Wholemeal shortcrust pastry

Wholmeal Spinach flan
Spinach flan with wholemeal pastry

Who remembers Cranks? This wholemeal shortcrust pastry recipe is from my old, oh so old and beloved Cranks’ Recipe Book and each time I go through it I am overwhelmed by this feeling of nostalgic happy days and the first ever vegetarian, organic, wholefood restaurant in London.   Started by David Canter and his wife Kay, Cranks was one of the first to promote wholesome and ethical vegetarian food but sadly Cranks closed down in 2001 paying the price for not keeping up with times, not cutting costs and serving food on hand-thrown pottery plates and refusing to compromise on the high standards in their kitchen which had made them so popular in the 60s.

Just follow the instructions below and you will not fail.  The trick with all pastry is to keep things cool and don’t laboriously knead the dough…. plant based butter straight from the fridge, cool bowl, cold water and rub the flour and margarine lightly with your finger tips, quickly pull pastry together and roll into ball and leave in fridge for use later.

The pastry measurements below are for 450 grams of pastry which will give you enough to cover the bottom of a 10 inch flan dish – to calculate the amount of pastry, add the weight of the flour with the margarine, in this case 300+150=450

Note: For pastry using white flour omit the baking powder


300 grams wholemeal flour (I used Allinson’s wholemeal flour)
150 grams plant based butter (keep it cold in the fridge before use)
3 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
45-50 ml cold water


  • Put the dry ingredients in a bowl and margarine. Rub together with your fingertips to mix margarine with the flour – should resemble breadcrumbs
  • Add cold water and form a dough
  • Wrap in cling film, shape the dough into a ball (easier with the cling film on) and leave in fridge for 30 minutes.  It is important to keep pastry cool at all times
  • Flour a large pastry board or work surface and roll out pastry to fit dish
  • Bake according to instructions in recipe

11 thoughts on “Wholemeal shortcrust pastry

  1. Your recipes sound interesting, I am also a vegan and enjoy serving my family the
    best and healthy plant bast foods, I would certainly would like to receive your emails.
    Valarie. NSW Australia.

    1. Hi Valarie, sorry haven’t responded earlier – been a bit remiss with my blog recently as occupied with other things… good compassionate things! Hope you have tried a few recipes and enjoyed them, and thank you so much

  2. Can you help? Have been reading an old cranks recipe for leek and cheese flan. Dying to make it, but the wholemeal shortcrust pastry includes nutter. I don’t know what this is, or even where to buy it. Would there be any substitute I could use?

    1. Hi, my cranks recipe book purchased in 1987 also includes nutter, but I’m going to try it with butter as indicated here for a crècy plate pie at the weekend! Fingers crossed.

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