Mixing Method - Cut In or Cutting In

The fat, which is almost always a cold, solid fat, is rubbed or "cut into / cut in to" the dry goods until it is finely divided, typically described as small peas or coarse meal before the main mixing event begins. It is done Bench Scraper, two knifes (in a scissor motion), a pastry blender, your fingertips or with a food processor fitted with a steel blade.

To "cut in" in serves the function of dstributing the fat particles into the dry ingredients, typically flour, and by coating and lubricating flour granules. This method greatly reduces the ability of the gluten proteins in the flour to create gluten when mixed later with a liquid, such as water or milk. This also results in a flakier product when rolled or formed before baking. The secret to success is that the solid fat must remain cold at all times before baking.

TO "CUT IN" BUTTER INTO THE FLOUR MIXTURE, IN GENERAL
This technique is used with the:
Tender and Flaky Sweet Biscuits Recipe

Mini Skillet Strawberry Shortcakes Tutorial

HOW TO TIPS:
1. Cut cold stick butter into small, evenly sized pieces and refrigerate it for 30 minutes or freeze it for 10 minutes until cold.
SARAH SAYS: What I do to is cut a cold, unwrapped stick of butter in half horizontally and then in half vertically. Stack the butter strips in its original shape. Then I cut the butter along the one tablespoon mark as indicated on the wrapper.

If using shortening, use tablespoon size amounts. There's no need to chill it beforehand.

2. Sprinkle the chilled butter over the flour and toss with a fork. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a fork, Bench Scraper, two knifes (in a scissor motion) or a pastry blender until the butter pieces are the size of small peas.

3. If the butter starts to get greasy, it is melting and getting too soft, chill the mixture for 15 to 20 minutes before proceeding.

USING YOUR FINGERTIPS TO "CUT IN" FAT WHEN MAKING A FLAKY PIE CRUST
This technique is used with the:
French Pear Tart or La Tarte Bourdaloue Recipe

HOW TO TIPS:
1. Sift together measured flour, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl.

2. Toss in cold butter pieces. Cut in butter using a pastry cutter or your fingertips.




USING YOUR FINGERTIPS TO "CUT IN" FAT WHEN MAKING STREUSEL
This technique is used with the:
Apple Walnut Spice Streusel Cake Recipe

HOW TO TIPS:
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Toss in the cold butter cubes.


2. Cut in the cold butter until the mixture becomes crumbly.
SARAH SAYS: The way I cut in the butter is to reach into the bowl with both hands, and quickly squeeze the butter and flour particles in between my fingertips so it forms large flakes.


I repeat this until I have large chunks of butter with the flour mixture squeezed together, and the mixture will look shaggy.
The butter pieces should be evenly distributed throughout. It only takes a few minutes or so to do.
Make sure the butter still remains cold and does not become greasy. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

USING A FOOD PROCESSOR TO "CUT IN" FAT WHEN MAKING A FLAKY AND TENDER PIE CRUST
This technique is used with the:
Nectarine or Peach Cobbler Potluck Pie Recipe

HOW TO TIPS:
1. Add the chilled butter, and cream cheese on top of the dry ingredients, in the food processor.

2. PULSE the ingredients about 6 to 10 times until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
You should be able to still see small chunks of butter and cream cheese in the mixture. This helps form the flakier texture in your pie crust.

Other How-tos