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Types of Pastry

By: Margaret Paxton - Updated: 8 Jun 2021 | comments*Discuss
Types Of Pastry

Making the right pastry for dishes is as important as the filling itself. Although most recipes include the name of pastry that is recommended for the dish, it helps to have an idea of which pastry suits what and how to make it.

Shortcrust Pastry

This is probably the most versatile type of pastry as it can be used for savoury and sweet pies, tarts and flans. There are several different ways of making shortcrust pastry. (See ‘How to Make Perfect Shortcrust Pastry.’)

Puff Pastry

This is one of the ‘flaked pastries’ characterised by fat and air being trapped between the layers of the pastry dough to give a flimsy, light and crisp finish.

Regarded as the ultimate professional pastry, this type is time-consuming but worth making. It is used for savoury pie crusts and as wrapping for meat and poultry, as well as vol-au-vents, cream horns and mille feuilles (small iced cakes that are filled with jam and cream.)

Flaky Pastry

Used as a crust for savoury pies, sausage rolls, Eccles cakes and jam puffs, flaky pastry is best made in cool conditions and must be chilled during and after making, to prevent the fat content from melting out under cooking conditions.

Rough Puff Pastry

This type is a cross between puff and flaky pastry. It is also good for sausage rolls, savoury pie crusts and tarts and has the advantage of being easier to make than puff pastry, but is as light as flaky pastry.

All three of these flaked pastries need similar care.

  • Handle as little and as lightly as possible
  • Fat and dough content should be of the same consistency and temperature
  • Roll pastry evenly without stretching it or forcing out air
  • Brush with beaten egg glaze before baking

Choux Pastry

This incredibly light speciality pastry is used in the making of éclairs, profiteroles and cream buns. Air lifts the pastry during cooking to treble in size...all those cream-filled delights.

Filo Pastry

This type of pastry (along with finely shredded kadafi pastry, also from the Mediterranean) is made in very thin sheets and used as a casing for numerous delicate savoury and sweet dishes. Made with high gluten content flour, filo is very difficult to make and needs careful handling because it is such a thin, fragile pastry that dries out quickly. Some people prefer to buy readymade filo pastry, but even that is not easy to use. It must be brushed with oil or melted butter/ghee before shaping and cooking. Samosas are deep-fried with spicy fillings, wrapped in filo pastry, and prawns in filo pastry make popular savoury nibbles. This type is similar to strudel pastry.

Suet Crust Pastry

A traditional, British, pastry used for steamed or boiled puddings, dumplings and roly-poly puddings. Steak and kidney pudding is famously made with suet crust pastry as is spotted dick and treacle pudding.

Made with self-raising flour, shredded suet and for some lighter recipes, fresh white breadcrumbs, suet crust pastry should have a light spongy texture-it is very filling though!

Hot Water Crust Pastry

Moulded by hand while warm and used for raised meat and game pies (like the famous Melton Mowbray Pork Pies) hot water crust pastry is a rich and crisp speciality. Plain flour, salt, egg yolk and lard boiled up with water are the ingredients which, once mixed, kneaded, shaped and rested, can be used to line a hinged tin pie mould, or moulded over a large floured jam jar. Once set, the dough is filled, covered, sealed and decorated before being baked.

Pate Sucree Pastry

As the name suggests, this pastry is French. It is a sweet pastry that incorporates sugar and egg yolks for a rich, sweet result. Usually baked blind, it gives a thin, crisp pastry that melts in the mouth.

These are a few of the basic pastry types. Making pastry is not difficult and with attention to a few important details like:

  • correct fat to flour ratio-roughly half as much fat to flour
  • add water carefully and slowly, preferably from the fridge
  • handle pastry as little as possible
  • avoid over-flouring the rolling pin and board
  • always preheat the oven to the recommended temperature

you will be making pies, puddings and parcels with confidence.

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[Add a Comment]
I have never seen samosas made with filo.While the dough is thin it is very different from filo.I have made both and the process is very different.
suzygoose - 1-Oct-20 @ 7:29 PM
I would like to learn to make nice small pastries
Oc - 17-Sep-20 @ 4:56 AM
Have you a recipe forhard pastry used for encasing joints of meat and poultry before baking in an oven at low temperature?I think it is called “Huff” pastry.
Smithy - 27-Dec-19 @ 10:08 PM
yes i like it crusty but also a bit moist. i think it adds the fun if it's smooth and moist. idon't really like it if it is flaky. it also needs a white sort of sauce on it
Pullingers Pastries - 15-Oct-19 @ 1:11 PM
what is the difference between flaky pastry and rough puff pastry
cgngjhg v - 20-Jun-19 @ 7:50 PM
Pastry is kinda complicated but at some point it's under stood thanos for the information that helps us learn
Rakel - 11-Dec-18 @ 5:01 AM
My dad left to the shop to get some pastry five years ago, has anyone seen him??
Charlies daad left - 6-Dec-18 @ 1:14 PM
MY NAN has some nice pastry if someone wants some
Mynanhasabbc - 6-Dec-18 @ 1:05 PM
thank you very much this was very helpful THANK YOU SOOO MUCH
sophie - 28-Sep-18 @ 11:49 AM
It iz quite helpful 4r every hm student....
Ana - 17-Sep-18 @ 10:30 AM
@Mona - Would it be strudel puff pastry which is both sweet and spiced?
ValB - 10-Sep-18 @ 3:16 PM
I am trying to track down a pastry recipe for a a cinnamon pastry from my childhood.The pastry appeared to be rolled in one long piece and then in demerara sugar and cinnamon then twisted into loose flat double knot.The pastry itself is tender and fairly soft and pulls apart in soft strings but bowned and crunchy on the outside with a large amount of cinnamon sugar coating.We called it Boliss - which might have been Dutch in origin but the Dutch Bolus is just a generic name for a bread sytle pasty bun.Would appreciate any help finding this.
Mona - 10-Sep-18 @ 6:42 AM
L like the pastry... Please may l have explanation on how to make sugar pastry
Kismet - 3-Sep-18 @ 9:41 AM
The website provides lots of helpful information for those who are new to the practise of cooking. Thank you!
Rile - 1-Jul-18 @ 7:31 PM
so helpful thanks, im now a master chef so much appreciation
charlzz - 20-Jun-18 @ 1:56 PM
Very helpful, it has a very simple and conveniently brief summary of a wide range of pastries in the world. It would have been even more helpful if you had said all the origins of the pastries, though. I like how you included examples of how the pastry was used to make. Thank you, I will be using this info to help with my cooking.
Hollie Shager - 5-Jul-17 @ 5:25 PM
worth reading i can adapt these to suit a vegetarian diet
Simon57 - 5-Jul-17 @ 5:50 AM
Provide interviewquestions in this topic for preparing job interview for best impression..
Mirza - 1-May-17 @ 8:09 PM
Wow, this had been so helpful with my cooking assindgmenys for school. :-) Thankyou so much for posting that, Inhave also learnt alot more about pasry than I already new. I never new there were so many diifferent kinds of pastry in the world. :-)
Horrible Speller - 1-May-17 @ 10:04 AM
Learn How to spell - Your Question:
People on this page really need to learn to spell, I'm looking at the comments and most of them have more than one spelling error.

Our Response:
Many 'people' may be children exploring the site for the first time. Therefore, hopefully you can give them a bit of leeway. Plus, you don't have to be good at spelling (adult or child) to enjoy cooking, some people have different talents in different areas.
LearnCooking - 22-Apr-16 @ 2:40 PM
People on this page really need to learn to spell, I'm looking at the comments and most of them have more than one spelling error.
Learn How to spell - 22-Apr-16 @ 12:22 AM
I have been to a pie and pea night and the pastrie top looked like a slab of bread it was lovely and thick. I had this at school can any one tell me how to make it please.
Dj - 1-Mar-16 @ 5:12 PM
Stompi - Your Question:
The information is straight to the point, very much helpful

Our Response:
We are glad it could be of help.
LearnCooking - 26-Jan-16 @ 12:36 PM
The information is straight to the point, very much helpful
Stompi - 25-Jan-16 @ 8:17 PM
thanks for the help needed it for h/w
demon - 28-Dec-15 @ 10:43 AM
i like this page it has told me alot about pastry and how it is used
drcheese123 - 1-Jul-15 @ 3:06 PM
this is a very good educational page
drcheese123 - 1-Jul-15 @ 2:36 PM
I like to know how to make samosa pastry.it is very thin and crispy.Please reply me.
nil - 4-Jun-15 @ 11:16 AM
this helpted me to improved my coursetwork
deep throat gag - 16-Mar-15 @ 9:33 AM
Am doing a home work in pastry an come a cross this website an it have been very happy full to me thank you so much.
yiy - 2-Mar-15 @ 10:52 PM
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