Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Quick, easy and hassle-free rough puff pastry

Puff pastry is truly a worldwide recipe. Many countries have an array of pastries based on it. Many countries have a form or another of laminated dough (our Msemmens or old-style laminated sweet bread?).


The Arabs and Andalusians have been laminating doughs with oil or any fat as far as the 10th century and even before..So that's not totally a new thing.

I love pastries made with puff pastry but I really can't buy any which is not made of butter. I'd rather skip it.

This puff pastry recipe is really for those who dread the idea of making one at home, but even for those who are in a hurry and don't want to start the long process of laminating, cooling, starting over..

Actually, this easy puff pastry will take you less time to make it than to go and buy it! Its texture is about 70% of the classic version in term of puffing but the taste is all the same..Again, this is due to the use of butter which should be no less than 82 % fat (basic butters in UK and Germany have that ratio).

Yes you can buy puff pastry from a shop, but it happens that most of them are using anything except butter or a tiny bit of it, unless you really buy a 100% all butter puff pastry (in this case, you are lucky).


The taste of an all butter puff pastry is far superior than any other non-butter version. It's so good beyond description. Of course, it's to do with butter.



All what I'm asking you to do here is to put all the ingredients in the fridge then put them in a food processor with a blade. Give a few pulses then laminate 4 times without transiting by the fridge (hence the quick description) and you're done!!!

For a full classic puff pastry, see my post here (in French, with pictures).

I suggest you read the notes before using the dough.




Ingredients
For approx 700g of puff pastry
Prep:10 min - Store unbaked


  • 250 g of all purpose flour, chilled
  • 250 g butter at least 82% fat, cut into small cubes and chilled
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 120 g of water, very cold
For puff pastry with savoury notes
  • 1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp of crushed black pepper



Preparation


In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade, put flour followed by salt and butter. Give it a few pulses until you see some uneven crumbs forming with clear bits of butter. You will still see bits of butter in the mix. That's fine. You could use a bowl and a fork to do the same.

Next, pour ice-cold water to bring the mix to a dough texture. Again, give just a few pulses. Do not overwork the dough.

Form a rough ball and then flatten it.

Flour a clean work top and roll the dough to a rectangle. Sprinkle flour when needed to prevent it from sticking. I prefer to roll the dough between 2 cuts of baking paper so I don't have to add a lot of flour to the dough.

Remove excess flour with a pastry brush. Fold the dough into 3.

Next, give a quarter turn to the dough in front of you and roll it again to a rectangle. Again, brush any excess of flour and fold into 3.

Repeat this a couple of time. You would have basically laminated the dough 4 times in about less than 5 min. Try to pat and push edges and corners towards the inside of the dough just to make sure the whole slab looks like a proper and neat rectangle.


Cover the dough with a cling film and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours before using it. The same way we do with any buttery puff pastry. To shortcut that, I place it for 20 min in the freezer. It does the job.


Notes

  • Always use the puff pastry cold but still possible to roll so it does not break.
  • Always fill it with cold filling, never warm or hot.
  • Always use a sharp knife to cut and shape your pastry for optimum puffing effect.
  • Never let the egg wash flow on the edges where you have cut the dough, it also prevents good puffing.
The egg wash over the edge has prevented this pastry from puffing properly
  • Once your pastry is shaped, again, place it for 10 min in the freezer or 30 - 60 min in the fridge before baking for better results.
  • Browse the blog using the key words "puff pastry" and enjoy the many nibbles and starters made of puff.


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