Pop-Tarts from the grocery aisle might remind you of your childhood, but bite into one and it'll likely leave you underwhelmed, not to mention undernourished. But Pop-Tarts baked in your own oven with fresh and delicious ingredients? That's a pastry treat worth savoring. Homemade Pop-Tarts offer the same level of nostalgia while taking the flavors and textures to the next level. But it's important to know the proper techniques to help the pastries bake to perfection.
One component of homemade Pop-Tarts that can be hard to get just right is the dough for the crust. You want it to be flaky and tender like pie dough, but it also needs to maintain its shape in order to form the pastry and hold the filling. In order to achieve that, you'll need to hydrate the dough a bit more than regular pie dough, using both egg and milk to help add structure. Go easy at first, then, if the dough is still crumbly, add a small splash of milk at a time until the dough comes together nicely with well-hydrated crumbs.
Perfecting Pop-Tart Dough
While the dough used for homemade Pop-Tarts is similar to pie dough, it's not the same. There are many different recipes out there that use varying ingredients—some include eggs, milk, or cornstarch while others don't. But one key ingredient that makes these treats so tasty is adding sugar to the dough. Many pie dough recipes don't include sugar, but Pop-Tarts are meant to be a super-sweet indulgence so a sugary dough makes them even better.
Along with sugar, this dough needs more structure since the pastries are shaped by hand and baked without molds. In order to achieve this, you'll need more than a simple flour, butter, and water recipe. Look for dough recipes that use ingredients like eggs and cornstarch, both of which help to add structure to the dough without taking away from its flaky texture too much. Then, it's a fine balance between working the dough enough to get the structure, but not so much that you overwork the gluten and lose the tenderness of the dough. If you're able to balance flaky tenderness with good dough structure, you'll end up with delectable homemade Pop-Tarts that the boxed version can't hold a candle to.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.