NEWS  »  Tips and ideas  »  Basic types of basic doughs


When preparing a cake, a tart or a pie, the base is often a pastry that acts as a support for the product, a starting point for building up and assembling the product.

Pastry is a mixture of flour enriched with vegetable or animal fat and other solid and liquid ingredients, which is then cooked, fried or baked.

The most common basic pastries and doughs found in the bakery industry are, above all, puff pastry, brioche, sponge, shortcrust pastry and sablée pastry. However, there are other types of pastries and doughs used for specific products in certain categories or from certain places, such as pasty pastry and sourdough.

As it is the final ingredient that determines the external characteristics of the product (shape, appearance and flavour), the use of a basic dough or pastry different to more traditional ones can lead to variations or transformations in the product’s texture, colour, flavour and smell, creating new products for the food market, maybe aimed at new niche markets.

This being the case, it is interesting to learn more about the different types of basic pastries and doughs in the patisserie industry, as sharing ideas can transform the product portfolios of manufacturing companies in the patisserie and bakery sectors. Below can be found brief descriptions of some different types of basic pastries and doughs found in the patisserie sector:

  • Puff pastry – made with several layers of butter, guaranteeing that all of the dough layers are light and crispy when cooked. Puff pastry is used for sweet and savoury products, croissants, palmiers and bases for cakes, as well as for the preparation of some meals;

  • Rough puff pastry - based on puff pastry, this has just 3 simple folds or 1 simple fold with 1 book fold, and is mostly used for preparing croissants;
  • Phyllo pastry - pastry as thin as a sheet of paper. Its primary characteristic is a very short baking time and it is used as a base for a range of different dishes and savoury pastries;

  • Shortcrust pastry – after baking, this pastry takes on a brittle consistency, known in French bakery as brisée (savoury) or sucrée (sweet). It is the pastry of choice for bases of fruit tarts, quiches and pies;

  • Brioche or sourdough - doughnuts, milk bread, Pão de Deus, croissants, croissants, sweet breads and folares. Also known as bread dough, this dough is slightly spongy;

  • Sablée pastry - a pastry mainly used for sweets, with its name in Portuguese (areada) being due to its consistency and appearance of sand. It is almost identical to shortcrust pastry and is used for preparing fruit tarts, mini tarts and quiches;

  • “Choux” pastry - this is normally the dough used for sonhos, profiteroles and éclairs;

  • Sponge dough - sponge recipes vary from culture to culture, but there are many common ingredients such as wheat flour, butter and sugar. This dough is used for creating sponge cakes and biscuits, as well as for preparing pies and semifreddos;

  • Batter - a dough with a soft consistency, somewhat liquid, used to cover some types of food for subsequent frying. Its main ingredients are wheat flour, eggs and water;

  • Savarin dough - a dough with a brioche base, perfect for soaking up a rum syrup for a special taste. There is a traditional dessert in France, also called Savarin, which is in a ring shape;

  • Turnover pastry - similar to the pastry used for fartos, but with less butter;

  • Pastel pastry - typically Brazilian this pastry, made up of wheat flour, water and a bit of cachaça, is fried in plenty of oil to create tempting air bubbles;

  • Pasty pastry - used for pasties that are similar to South American empanadas;

  • "Pão-de-ló" (Sponge cake) dough - also known as genoise, this is a dough made from eggs, flour and sugar, used as a base for cakes and pies;

  • Crepe dough - a neutral dough that serves as a base for sweet and savoury fillings. Its crispy texture is due to the fact that it is fried in a frying pan;

  • Waffle dough - a dough from Belgium, pressed between two iron plates that imprint a square texture and create the shape of the waffle.

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