Step Up Your Baking Game With This Super-Easy Homemade Pie Crust

iStock/2GreenEyes
iStock/2GreenEyes

Making pie crust from scratch can discourage even the most confident home baker. A dough needs whole flecks of butter incorporated throughout it to achieve flakiness, so temperature makes all the difference—if the dough is too cold, it's impossible to roll; too warm and the butter melts, causing the whole thing to fall apart. In a recipe shared by Martha Stewart Living, the home baking master herself lays out how to get it just right.

Start by combining 2.5 cups of all-purpose flour and 1 teaspoon each of salt and sugar into a bowl. Next, take two sticks of chilled, unsalted butter and cut them into the mixture using a pastry blender. Once you've mixed your ingredients into a coarse meal, it's time to work the dough by hand.

Before getting your hands greasy, set aside a bowl of ice water and add 4 tablespoons of it to the mixture—this will keep the dough from becoming too warm as you handle it. Work the dough until it starts to come together, adding a tablespoon of ice water (up to 4 additional tablespoons) whenever it starts to crumble apart.

When your dough finally looks like dough, divide it into two parts, wrap them separately in plastic wrap, and refrigerate them for at least an hour. Once they've been sufficiently chilled, roll each portion into a 14-inch circle, and using your rolling pin, carefully them to 9-inch pie pans. With your hands and a pair of kitchen scissors, shape and trim the pie dough so it fits the vessels neatly.

You can load your pie crusts with filling and start baking right away, or cover them with plastic wrap and pop in them in the freezer so they'll be ready for the holidays. Your future self will be grateful.

[h/t Martha Stewart]

General Mills Is Recalling More Than 600,000 Pounds of Gold Medal Flour Over E. Coli Risk

jirkaejc/iStock via Getty Images
jirkaejc/iStock via Getty Images

The FDA recently shared news of a 2019 product recall that could impact home bakers. As CNN reports, General Mills is voluntarily recalling 600,000 pounds of its Gold Medal Unbleached All-Purpose Flour due to a possible E. coli contamination.

The decision to pull the flour from shelves was made after a routine test of the 5-pound bags. According to a company statement, "the potential presence of E. coli O26" was found in the sample, and even though no illnesses have been connected to Gold Medal flour, General Mills is recalling it to be safe.

Escherichia coli O26 is a dangerous strain of the E. coli bacterium that's often spread through commercially processed foods. Symptoms include abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Most patients recover within a week, but in people with vulnerable immune systems like young children and seniors, the complications can be deadly.

To avoid the potentially contaminated batch, look for Gold Medal flour bags with a "better if used by" date of September 6, 2020 and the package UPC 016000 196100. All other products sold under the Gold Medal label are safe to consume.

Whether or not the flour in your pantry is affected, the recall is a good reminder that consuming raw flour can be just as harmful as eating raw eggs. So when you're baking cookies, resist having a taste until after they come out of the oven—or indulge in one of the many edible cookie dough products on the market instead.

[h/t CNN]

The World's Spiciest Chip Is Sold Only One to a Customer

Paqui
Paqui

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to get pepper-sprayed directly in your mouth, Paqui Chips has something you can’t afford to miss. Following the success of their Carolina Reaper Madness One Chip Challenges back in 2016 and 2017, Food & Wine reports that the company has re-released the sadistic snack. Continuing their part-marketing gimmick, part-public safety effort, the Reaper chip won’t be sold in bags. You just get one chip.

That’s because Paqui dusts its chips with the Carolina Reaper Pepper, considered the world’s hottest, and most (attempted) consumers of the chip report being unable to finish even one. To drive home the point of how hot this chip is—it’s really, extremely, punishingly hot—the chip is sold in a tiny coffin-shaped box

Peppers like the Carolina Reaper are loaded with capsaicin, a compound that triggers messages of heat and pain and fiery consumption; your body can respond by vomiting or having shortness of breath. While eating the chip is not the same as consuming the bare, whole pepper, it’s still going to be a very uncomfortable experience. For a profanity-filled example, you can check out this video:

The chip will be sold only on Paqui’s website for $6.99 per chip or $59.90 for a 10-pack. The company also encourages pepper aficionados to upload photos or video of their attempts to finish the chip. If it becomes too much, try eating yogurt, honey, or milk to dampen the effects.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER