Thursday, May 06, 2010

Pop Tart disappointment

I had high hopes for this this week's bake-along, I really did. The recipe for the pop tarts looked simple enough. But it turned out it was beyond my beginner baking skills.

It tasted like it had too much baking powder. And there was no baking powder in the recipe.

I think I know what happened (over-mixing, mainly), and I have a few tips so hopefully your tarts of the pop persuasion will turn out like perfection.

1. Unless it's really cold in your house turn on your freezer. We're in Scotland, and the heater hadn't been turned on all day, but it was still warm enough for the butter to start softening as I was mixing it with my hands. I did put the dough in the refrigerator for a few minutes once I noticed it was softening, but a freezer would have been better (making it colder, faster).
2. Don't over-mix. I didn't print out the pictures, and I ended up mixing the dough into a gooey mass. From the pictures on SK's site though it seems like it needs to stay very crumbly. I've embeded a video where a baker talks about this type of dough, and gives a tip that I'll be using next time I try to make this. The relevant part of the video starts at 3:20.
3. After you divide the dough in half, each of the halves should be cut into 9 squares for a total of 18 squares (it makes 9 tarts since you need a top and a bottom square). I didn't figure this out until after I cut one of the sides into 6 squares ...
4. I only needed one egg for the "gluing" together of the pastry sides and for brushing the top before baking (the egg for brushing on top is in the ingredients list but not in the written instructions).
5. Leave yourself plenty of time to make them! I was wrestling with mine for three hours (but that doesn't necessarily mean yours will).

In any case I hope I'm not discouraging you from trying out the recipe, as I said I'm pretty sure it was mainly because I over-mixed. Live and learn ...


  1. I think I will do no justice If I try the recipe haha I kinda suck in baking :X

  2. Wow, thanks for the tips! I believe I'm going to try this soon. Maybe I'll do it with my kids so if things go wonky, I can blame them.

  3. I feel your pain. I've lost count of my baking/cooking disasters lol. Tanx for sharing the tips though I dont think Im brave enough to bake the toasties but you never know :D

  4. ooooh. sos orry to hear! i saw that post on smitten kitchen and wondered "what are the chances i could pull that off?" too slim to try. at least you weren't too chicken, like me!

  5. I made pop tarts yesterday...I think taking the wrapper off them was the hardest part! lol

    I love that you post the true results photo of your "from scratch pop tart" attempt. Blogs need more pictures like this, instead of the unrealistic cookbook art display! Thank you!

  6. Thanks for posting your own points, as I printed this recipe off a few weeks ago (but haven't tried it).

    Have you tried it again?

  7. No I haven't tried it again yet. This week's bake-along is whoopie pies (making them friday) and then maybe I'll try the pop tarts again on Sunday ...