Cutting Butter Into Dry Ingredients

When cutting fat into the dry ingredients, it is important that the butter is chilled so that it doesn’t melt. Butter is best cut into dry ingredients with a pastry blender, a stainless steel device that consists of a series of curved rigid wires attached to a handle. Push the wires into the butter-flour mixture, using your fingers to push out clumps that accumulate. The purpose of this procedure is to coat the flour particles with butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. As the butter melts during baking, the moisture contained in it produces steam, which gives these breads a flaky, tender crumb.
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