Eating more pastry, including this whole wheat version, fights food waste. We all do what we must! You can fill pastry with all kinds of ingredients, helping ensure you cook up more of the food you have on hand. You’ll buy less food, waste less food and save money on food. All thanks to flaky pastry!
Just a handful of pastry filling contenders
- Slightly bruised fruit or delicate berries that need to be eaten asap will be eaten asap once you have ensconced them in pastry.
- Excess apples belong in a pie, galette or hand pies.
- Leftover roasted vegetables can be the center of attention in the center of a savory galette.
- Random vegetables stirred into béchamel sauce are perfect for a pot pie.
- Cooked-down leftovers such as curries, chilli or stew enjoy a second life as hand pie filling.
The pastry itself need not go to waste
- A galette doesn’t require trimming away any pastry. Simply roll out the dough, fill the center and fold the dough edges over toward the center.
- Brush butter or coconut oil onto scrap strips of dough, sprinkle on brown sugar and cinnamon, roll the scraps up into pinwheels and bake.
- Or cut trimmed pieces of dough into decorative shapes and bake separately from the pie. After baking the pie, top it with the shapes.
- If you make a few pies, you’ll likely have enough pastry scraps to roll into a round of dough for a small galette.
Whatever you bake won’t go to waste
If you bake pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving dinner and any leftover pie manages to survive past breakfast on Friday morning, it probably won’t last much longer than that. Most people love pastry. It gets eaten.
Make pastry without single-use throwaways
Almost every recipe for pastry will instruct you to wrap the dough in plastic wrap before chilling. After breaking up with plastic in 2011, I easily found an alternative to plastic wrap. I flatten the dough into a disk, place it on a clean plate and cover it with an inverted plate. The plate-protected dough then rests in the refrigerator.
Many recipes that call for parbaking a pie shell (for a quiche, for example), instruct bakers to line the formed pastry with parchment paper and weigh the dough down with pie weights (my daughter uses dried beans dedicated for the task).
You could skip the parchment if you have a second pie plate. Parchment isn’t the worst thing but with “zero-waste” in my blog and book title, I have to practice what I preach. Form a pie shell in a pie plate and gently place that second pie dish over it. After parbaking the shell, carefully remove the top pie plate.
Tips for successful pastry, whole wheat or otherwise
- Chill the ingredients. Chill the butter or coconut oil and use ice water.
- Chill the pastry itself after mixing it. It needs a rest and will roll out easier after chilling for at least an hour.
- Chill the pie/galette/hand pies before baking. As the pastry bakes, the solid bits of fat will release steam which creates pockets of flakey goodness in the pastry.
- Don’t overwork the dough. Although a food processor makes mixing up the dough easy, it makes overworking the dough easy as well. Overworked dough is tough dough. A pastry blender requires a bit more work but you’re less likely to render tough pastry.
- Move the dough around as you roll it out. On a floured surface, roll the dough, rotate it a quarter, roll it again, rotate it again, turn it over and so on. The rough circle you create won’t become stuck to your work surface if you move the dough around while rolling it out.
- Sprinkle on flour as you work. But add only what you need. Too much flour can toughen the pastry’s texture.
- Mind the gaps. If large gaps appear along the edges of the dough, try to roll them toward each other to fill in. Smooth them with a finger dipped in ice water.
- Don’t be afraid of the dough. The slightly crumbly texture of the whole wheat pastry makes rolling it out a bit more challenging—but not much more. You can do this!
Whole Wheat Pastry for a Single 9-inch Crust
- ⅝ cup whole wheat flour ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons
- ⅝ cup all-pupose flour ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon granulated sugar
- 10 tablespoons unsalted chilled butter, cut into ½-inch cubes or chilled coconut oil, see Note
- 2 to 4 tablespoons ice water
- If using a food processor, pulse the flours, salt and sugar a few times until combined. Add the butter pieces and pulse until the mixture resembles large peas. Be careful not to overwork the dough.If making the pastry by hand, whisk the flours, salt and sugar together in a bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or with two knives.
- Slowly add the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time. In the food processor, pulse a few times. If mixing by hand, use a foork. Continue adding water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough easily sticks together when you pinch a large piece. If it crumbles, add more ice water but do not as so much that the dough becomes sticky.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and form a ball. Flatten into a disk. Place the disk on a plate and cover it with a second plate, inverted. Chill the dough for at least an hour in the refrigerator or 20 minutes in the freezer. It will keep in the refrigerator for at least 3 days or in the freezer for at least 2 months.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 12-inch circle, ⅛-inch thick. Roll it, turn it a quarter, roll it again, turn it again and keep moving it around your work surface as you roll it. Add small amounts of flour to the work surface and dough as needed.
- Fold the dough in half, then fold it again. Place the dough in a 9-inch pie plate and unfold. Poke holes in the base of the dough with a fork. Chill the formed dough in the refrigerator for at least half an hour before filling it.
My book won silver for single-subject cookbooks at the Taste Canada awards!
I’ve also won a second place Gourmand cookbook award in the category of food waste. And my book is shortlisted for an award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals.