Making Classic Puff Pastry at Home
Making Classic Puff Pastry at Home
Making Classic Puff Pastry at home can be easy-er than you think. Also called pâte feuilletée, puff pastry is the only dough that achieves its height solely through lamination. Classic puff pastry produces the highest rise of any of the laminates. It is best used in any recipe where the pastry itself must shine. Bouchées and vols-au-vents—pastry shells designed to hold fillings—require the height that can be provided only by classic puff pastry. Elaborate designs can be incised onto the pastry, creating a stunning decorative effect. Pithiviers, a French dessert of a rich almond cream baked between two circles of puff pastry, is decorated in this way. The fruit filled turnover is another product best made with classic puff pastry. This recipe makes 2 pounds 11 ounces dough. Here are ingredients and directions. Follow them carefully:
MAKING CLASSIC PUFF PASTRY AT HOME
3 cups unbleached bread flour 3 lb 8 oz
½ cup cake flour 8 oz
1½ tsp salt 1 oz
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted 8 oz
1½ tsp lemon juice 1 oz
¾ cup _ 2 Tbs (7 fl oz) ice water 1 lb 12 oz
2 cups unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch chunks 4 lb
5 Tbs unbleached bread flour 6 oz
For the dough, combine the flours and salt in a mixer bowl. Using the dough hook and with mixer on low speed, add the butter and lemon juice. Add the ice water in a slow, steady stream, scraping up mixture from the bottom. Add just enough water so that the dough comes together. Increase the speed to medium; knead until smooth and stretchy, about 45 seconds. Form into a rough rectangle; chill 1 hour. For butter mixture, fit mixer with paddle. Add the butter and flour; beat on low speed until smooth and malleable but still cool. Form butter into a block by pounding with a rolling pin on a floured surface. Divide the butter block in half. Roll each half into a 5 by 7-inch rectangle. To assemble, roll the dough into an 8 by 18-inch rectangle. Place one butter rectangle in the center of the dough. Fold over flap of dough to cover, pressing dough at edges to seal. Place the remaining butter rectangle on top of the enclosed butter. Fold the remaining flap of dough to cover, sealing with your fingers; the butter should extend fully into the corners. Roll out the dough package in the direction of the open ends of folds into a 10 by 24-inch rectangle, dusting liberally with the flour and rolling in all directions. Do not roll over the ends of the dough. Fold the dough into thirds, business-letter fashion. Refrigerate 1 hour (first turn). Rotate the dough block 90 degrees from the direction of the previous roll. Roll and repeat the 3-fold turn as before two more times (second and third turns). Refrigerate 45 minutes. Repeat the sequence, performing two more turns (fourth and fifth turns). Refrigerate at least one hour before rolling and shaping. Allow the sheet of rolled dough to rest in the refrigerator 15 minutes before cutting.
Follow the directions carefully and you will be surprised how good this recipe really is. Bon Apetit.
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