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Inspired by those gorgeous pastries you see in the bakery window, and want to try to recreate them on your own? Whether you’re making a pie, a tart, or croissants, you’ll need a few tools to help you create the perfect light, flaky pastry—and most important of all is the pastry cutter!
What is a Pastry Cutter?
A pastry cutter—sometimes called a pastry blender, dough cutter, or butter cutter—is a baking tool designed to help incorporate fats into flour to make dough. Pastry cutters are typically half-circle-shaped with a flat handle and a series of curved metal wires or blades opposite the handle. If you’ve ever followed a pastry recipe, you’ve likely seen “cut in butter,” and that’s exactly what a pastry cutter does.
Benefits of Using a Pastry Cutter
In addition to keeping your hands and your kitchen a bit cleaner, dough cutters and butter cutters are useful because they help your fats blend properly and evenly with your flour. The hallmark of great pastry is light, airy dough—and pastry cutters ensure this result.
3 Best Pastry Cutters
1. Williams Sonoma Stainless-Steel Pastry Blender
Williams Sonoma offers this stainless steel pastry blender for $12.95. Considered to be one of the best pastry cutters available, it’s a great choice for bakers of all skill levels, and its sturdy stainless design ensures you’ll be using it in your kitchen for years to come!
2. Farberware Soft Grips Pastry Blender
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly pastry cutter, Walmart has you covered. Their Farberware model, equipped with a comfort grip, is $8.97 and works perfectly for pastry beginners learning how to use a pastry cutter or how to cut butter into flour.
3. Fusiontec Pieces Pastry Wheel and Cutter
A pastry cutter wheel is an alternative to traditional pastry cutters. While this style of pastry blender can be used to cut in butter, it is more commonly used to cut dough.
Fusiontec’s model, which is great for pie crust or ravioli, is available through Amazon for $10.99 and comes with stainless steel hardware and a comfortable wooden handle.
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3 Pastry Cutter Substitutes
If you’ve ever wondered “what can I use instead of a pastry cutter?” then open your silverware drawer and grab a couple of forks! You can easily duplicate the function of a pastry cutter by pressing the forks into your fat source and flour and mashing them into the crumbly consistency.
2. Cheese Grater
If you’re craving an apple pie but aren’t sure how to cut butter into flour without a pastry cutter, try using a cheese grater as a pastry cutter substitute. Grate your cold fats over your bowl of flour to help them break down and incorporate more easily, and then use a mixing spoon (or two forks!) to finish the dough blending.
3. Your Hands
If all else fails and you’re still questioning what to use instead of a pastry cutter, go for your built-in baking tools—your hands! This won’t be the cleanest pastry cutter substitute, and you’ll need to be mindful of how long you’re mixing because the warmth from your hands can affect your fats and therefore your final dough, but your fingers and hands are perfect for working and mixing dough in a pinch.
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