I was asked to create a recipe for shortcrust pastry for gluten and casein free diet, with both animal and plant-based fats. Lard was my choice for animal fat, and coconut oil – as plant-based solid fat. I will not deny my apprehension for creating the recipe based purely on lard. But here it is – buckwheat shortcrust pastry, which makes shortcrust biscuits with the best taste and texture.
Since the moment I realised that it is possible to make gluten free biscuits, free of any gums, simply by using wholegrain buckwheat flour, I tried several different versions of gluten free shortcrust pastry. In my previous published recipe I used the mixture of organic millet and organic buckwheat flours. This time I used only buckwheat flour with pure 100% pork fat, to replace butter as the ingredient.
When I was rubbing lard into buckwheat flour, the smell of animal fat was quite prominent. To combat that in biscuits, I used Dutch spices mix for cookies – Speculaaskruiden, which I was given as a present from our friend. The most peculiar thing was, that there was no smell during baking, and none of the even hint of the smell or taste of animal fat was present in biscuits. In fact, and it is very hard to admit, biscuits made with lard were tastier and had better shortcrust texture, compared to butter ones.
- 280g organic buckwheat flour
- 125g lard, pure pork fat
- 100g sugar
- 15g organic coconut sugar
- 10g vanilla sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tea spoon gluten free baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 tea spoon Speculaaskruiden (Dutch spice mix)
- 1 table spoon cold water
- tapioca flour for dusting
- sugar, cinnamon, sliced almonds for decoration (optional)
The process of dough preparation is identical to that, when butter was used as the source of fat, please see step by step preparation here. There were two small differences. Lard is softer compared to butter, and this allowed to use it in dough preparation straight from the fridge. It was very easy to rub lard into buckwheat flour. The second difference included the necessity to use cold water to make the dough come together in a ball from crumbs.
Buckwheat shortcrust based on lard, formed a dough a touch softer. It was sometimes necessary to use tapioca flour to roll the dough, but it was still very pliable dough to work with. I believe that the taste and texture of baked dough can be attributed to the higher content of fat in biscuits. While butter has usually 83-86% of fat, and 125g of butter contains around 105g of fat, lard, which is 100% fat, brings more 20g fat into the dough. Biscuits were hard and crumbly simultaneously and melted in the mouth. Coconut sugar and Dutch spice mix gave wonderful overtones to biscuit’s flavour. I can’t wait to make frangipane tartlets using this shortcrust pastry.
This pastry can be used to bake tartlet shells to fill with any dairy free fillings, as shown on featured image.