Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Making Puff Pastry

Puff pastry is one of the most unique creations of the cookery world. It consists of making layers by folding flour paste and a fat of the same texture. It can be used for a variety of dishes including sweet and savoury recipes.
What makes puff pastry distinctive is the layering of the fat and flour paste; it isn't completely combined. The fat forms a sperating layer which, when cooked, retains the steam generated by the water in the dough and produces the layer separation effect. The flour paste, which includes part of the fat, becomes crunchy and takes on a golden tone. (Practical Cookery 11th Edition).

This recipe makes around 5-8 portions. 
  • 200g strong flour  (Plus extra for rolling) 
  • 200g butter
  • 125ml ice cold water
  • Few drops of lemon juice
  • A pinch of salt

·       Mixing bowl
·       Wooden spoon
·       Sieve
·       Rolling pin
·       Knife
·       Non-stick board
·       Cling film

  1.     Sieve the flour and salt.
  2.     Rub in one quarter of the butter.
  3.     Make a well in the centre. 
  4.     Add the water and lemon juice, and knead well into a smooth dough in the shape of a ball.
  5. Relax the dough in a cool place for 30 minutes.
  6. Cut a cross halfway through the dough and pull out the corners to form a star shape.
  7.  Roll out the points of the star square, leaving the centre thick.
  8. Knead the remaining butter to the same texture as the dough. 
  9. This is very important: if the fat is too soft it will melt and ooze out, if too hard it will break through the paste when being rolled. 
  10. Place the butter on the centre square, which is four times thicker the flaps.
  11. Fold over the flaps.
  12. Roll out to 30 x 50 cm, cover with a cloth or plastic and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes in a cool place. 
  13. Roll out to 60 x 20 cm, fold both the ends to the centre and fold in half again. (This is one double turn)
  14. Allow to rest in a cool place for 20 minutes.
  15. Half turn the paste to the right or left.
  16. Give on more double turn; allow to rest for 20 minutes.
  17. Give two more double turns, allowing to rest between each. Your pastry should not have any butter sticking out of it. 
  18. Allow to rest before using. 
In the next post I'll be posting some recipes that can be made using puff pastry. 
Bake On!
Bake On! Penny x
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