Get Yourself a Pastry BlenderOften a recipe will call for you to "cut in" shortening or butter — usually when making biscuits or anything else that needs to be "flaky," like pie dough or scones.
"Cutting in" means incorporating shortening or butter into the flour in such a way that little lumps of the raw fat remain whole within the flour mixture. When the dough is baked, these little lumps create separation in the structure of the product, which is what gives it that flaky consistency.
The easiest way to accomplish this is with the simple tool pictured here, called a pastry blender.
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