Making pastry in hotter environments means fighting an uphill battle against the laws of thermodynamics. Even when you’ve taken every possible precaution to keep your ingredients — and your tools — nice and cold, dough is still liable to melt the second it hits your counter.
Although it’s true that sometimes bad things happen to good people, this particular kitchen nightmare is a totally preventable one. All you have to do is take a few minutes to make sure your countertop is as cold as your ingredients.
This trick comes courtesy of Stella Parks, who recommends using two 4 litre-sized ziplock bags filled with ice water to chill your countertops, like so:
If you’re out of zip-lock bags or prefer not to use them, I’ve found that a pan or baking dishes also get the job done just as well. Whatever vessel you choose, after a few minutes — and a quick wipe to mop up any condensation — your work surface will be the perfect temperature to roll out even the most buttery pastry with ease.