To cut-in is the technique of incorporating a fat, such as butter, into a dry ingredient, typically flour, in a way that leaves little lumps or pieces of the fat whole within the mix. Essentially, creating particles of fat that are coated with the dry ingredient. It is important to note the ingredients must not be over blended, because the resulting paste will create a poor finished product.
This method of cutting in to join the ingredients is usually used in pastry preparations.
If you do not have a pastry blender in your baking supplies, you can simply use two knives. Holding one in each hand and cutting across the fat in opposite directions, working it into the flour.
It is best if your ingredients are chilled.
Why use the Cutting-In method?
Cutting-in reduces the ability of the gluten proteins in the flour to create gluten when mixed later with a liquid, such as water or milk. This creates separation in the structure of the finished product which gives the pastry a flaky consistency.
Watch How to Cut-In:
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