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 / Sweet


18 February 2021

There is a scent that can melt the heart, an enveloping aroma that can fill the whole house: it is the smell of freshly baked tarts and cookies, ready to be dunked in tea. But these sweets share a secret: theshort pastry.

Preparing theshort pastry is an ancient ritual, handed down from generation to generation, an unbreakable link to Italy's culinary roots. Every family has its own secret recipe, a jealously guarded treasure, because the real magic ofpasta frolla lies in the love with which it is made.


Theshortcrust pastry has ancient origins: it is not known exactly when it was born, but as early as around the year 1000 AD, doughs similar to shortcrust pastry were being made thanks to the import of sugarcane from the Middle East, Egypt and Syria.

In the seventeenth century thepasta frolla began to spread widely in Europe, but it was Italy that began to particularly appreciate this recipe: Bartolomeo Scappi mentioned it in one of his most important texts on Italian Renaissance cooking. Thepasta frolla soon became one of the most widely used preparations in Italy, with its many regional variations. During the eighteenth century the recipe was further perfected, consolidating as a base for tarts, cookies and pastry products.


Before we start baking, however, we need to distinguish three basic recipes ofshort pastry: theclassic short pastry, thesablè short pastry, and thebottom pastry. What distinguishes these three types of shortbread is the ratio of butter to sugar, in relation to a constant, which is the amount of flour that is the basic ingredient.

  • Theclassic shortbreadhas an equal ratio of fat part to sugar and their weight is half that of flour. Example: 50 g fat part, 50 g sugar, 100 g flour. This shortbread is mainly suitable forpreparing cookies.
  • Sablè shortbreadhas a higher percentage of the fat part and less sugar: 60 g fat part, 40 g sugar, again on a constant 100 g flour. It is excellent forpreparation of baked cakes and tea biscuits.
  • Thebottom shortbreadis the opposite of sablè shortbread, that is, it has a higher percentage of sugar and a lower percentage of the fat part: 40 g of the fat part, 60 g of sugar, on 100 g of flour. It isindicated for baked bottoms that will then be filled with creamy products.

You will notice that these three recipes are missing the ingredient that brings moisture to the dough, eggs. Inshortcrust pastry, the amount of eggs is calculated by adding the weight of the solid ingredients and dividing the result by 10/12.

Now let's start cooking!"


  • 300g flour 00
  • 150g cold butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla pod (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)


  • In a bowl, sift the flour with the salt and granulated sugar. Add the vanilla seeds and mix the mixture.
  • Add the cold butter in chunks and knead it with your fingertips until it forms a sandy mixture.
  • Add the egg yolks and knead quickly until it forms a smooth, homogeneous dough. Don't knead it too much otherwise the dough will be ruined!*
  • Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  • After the resting time, roll out the shortcrust pastry on a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin until it is about 3-4 mm thick.
  • Now use your shortcrust pastry to make tarts, cookies or other desserts according to your favorite recipes!


There are not only three types of dough, there are also three methods of kneading shortcrust pastry! Let's see them:

  • Theclassic method.You have to knead the fat part with the sugar and flavorings, then add the liquids and finish with the flour. This method is recommended for shortcrust pastriespoor in fat resulting in a texture that is not very crumbly.
  • Thesanded method.Also calledreverse method, it involves first kneading the flour with the fat part and the flavorings, then adding the liquids and finally adding the sugar. This process is ideal forfat-rich recipes, so as to obtain a crumbly texture, and is especially suitable when working in a warm environment.
  • Thewhipped method. It is the same as the classic method as a sequence of inserting the ingredients, the difference is that the fat part should be whipped with the sugar and flavorings, then the liquids should be added flush (so that the whipped mass incorporates them slowly) and last the flour is added, very gently and by hand to avoid disassembling the dough. This method is used for those short pastries that need to remain creamy after kneading and must be used with the use of a pastry bag.


It often happens that theshort pastry crumbles after resting in the refrigerator, presenting an impossible to work with consistency, oily, with separated and uneven parts: no need to be alarmed! These signs indicate that theshortcrust pastry has "gone crazy," but it is possible to recover it by following a few steps.

The first step is to gradually incorporate ice water or very cold egg white, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough regains a firm shape. Next, you need to gently knead the dough with your hands for a few minutes, without heating it too much. Finally, you need to form a compact dough ball and place it to rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before rolling it out. Adding a cold liquid and further resting will allow the dough to compact and allow it to absorb the separated excess fat.

It is important not to overwork the dough to avoid reheating it. If, on the other hand, the dough is uneven or the edges do not compact as you roll it out, you can add more flour little by little as you knead it. By following these simple steps, you will be able to salvage theshortbread even when it seems to be compromised, avoiding the need to throw it away and saving precious time and ingredients!

We've come to the end again today, so don't forget to send us your preparations! We are always curious to see your preparations.

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