What is the optimum level of fat to use in the production of puff pastry

The level of fat that is used in the manufacture of puff pastry depends on a number of factors including the degree of lift and flakiness of eat that you are seeking in the baked product. Puff pastry and other laminated products are characterised by the formation of a relatively thin dough sheet, part of which is covered with fat and subjected to a series of folding and further sheeting steps, with the objective of forming alternate and discrete layers of fat and dough.

Traditionally there are three types of puff pastry characterised by the level of laminating fat used in the formulation. They are commonly designated as full, three-quarter and half puff in which the laminating fat is used at an equal weight to the flour, | and | respectively. The level of laminating fat has a direct effect on the thickness of the fat layer in the laminated paste and thus a direct impact of the degree of separation of the dough layers. The higher the level of laminating fat, the greater the pastry lift but also the greater the pastry shrinkage (Telloke, 1991). With an increase in laminating fat levels the baked pastries became more tender eating.

There is no absolute optimum level of fat for use in the manufacture of puff pastry, the choice depends on a number of different criteria which may be required in the final product, such as lift, eating quality and flavour. The level of laminating fat is also linked with the number of laminations (folds or turns) given to the paste. In general the lower the laminating fat level, the lower will be the number of laminations required to achieve maximum lift or optimum quality. Telloke (1991) suggested that optimum quality with half paste came with 128 theoretical fat layers (see 8.3) while with full paste the optimum was achieved with 256.

The base dough may also have a small addition of fat (5%) which confers a more tender eating quality to the baked product but does decrease pastry lift. Because of the latter effect we recommend that you avoid using levels of added dough fat greater than 10% of the flour weight.

Similar effects of changing fat levels may be observed in the production of Danish pastry and croissant, though the numbers of laminations are fewer than with puff pastry and the maximum laminating fat level lies around 65% of the flour weight (Cauvain and Telloke, 1993).

Continue reading here: Our puff pastry fails to rise sufficiently even though we believe that we are using the correct level of fat Are we using the correct type of fat

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