Thursday, January 29, 2009


A friend of mine who reads this blog asked me to do a post to familiarize readers like her with the tools I refer to in my recipes. Who am I to say no? Give the people what they want. But she only asked about this one thing:

The Pastry Cutter.
This is my 2nd-favorite kitchen tool -- my favorite is the whisk. There's just something about them. Anyway, the pastry cutter, also sometimes called a pastry blender, is the hand-tool version of the dough hook on a standing mixer. They're great for nearly any recipe that involves dough, though once the dough is starting to be, well, doughy, it's best to scrape the pastry cutter clean and use your hands. Biscuit dough is one exception, I'm sure there plenty of others.
It's also great for blending things like guacamole, because you can whisk and smash simultaneously, or for any mixture that involves a bowl. Because of its shape it lifts the contents of the bottom of the bowl back to the top as you go, so the mix is always even.
You can get these at any kitchen store, or the kitchen dept of most large stores. They're also available online. Mine is by Oxo, and I love it. There are also many versions with solid metal at the bottom, I'm sure those are perfectly nice too, but I don't like the look of them, personally.

Anyway, if you want to make lots of bread, I strongly recommend buying one of these bad boys. It'll make your kitchen life a lot happier.

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