Monday, January 4, 2010

Puff Pastry.. I Love You

Happy new year everyone!!! Hope you all had a wonderful time ringing in the new year!

I had a delicious meal with a dear friend and watched Julie and Julia (finally). We made some delicious s'mores.

Back to the subject...

Genius. Absolutely genius! Who knew that some flour and butter with some sugar would be so delicious??

The thing with making puff pastry isn't so much that it's hard, it's just amazingly time consuming. The two components are a butter mixture and a dough. They are extremely easy to make. I used the Puff Pastry recipe from Pierre Herme's cookbook called Chocolate Desserts.

Inside-Out Puff Pastry

Butter Mixture
3 1/2 Sticks (14 ounces) Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 Cups AP Flour

Put the butter in a bowl of the standing mixer with a paddle attachment and beat until smooth.
Add the flour and mix just until it just comes together. There will be some flour at the bottom of the bowl, just mix it in with a rubber spatula.

Dump the mixture onto some plastic wrap and form it into a 1/2 inch square.

Dough Mixture
3/4 Cup Water
2 Teaspoons Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Vinegar
3 Cups AP Flour
1 Stick (4 ounces) Unsalted Butter, melted and cooled

Mix the water, salt, and vinegar together and set aside.
Put the flour into the bowl of a standing mixer with a paddle attachment and turn it on medium-low. Add the butter. It will look lumpy.
Slowly add the water. You may not use all of the water. Keep adding until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl.

Dump the dough onto some plastic wrap and form it into a square that's about 1/2 inch smaller than the butter mixture.
Refrigerate both doughs for about 1 1/2 hours.

First Turn
Roll the dough mixture roughly twice the size of the butter mixture with some flour.
(I rolled out the dough a little too big)

Fold over the other side so that the butter is encased in the dough.

Pinch the edges together and seal the butter inside.
Let this rest in the refrigerator for an hour.

After chilling, roll it out with some flour into a rectangle where the length is at least 3 times the width.
Brush off the excess flour with a brush and fold the left and right into the center.
Try to make it as even as possible.

Brush off excess flour and fold it closed like a book.

Let this rest in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
After its rested repeat the process again and let it rest again in the fridge for three hours (I left it overnight).

Last Turn
Roll the dough out as before.

This time fold it into thirds like a letter.

Let this rest for about 30 minutes.

Roll it out one more time. You can portion sections out at this point if you don't plan on using all of it at once.

Chill this one more time in the fridge the longer the better but at least 30 minutes.

Now you can cut shapes according to what you want to make.

I cut out circles that were about 1/4" thick. I knew it was way too thick but I went with it anyway. This is what it looked like after I brushed it with some egg wash (one egg beaten with about 1 teaspoon of water) and baked it at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes.
They looked like biscuits!! So NOTE: Roll the dough out to as thin as you can get it! 1/16" if you can!

If it's too thick the center doesn't get cooked well.
I was able to salvage it by cutting it in half horizontally and scooping out the raw dough in the center.

Some things you can make with the puff pastry to come.