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Wednesday 9 May 2012

Baking for Beginners: Gluten Free Shortcrust Pastry

When the Domestic Sluts asked me to write a gluten-free guest post, I immediately asked my sister, who can’t eat gluten, what she’d most like to eat. The answer was simple: pastry. Making pastry can be intimidating at the best of times and a lot of gluten-free pastry recipes  particularly so, so I experimented and came up with this super easy and super tasty recipe . The buckwheat flour, which actually has nothing to do with wheat, gives the pastry a gorgeously nutty flavour, and the xanthan gum makes it nice and easy to roll out.

I made a curried potato filling for my pasties, but you could use the traditional mince and veg, or cheese and onion, or Hazel’s chicken and asparagus filling from last week. It’s best if the filling is cold when you fill the pasties, as it makes the pastry slightly easier to work with. My pastry was also dairy-free, but by all means use real butter and milk if you like.

Buckwheat shortcrust pastry (makes enough for 4 pasties)

You’ll need:
  • 150g buckwheat flour
  • 150g plain gluten-free flour (I used Doves Farm)
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (which you’ll find in the ‘Free From’ section of most supermarkets)
  • 150g dairy-free margarine (or butter) in small chunks
  • Enough chilled water or milk (I used almond milk) to make a dough
  • 1 egg, beaten
Make it!
  1. Preheat your oven to 190°C. Sift the flours and the xanthan gum into a bowl.
  2. Add the margarine or butter and rub into the flour until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
  3. Gradually mix in the water or milk until the pastry just comes together to form a dough.
  4. Put the dough in the fridge for a couple of hours, then cut into quarters and roll out between two sheets of greaseproof paper until you have rough circles about six inches (15cm) in diameter.
  5. Add your filling to one half of each circle, leaving a 1” (2.5cm) gap at the edge, then fold the pastry over, trim if necessary, and press the edges with a fork to seal them. 
  6. Brush the pasties with beaten egg and bake for about 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.
This gluten free recipe was a guest post by Allie Collins. Read more on her blog Allie In Wonderland.


  1. So terrific to have GF recipes that don't use 73 ingredients & still turn out disgusting... I look forward to making this pastry into empanadillas.

  2. This looks so simple! Pies for everyone!

  3. Top tip: When dealing with glutenfree pastry do not try to hang it over the rolling pin in order to move it to your flan dish etc. Instead, roll it out on a silicon baking sheet, move the sheet and pastry to where it should be and carefully roll the pastry off and on/in to where you want it. Silicon baking sheets are not hard to find and are a bit more substantial than greaseproof paper. Also be aware that glutenfree pastry breaks more easily when hot than cool. If you make a pie in a big dish it can be difficult to serve neatly (or at all). Individual pies are good, or make life easy by cutting circles of pastry, cooking them on a tray and the pie filling in a pan, and then serve one circle under the filling and another on top.

  4. Another top tip. Freeze your butter then grate it into the flour rather than trying to mix it like conventional pastry. Also, if you add 25% more fat than usual then your pastry will not crumble so easily.

  5. If you don't have a silicon baking sheet, rolling pastry out between two sheets of greaseproof paper or clingfilm has always worked well for me.

    (also do check your flour mix for xanthan gum as some already contain it. Too much xanthan gum gives you a rubbery pastry!)

  6. Husband doesn't like Buckwheat flour can you use all plain GF flour. I always use Doves Farm flour in my baking but never used it for pastry he had to go without


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