Quick Puff Pastry

2 Jul

Hey….thanks for stopping by. Here’s a quick tutorial on puff pastry. This version is easy to make, and takes a fraction of the time to make classic puff pastry, also it’s much better than store bought, and can be made “on the fly” with usually in-house ingredients. Ready? Take a breath, Louise, it’s allot easier that you think.

Ingredients, for a “half batch” are;

8 oz All Purpose Flour

8 oz Unsalted Butter (cubed & chilled)

1 tsp Salt (Kosher or Sea is the preference here)

4 oz Water (cold, iced)

Here’s a pic of the basics-

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So, with flour in the bowl, add the salt and fork-stir it to incorporate. Add the cubed, chilled butter and toss, coat and break up the butter knobs, leaving some larger than the others, some smaller than the others, until you have…..this-

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Easy, right? Now, add the 1/2 cold water, and with a fork (or fingers) lightly mix everything together to form a really shaggy dough. Remember the more you mix this, the tougher your end product will be.

Once mixed, turn out onto a countertop, lightly press into a rectangle, like this-

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A light dusting of flour on the counter, bench or board will assist with larger chunks of butter sticking. Once dusted, lightly roll out to form a rectangle, approximately 5 inches by 12 inches. It’s okay to use the edge of the rolling pin, and the heel and side of your hand to assist in forming and squaring up the dough. Now, the fun begins.

With the dough formed, you’ll want to give this four, 3-Folds. I may be breeching some pastry etiquette, but I give this dough two-series of 3-Folds, with a rest in between. Here’s a look at the initial 3-Fold with the pastry-

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Once you’ve achieved this initial 3-Fold, turn the dough and roll out again, making sure the spines (folds) are perpendicular to you. Roll out to a 5 inch by 12 inch rectangle again, book fold in thirds and all this to rest, wrapped in the fridge, for approximately 20 to 30 minutes (ample time for a quick cuppa and clean up on your workspace). For the first rest, I usually wrap in a clean cloth. You can certainly use plastic wrap if you like, and can reuse the wrap after the second set of folds.  I keep clean cloths in the kitchen for use in this instance, bread making and other pastry basics. Anyway…here’s the dough ready for a brief nap-

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After 30 minutes, unwrap and give it another two, 3-Folds. I use the pin to lightly press the dough to maintain an even roll, using the pin one direction, and then the opposite direction assists here;

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Remember with this batch size, your rectangle should be approximately 5 inches by 12 inches when rolled out and ready to “book fold”. Once you’ve finished the second 3-Fold, re wrap and you can either;

1)Refrigerate and use in about an hour

2)Refrigerate and use within a week, or

3)Freeze and use within a month

Generally, I keep one or two of these in the freezer, and place in the fridge to defrost one day before I need to bake something.

If you have more than one to make, be sure to label/date and to use older product first. Also, this batch can be doubled easily, with the adjustment of the water (you may not need as much). Image

 

Finished and ready for the next step, filling and baking off.

 

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