Veneziana (brioche pastry)
It is vital to use a good butter for your brioche pastry, especially when you consider that butter accounts for 50-60% per kilo of dough. The butter gives flavour and softness to the cooked dough which, when squashed with a finger, returns to its original form. The brioche pastry is more or less the same as the Italian cornetto, but is not glazed with butter. The Veneziana comes in different shapes and variations: with chocolate chips or dried fruit in the dough or cream or jam fillings.
The dough contains very little sugar and no egg or flavourings but contains a lot of butter which makes the croissant crumbly and unctuous. French chefs put up to 1kg of butter in 2700g of dough when rolling it out, while in Italy that quantity would be used for at least 3700g of dough. The French croissant is known for its buttery flavour and can be served as a sweet or savoury snack. It has a straight shape and almost all the butter used is in the folds.
Italian Cornetto (pastry)
The Italian Cornetto uses the classic folded half-moon shape but more sugar to make it sweeter than the French version, egg to give it colour and butter in the dough to make it soft, bearing in mind that Italian Cornettos are cooked in the morning and have to stay soft all day long. The Cornetto contains approximately 250g of butter per kg of dough and a further 1kg of butter or good quality spread or margarine per 4kg of dough during the rolling out phase. It is therefore a very balanced product in terms of the recipe itself, but of course it is important to use good quality ingredients.
Pain au Chocolat
This recipe uses the same dough as the Italian Cornetto, but it is then glazed with butter or a good quality spread or margarine. This dough, also known as a Danish, can be used to create different shapes, such as the pain au chocolat or the braid, flavoured with a little liquor and garnished with custard and almond flakes.
This is a recipe rich in egg, sugar and flavourings, which contains 12-18% fat. Muffins are currently very popular at breakfast or tea time and can be made with butter or extra-virgin olive oil mixed with good quality rice oil or corn oil. One part butter can be replaced by cocoa butter, which melts at 35°C and is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids.
Bomboloni (Italian filled doughnut)
This dough can be made with either butter or margarine, or good quality lard. The dough does not contain excessive sugar or fat, approximately 6-7% in each one. However, the problem with Bomboloni, from a nutritious perspective, is the oil absorbed during frying. Pastry professionals are working on the egg content, as it appears that this influences the absorption of oil when frying.
Generally made with puff pastry which, as we well know, contains high quantities of fat, approximately 40-45% per kilo. Some chefs use butter in the dough and margarine to roll out, or some of the good quality spreads now available on the market with a butter content of over 50%. The puff pastry has to be rolled extremely thin before being filled with the classic ingredients from the Alto Adige recipe or perhaps alternative ingredients that play with combinations of fresh, dried or desiccated fruit and spices.
For an excellent shortcrust pastry, it is vital to use a good quality fat that gives the right flavour and fragrance to the dough. The fat also guarantees the plasticity of the dough, which is necessary for it to be moulded and maintain its shape during cooking. Shortcrust pastry has a 25-32% fat content of the overall weight. Breakfast tartlets can be garnished with creams or jams pre-cooking, ganache added to the cooked tartlet cases or rice fillings cooked in milk and flavoured with lemon or orange.