longer you work the dough, the more gluten you will create... BUT, the added fat in the yolks will allow a little fudging on speed and handling.
3 cups (11.3 oz) (320g) AP Flour
1 cup (8 oz) (228g) Unsalted Butter
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tsp (3.5 oz) (100g) Granulated sugar
2 Large Egg Yolks - Cold
Update: 5/11 - If you live in a particularly dry climate, you may need to add 1 tsp of ice water in with the yolks, because your flour will not only have less inherent moisture in it but will also be "lighter" and weigh differently.
First slice you butter fairly thin, and place it in the freezer for 15-30 minutes.
Mix the flours and salt with a whisk together very lightly and place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Add slices of butter and toss briefly to coat them.
Work the butter through the flour with your finger tips, sort of rubbing the flour into the butter or use a pastry cutter until fairly mealy. (you do not want little flakes of butter in this dough)
Add the Sugar and mix thoroughly.
In a small bowl, beat the Egg Yolks together. (If in a dry climate add up to 2 tsp cold water and whisks them together)
Add the eggs and mix quickly until the dough hold together.
OK, here is where this really differs. Since you MUST get the eggs thoroughly incorporated the 2nd commandment must be fudged... Just a little.
Dump the dough onto a raw board (no added flour)
Knead the dough mass three times with long kneading strokes to smooth it out cause it will still be a little mottled.(it helps if you have a bench scraper and can literally "smear" the dough across the board, scrape and repeat)
Gather the dough into a ball and flatten it.
Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
Unlike Pâte Brisée, you absolutely have to chill Pâte Sucrée to let it rest.