Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Home-made Puff Pastry

First thing you need, essential for making puff pastry is a feature length DVD movie.  |The process of making the pastry from scratch will take about 2.5 hours with 5 minutes of work to do every 30 minutes, so i hit the pause button, get up do the work and then go back to the movie.

-  3 cups flour
-  1 teaspoon of salt
-  150g unsalted butter (cold, cut in cubes of 1 cubic cm)
-  1/2 cup cold water
-  one 250g unsalted butter softened

Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl and cut in the cold butter cubes using 2 knives until it forms coarse sized grains.  Tip onto a floured surface, making a well in the middle, add a little water and using a fork combine flour and water to form a dough.  We are try to making the dough firm without having to use too much water.  Once the flour combines use your hands and knead the dough until it becomes a bit elastic.  Then wrap in Glad wrap and let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Butter rolled out and covered

Place the 250g stick of butter between 2 pieces of wax baking paper and using a rolling pin roll the butter out into a rectangular sheet, 8" x 6", wrap in plastic and place in the fridge.

After 30 minutes take both the dough and the butter out of the fridge.  Knead the dough a few times and then roll it out to a rectangle 12" x 10".  Lay the butter in the centre of the rectangle of dough and then fold the dough like closing a book or an envelope.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Laying the butter on the rolled dough

The process of folding and roling 5 times

The key to a good puff pastry is this rolling, folding and resting sequence which you need to repeat 4 more times, hence the feature length DVD requirement.  It will only take a few minutes each time to do the rolling and folding. 

At the end you should have enough puff pastry to cut and form 3 sheets that would fit a 9" pie dish.  One sheet should be enough to wrap your beef wellington.  use 2 sheets for a meat pie.

A slice through the end product
 The pic on the right shows a cross-section through the puff pastry.  Look at all the gorgeous layering that we've achieved through the folding and rolling process.  The hot oven will generate steam that will work its way through the layers giving us the puffed pastry we want.


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