I was so happy to finally nail a really delicious gluten free shortcrust pastry recipe, made using simple ingredients. No multiple flours needed, only plain gluten free flour is used for this pastry. Woo hoo!
To make the pastry you need gluten free plain flour (I use FREEE by Doves Farm or Shipton Mill), xanthan gum, salt, unsalted butter, a large egg and a little water. Then follow this simple method and you’ll have wonderful gluten free shortcrust pastry in no time at all.
The resulting pastry is buttery, perfectly short and just melts in the mouth. You’ll find it easy to work with and holds its form really well when baked, yet isn’t too hard, rather it has just the right amount of crumble when you bite into it. Yummy!
Only Plain Flour?
No tapioca? No sorghum? No cornflour? That’s right, just good old plain gluten free flour!
I’ll admit I was always a bit untrusting of simple gluten free shortcrust recipes. The ones I had tried either made pastry that was rock hard, or horrible crumbly stuff that falls apart and makes a mess. Until recently I tended to use a mixed flour pastry recipe instead (Naomi Devlin’s shortcrust is a particular favourite of mine).
You tend to get more depth of flavour and reliable texture with mixed flour pastry, however those recipes tend to require a lot of different ingredients. The different flours serve a purpose and can yield fabulous pastry, but they can be tricky or expensive to get hold of in the shops.
Lots of you had asked me for a simple gluten free shortcrust instead. One that you can make using the contents of your existing storecupboard. I am very happy to finally be able to oblige!
My Top Tip for Great Gluten Free Shortcrust Pastry…
You’ll see in the method that the butter in this recipe is grated before being mixed into the dry ingredients. This helps to ensure a really even distribution through the flour. Plus you won’t have to work the mixture as much to get to the breadcrumb stage, which makes for much cooler, happier pastry.
If you are using lactose free butter, it might not be possible to grate it as it tends to be a bit softer. Don’t fret, just cut into small cubes and rub into the flour per the method. The pastry will still be lovely.
Can I Make Sweet Shortcrust Using this Recipe?
Sure thing! Omit the salt from the recipe and instead add 1 tbsp caster sugar to the dry ingredients in step 1. Easy peasy.
I also have a slight variation on this recipe using some ground almonds, which makes fabulous patisserie-style short pastry – my Sweet Almond Shortcrust Pastry.
Can I Chill This Pastry Overnight?
Yes – I did a trial run recently and run the pastry was still fine if you chill for longer than 30 mins. You will find it may be a little crumbly when you start working with it, after a long chill. Simply break it into pieces, sprinkle with a few drops of water and knead the dough until pliable again.
Gluten Free Shortcrust Pastry Recipe
Here’s the recipe! If you enjoy making this gluten free shortcrust pastry please do leave a review on the recipe card below. Any questions – fire away! You can contact me (Laura) at email@example.com or via my Instagram @myglutenfreeguide.
You’ll also find some step-by-step pictures below the recipe, to help you know what the pastry mix should look like at each stage.
Happy baking! Laura xxx
- 280g (10oz) plain gluten free flour
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 0.5 tsp salt (for savoury pastry) OR 1 tbsp caster sugar (for sweet pastry)
- 140g (5oz) unsalted butter, chilled
- 1 large egg
- 2-3 tbsp water
- Sift the flour, xanthan gum and salt (OR sugar for sweet) into a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
- Grate the chilled butter into the bowl (use the large grater setting on a cheese grater) and toss the butter strands through the flour with a spoon. Once the butter is coated with flour, use your finger tips to rub the butter into the flour until you have a coarse breadcrumb-like texture.
- Beat the egg and add to the bowl. Stir through with the spoon.
- Add 2 tbsp water (you may not need the third) and use your hands to bring the ingredients together to form a nice ball of dough. It should come away from the sides of the bowl and the dough will be smooth and pliable. If it is still a bit crumbly, add the third tbsp water and work to combine.
- Take a large piece of greaseproof paper (approx 40cm long) and place the ball of dough on the waxed, non-stick side. Press it down gently with your hands to form an oval shape a couple of cm thick. Now fold the paper over to cover the other side of the dough and then fold the edges over so that you have a nice little dough parcel. Now place into the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
- Once chilled, the pastry is ready for use!
So you’ve nailed the pastry, now how about some ideas as to what you can make with it! Here are a few recipes you might like to try: