[Sca-cooks] Fig Newtons from God?

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Mon Mar 31 02:28:41 PDT 2008

On Mar 31, 2008, at 12:08 AM, Stefan li Rous wrote:
> <<< Found this comment from a blog of Jewish cooking.
> "In The World of Jewish Cooking, Gil Marks claims that hamentaschen  
> were
> originally made with yeast pastry dough, and that the sweet cookie
> dough is
> quite recent." >>>
> Okay, from a non-pastry baker. What is the difference between "yeast
> pastry dough" and "sweet cookie dough"? Sweet cookie dough doesn't
> have yeast? Or pastry dough doesn't have sugar/honey added?

"Sweet" is kind of a red herring here, actually, and it may be part of  
what's confusing you. Cookie dough is usually short (as in, tenderized  
and/or made light with shortening -- like, say, the notoriously  
crumbly shortbread -- so you can chew it). But it is almost never not  
sweet (sugar is also a dough tenderizer).

Pastry dough also frequently contains shortening -- not always, but  
probably much more often than not -- as with shortcrust pie dough,  
puff pastry, choux paste, the various tart pastry doughs... but it  
usually isn't raised with yeast. Yeast-leavened doughs are more often  
used for breads (sometimes there's a grey area that things like  
doughnuts, zeppoles and loukoumades -- fritter-like things made with  
yeast -- fall into), but mostly yeast is for breads. But then some  
yeast-leavened bread doughs can be used as pastry, or in the making of  
pastry: you got your croissants, Danish pastry, and sometimes even  
brioche can be used as a pastry dough.

Usually, though, pastry dough isn't very sweet, and when it is, the  
sugar is often added after baking, in the form of a syrup or glaze, or  
in a filling.

Sometimes things just can't be easily classified in any logical manner.


"Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls,  
when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's  
			-- Rabbi Israel Salanter

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