Savory pastries continue to gain popularity, especially for the breakfast and lunch crowds. Shoppers enjoy the option of ordering a hand-held meal that is both delicious and convenient.

Retail bakeries can prosper from this emerging trend by offering more options of savory pastries. To help with baking tips from the experts, we reached out to Dan Moats, Certified Master of Baking at Stratas Foods, for technical advice.

As for emerging flavor trends when it comes to savory pastries, Moats points out that consumers continue to push the envelope as for what they demand.

“Fusion is still a hot topic, along with truffle, aioli, bourbon and ghost pepper,” he says. “The combination of these mixed with cheese, citrus or nuts also seems to be trending.”

First off, when preparing pastries for savory fillings rather than sweet fillings, it is important to recognize a few basic building blocks to a successful formula.

“Shortening and margarine are the core workhorses of any baker’s kitchen. They function in bakery creations like puff pastry, croissant, pie shell and even donut dough,” Moats explains. “The major difference between these two ingredients is that shortening doesn’t contain water and salt, while bakery margarines do, as well as flavoring. Whether or not the pie is sweet or savory typically relies on the filling, and bakery margarines can enhance those flavors.”

The type of oil or shortening used will influence flavor and performance.

“This really varies between applications. Some bakers may opt to use a butter flavored shortening or margarine to enhance certain qualities or flavors.  And some might even replace a percentage of the shortening with a margarine,” he says.

As for calculating the shortening and oil needs for single-serve desserts compared to full-size desert preparations, bakers should be on the lookout for a few basic facts.

“Most use the bakers’ percent for up or downscaling formulas,” Moats explains. “Single serve are just smaller offerings, so no real secrets here. The trick is more about adjusting the oven time and temperature.”