Laminated products

8.1 What causes puff pastry to rise during baking?

Most of the lift in puff pastry comes from the water vapour generated from the water held in the dough layers which when converted to steam becomes trapped in the melting fat between the dough layers (see Fig. 23). The thickness of the dough layers changes little during baking and makes no significant contribution to pastry lift.

Expansion of the paste can occur only if the dough layers are separate and discrete from the fat layers. Any strong bridges between the dough layers, such as may be caused when adjacent layers are crushed together in sheeting, restrict

Fig. 23 Mechanism for puff pastry lift.

the rise that can be obtained. However, if no crushing occurs then the baked pastry may be so flaky that it falls apart after baking.

Most of the expansion of puff pastry occurs in the first half of the baking time but more water must be driven off before the pastry is set firm enough to stand without collapsing (Cauvain and Young, 2000).

Many factors contribute to the degree of puff pastry lift and some of these are discussed in other questions below.

Reference

CAUVAIN, S. and YOUNG, L. (2000) Bakery Food Manufacture and Quality: Water control and effects, Blackwell Science, Oxford, UK.

Continue reading here: Why do we get a less regular lift in our puff pastry when we use the Scotch method compared with the English or French

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