Why Does Pastry Crack When Rolled? (And How to Prevent or Fix It)

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It’s always time for pastries, no matter what time of year it is! My family enjoys berry tarts, delicate pastries with custard cream, and lattice apple pie. And the correct dough is required to produce a delectable pastry delicacy.

Nevertheless, here is where things may go awry. As I lay out pastry dough, it sometimes splits. Is there too much flour or too little shortening? Maybe the dough is too cold or hasn’t rested long enough.

Let us investigate why pastry breaks when rolled. And some tricks to avoid the dough from breaking during rolling the next time you make pastry.

1 – Follow the Recipe!

There aren’t many ingredients in pastry dough. If you’re creating a shortcrust pastry dough, combine flour, lard, a pinch of salt, and ice water. If you’re preparing a sweet pastry dough, use flour, oil, sugar, and an egg.

Always follow the directions while preparing any form of dough. Dough requires the proper proportion of ingredients to roll out exactly without cracks and bake to perfection.

Measure precisely and never over or undermeasure, otherwise you risk ruining the recipe.

2 – Use the Right Flour

I’ve discovered that it’s preferable not to mix various kinds of flour in pastry dough recipes.

Some recipes call for pastry flour, while others ask for all-purpose flour. A pastry flour mix or whole wheat flour are two more flour possibilities. Each of these flours absorbs water differently.

If a recipe asks for all-purpose flour, using a pastry flour mix will change the fat-to-water ratio. You may experiment by adding additional flour if the dough is too sticky, or more water if it is too dry.

Yet, baking with more of one ingredient and less of another might result in dough that does not roll out evenly and without cracks.

3 – Refrigerate Before Rolling

Chilling the pastry dough before rolling is one approach to avoid cracks. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for at least 20 to 30 minutes before rolling out.

4 – Shaping Dough Before Chilling

Another method for preventing fractures is to shape the dough into a disk before chilling. If you refrigerate the dough in a ball before rolling and still get cracks, chilling the dough as a flattened circular disk might assist shape the dough before rolling.

5 – Warming up Pastry Dough

Let the dough to cool for no more than 30 minutes, or it may crumble and crack. If you begin rolling and cracks form, wait 5 minutes before attempting again.

But there’s a tight line here: don’t let the dough warm up too much, or the fat layers will melt into one another and your dough won’t be beautiful and flakey.

6 – Resting Time

Some recipes call for you to rest your pastry dough for a few hours. If the recipe specifies it, do not skip this step. During the resting period, the flour in the dough moistens and gluten develops.

Because flour does not have time to hydrate, it cracks when rolled.

7 – Keep Dough Moist

It is possible that the dough is overly dry if it is difficult to roll and begins to break. Adding some moisture may be beneficial. Begin by adding a few sprinkles of cold water and working it into the dough as little as possible.

After the dough is uniformly moistened, begin rolling it out gently. Let it to reheat up for 2 to 3 minutes if it is still cracking around the edges. If you wait any longer, the dough will get too warm.

8 – Butter and Shortening

Examine the ingredients if your favorite dough recipe starts breaking at the edges. If the recipe just calls for butter, consider adding some shortening to the batter the next time you bake.

Shortening may be substituted for 1 cup of butter. Shortening may help to avoid those pesky tiny cracks.

9 – The Right Rolling Pin

Although there are many of options, using the perfect rolling pin may make or break your cracked dough. Purchase a French-style rolling pin with no handles.

When you use a rolling pin with handles, you get uneven rolling because you put more weight on one side. Because of the uneven rolling, the dough may stretch out and begin to fracture.

French rolling pins offer you greater control while rolling, resulting in dough that is the proper thickness and free of cracks!

10 – Roll Dough in the Right Direction

If you don’t roll the pastry dough away from you, it will crack. Begin by rolling the dough away from you in the middle.

Roll out from the center, turning the dough slightly with each turn. This eliminates cracking and gives you a perfectly round disk of dough for your pastry or pie crust.

11 – Use Minimal Flour When Rolling

While rolling out pastry dough, it is typical to use too much flour to prevent the dough from sticking. If the dough is too sticky when you begin rolling, adding flour to the rolling surface might soon cause the dough to crack.

If you use more than a teaspoon of flour, the dough will not only crack when you roll it, but it will also bake up dry and crumbly.

12 – Marble Rolling Surface

A marble pastry board is a terrific purchase if you cook a lot of pies and other pastries. The marble surface is ideal for rolling dough because it keeps the dough slightly colder than room temperature, preventing splits from developing.

13 – Roll Between Parchment Paper

While preparing pastry, I like to roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper. If I start rolling the dough and cracks appear, I pull out the parchment paper.

Rolling the dough carefully from the middle out prevents fractures by keeping it wet and equal.

Fixes for When Pastry Cracks

No matter what you do, dough will sometimes fracture when rolled. Here are several solutions for cracked pastry dough:

1 – Pinching

As cracks appear, gently squeeze them together to attempt to heal them. If you stretch the dough too much, it will begin to pull apart.

2 – Mending Cracks with More Dough

You may attempt repairing if the break is too big to squeeze together. Take a pastry slice from the edge. Put it over the crack and push lightly into place. So, proceed with caution.

3 – Start Over

Several times, I’ve just opted to start again. Cracks appear no matter what I do. Reroll the dough into a ball. Knead gently in a little amount of cold water.

Wrap with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. And start again! By beginning anew, I was able to save the dough and have it roll out properly without cracks on the second try.

When you understand why pastry cracks when rolled and what you can do to avoid these cracks, you can be certain that your pies and pastries will be excellent every time.

You’re now ready to make pastry dough for your next strawberry tart, banana cream pie, or Quiche Lorraine, sweet or savory!


How do you stop pastry cracking when rolling?

It’s also a good idea to cover the pastry in clingfilm (plastic wrap) and chill it for at least 30 minutes before spreading it out. If the pastry has been refrigerated for an extended period of time, it may need to be brought up to room temperature before rolling it out; if it is too cold, it may crumble and crack as you roll it.

How do you fix cracked pastry?

Spackle. If you don’t have any extra dough or it’s not sticking, prepare a spackle with 2 parts flour and 1 part butter (plus a sprinkle of powdered sugar if it’s a sweet pie). According to Cooks Illustrated, knead these spackle ingredients until they have the consistency of Play-Doh.

What causes pastry to crack?

Cracking in pastry occurs as a result of the dough drying out. As the top layer of the skin loses moisture, it shrinks and splits. Before baking or storing, cover it with a piece of clean plastic wrap to avoid breaking. Patches on the cooked pastry’s surface: too much water.

What causes phyllo pastry sheets crack and how can you prevent it?

If the phyllo thaws too soon or the sheets are chilly when unfolded, they will split along the folds or cling together at the corners. Thawed phyllo sheets dry very rapidly, particularly in a hot kitchen; always work with the unfurled dough between two dry towels.

Why do you put pastry in the fridge before rolling?

Placing the dough back in the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes, but preferably longer, helps the gluten to relax and the pastry to cool. During cooking, cool and relaxed dough is significantly more likely to keep its form.

What is the remedy to a pastry that is crumbly and hard to roll?

Add a bit extra water if it’s too crumbly. Don’t destroy your pastry by rolling it out after it’s come together.

What is the best surface for rolling dough?

Flat surfaces such as granite, steel, and other countertops will not be harmed. Rolling out the dough between two pieces of wax paper or brown parchment paper is another option. Again, add flour or powdered sugar to keep things from sticking.

What are four possible faults in pastry making?

The oven temperature is too low. Steam has not been supplied in a timely manner.
There was insufficient liquid added, and the concoction was too dry.
Unevenly folded and rolled pastry.
Pastry has not rested in a cool atmosphere long enough.
Pastry was folded much too thinly.

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