Food Guide

5 Perfect Flours for Crafting Delicious Short Pastry Recipes

Are you ready to take your baking skills to the next level? Introducing the secret ingredient that will transform your desserts from good to great: the best flour for short pastry! This magical ingredient is the key to achieving the perfect balance of flakiness and crumble in your pastries.

Say goodbye to soggy bottoms and hello to a new level of baking excellence.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner baker, this flour is the perfect addition to your pantry.

1. AP flour

I like using AP flour the best for short pastry.

It has a medium protein content of around 11-12%.

This gives it a good amount of strength so that you can work with it and shape it, but not so much that it’s too hard to roll.

Some people like to use cake flour for short pastry, and you can certainly do that.

It will give you a more tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture.

However, I find that the trade-off is that it’s much more difficult to work with and shape.

You may have heard that you should always use cold butter and ice-cold water when making a short pastry.

This is definitely true, and will help to give you the best results.

The cold butter will help to create a flaky texture as it melts during baking.

And the cold water will help to keep the dough from getting too soft and sticky.

You also want to be sure to chill your short pastry dough for at least 30 minutes before rolling it out.

This will help to give you a more stable dough that’s less likely to stick to the counter.

2. Bread flour

What is bread flour?

Bread flour is a high-gluten flour made from hard, high-protein wheat.

It has a higher protein content than all-purpose flour and is commonly used in baking to provide strength and structure to doughs, such as in breadmaking.

It is also used to make pizza doughs and some types of pastries, such as Danish pastries.

The protein content of bread flour is usually between 12 and 14%, although it can be higher.

This compares to a protein content of about 10% for all-purpose flour.

The higher protein content of bread flour is due to the type of wheat that is used to make it.

Bread flour is usually made from hard, high-protein wheat, such as hard red spring wheat.

3. Cake flour

Cake flour is a type of flour that is often used in baking cakes and other pastries.

It is a finely ground flour made from soft wheat or a combination of soft wheat and other flours, such as all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour.

Cake flour has a lower protein content than other types of flour, such as bread flour, and is also finer in texture, making it ideal for use in delicate pastries and cakes.

It is also often bleached, which gives it a lighter color and helps to improve the rise of baked goods.

When using cake flour in a recipe, it is important to measure it correctly.

Cake flour is often measured by the cup, but it is important to use a leveled cupful rather than a heaping cupful.

A heaping cupful of cake flour will result in a cake that is too dense and won’t rise properly.

4. Pastry flour

Pastry flour is the best flour to use for pie crusts, pastries, and tarts.

The flour is very fine, so it has a tender, delicate texture when baked.

It’s also lower in protein than all-purpose flour, so it’s less likely to develop gluten.

Gluten is the protein that gives bread its structure, but it can make pastries tough.

Pastry flour is best for making short pastries, where a light, flaky texture is desired.

It can be used for making biscuits, but it would be better to use self-rising pastry flour.

Self-rising pastry flour has a leavening agent and salt added, which helps biscuits rise.

It can be used for making cookies, but it would be better to use all-purpose flour.

All-purpose flour has a higher protein content, which helps cookies hold their shape better.

5. Self-rising flour

Self-rising flour is a type of flour that has a raising agent, such as baking powder, added to it.

This makes it a useful ingredient for baked goods that need to rise, like cakes and biscuits.

Self-rising flour can be used in short pastry, but it is important to note that the raising agent will affect the texture of the finished product.

The pastry will be lighter and more airy, which may not be desirable for some recipes.

Overall, self-rising flour can be a useful addition to a baker’s arsenal of ingredients, but it is important to consider its properties and the desired outcome before using it in a recipe.


Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a beginner in the kitchen, choosing the right flour for your pastries can be a daunting task.

With so many options available, it can be difficult to know which one will produce the best results.

That’s why we’ve put together a list of the six best flours for short pastries, complete with a guide to help you choose the right one for your needs.

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Emily W.

Emily Wong is an Asian-American food writer the founder of With nearly 8 years of experience, she has a passion for making cooking accessible to everyone and sharing her personal experiences with food. Emily's vision for is to create a community of food lovers who are passionate about cooking, eating, and sharing their experiences with others. Read my story
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