Puff Pastry

Puff pastry is one of the most remarkable products of the bakeshop.Although it includes no added leavening agent,it can rise to 8 times its original thickness when baked.

Puff pastry is a rolled-in dough, like Danish and croissant dough.This means it is made up of many layers of fat sandwiched in between layers of dough. Unlike Danish dough, however, puff pastry contains no yeast. Steam, created when the moisture in the dough layers is heated,is responsible for the spectacular rising power of puff pastry.

Puff pastry or puff dough is one of the most difficult of all bakery products to prepare. Because it consists of over 1,000 layers, many more than Danish dough, the rolling-in procedure requires a great deal of time and care.

As for so many other products, there are nearly as many versions of puff pastry as there are bakers. Both formulas and rolling-in techniques vary. The formula provided here contains no eggs, for example, although some bakers add them.

The folding-in technique used here differs somewhat from that used by European pastry chefs,although it is widely used by American bakers. (See Figure 34.2.)

Butter is the preferred fat for rolling in because of its flavor and melt-in-the-mouth quality. Special puff pastry shortening is also available.This shortening is much easier to work with than butter because it is not as hard when refrigerated and doesn't soften and melt as easily as butter at warm temperatures. It is also less expensive than butter.

However, puff pastry shortening can be unpleasant to eat because it tends to congeal and coat the inside of the mouth.

Skill at producing puff pastry requires careful attention to your instructor and diligent practice.Take special note of any alternative methods your instructor may present.

Puff Pastry

Ingredients

U.S.

Metric

Percentage

Bread flour

1 lb

8 oz

750 g

75%

Cake flour

8 oz

250 g

25%

Butter, soft

4 oz

125 g

12.5°%

Salt

0.5 oz

15 g

1.5°%

Water, cold

1 lb

2 oz

562 g

56%

Butter

2 lb

1000 g

100%

Bread flour

4 oz

125 g

12.5%

(see note)

Per 1 ounce:

Calories, 120; Protein, 1 g; Fat 9 g (69% cal.); Cholesterol, 25 mg; Carbohydrates, 8 g; Fiber, 0 g; Sodium, 150 mg.

Yield:

5 lb 10 oz

2827 g

282%

Per 1 ounce:

Calories, 120; Protein, 1 g; Fat 9 g (69% cal.); Cholesterol, 25 mg; Carbohydrates, 8 g; Fiber, 0 g; Sodium, 150 mg.

Note: The purpose of the 4 oz (125 g) bread flour is to absorb some of the moisture of the butter. Omit if puff paste shortening is used instead of butter.

Procedure

Mixing:

1. Place the first quantities of flour and butter in a mixing bowl. With a paddle attachment, mix at low speed until well blended.

2. Dissolve the salt in the cold water.

3. Add the salted water to the flour and mix at low speed until a soft dough is formed. Do not overmix.

4. Remove the dough from the mixer and let rest in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

5. Cream the last quantities of butter and flour at low speed in the mixer until the mixture is about the same consistency as the dough, neither too hard nor too soft.

6. Roll the butter into the dough following the procedure shown in Figure 34.2. Give the dough 4 four-folds or 5 three-folds.

Figure 34.2

Rolling-in procedure for puff pastry.

Figure 34.2

Rolling-in procedure for puff pastry.

(b) Fold the third without fat over (c) Fold the remaining third on the center third.

(a) Dust the bench lightly with flour. Roll dough to a rectangle about 3 times as long as it is wide and about in. (1-1.5 cm) thick. Make the corners as square as possible. Form the butter into a rectangle two-thirds the size of the dough, leaving room around the edges, and place on the dough as shown.

(b) Fold the third without fat over (c) Fold the remaining third on the center third.

top. Fold all ends and corners evenly and squarely. This procedure, enclosing the butter in the dough, does not count as one of the folds. The folding procedure starts with the next step.

(e) Brush excess flour from the top of the dough.

(f) Fold the top edge of the dough to the center. Make sure the corners are square and even. Again brush off excess flour.

(g) Fold the bottom edge to the center.

(e) Brush excess flour from the top of the dough.

(f) Fold the top edge of the dough to the center. Make sure the corners are square and even. Again brush off excess flour.

(g) Fold the bottom edge to the center.

(d) Turn the dough 90 degrees on the bench so the length becomes the width. This step must be taken before each rolling-out so the gluten is stretched in all directions, not just lengthwise. Failure to do this results in products that deform or shrink unevenly when they bake. Before rolling, beat the dough lightly as shown so the butter is evenly distributed. Roll the dough into a rectangle. Make sure the corners are square. Roll smoothly and evenly. Do not press down when rolling, or the layers may stick together and the product not rise properly.

(h) Fold the dough in half like closing a book. You have now given the dough 1 four-fold. Refrigerate the dough for 15 to 20 minutes to relax the gluten. Do not refrigerate it too long, or the butter will become too hard. (If it does, let it soften a few minutes at room temperature before proceeding.)

BLITZ PUFF PASTRY

(i) Give the dough another 3 four-folds, as in steps f to h. After another rest, the dough is ready to be rolled out and made up into the desired products. (Alternative method: Instead of giving the dough 4 four-folds, you may give it 5three-folds.) See Figure 30.3 for the three-fold method.

Blitz puff pastry is much easier and quicker to make than classic puff dough. (Blitz is German for "lightning.") It does not rise nearly as high as true puff pastry, so it is not suitable for patty shells and other products where a high, light pastry is desirable. However, it bakes up crisp and flaky and is perfectly suitable for napoleons and similar desserts that are layered with cream fillings.

Blitz puff paste, as you will see,is actually a flaky pie dough that is rolled and folded like regular puff dough.

Blitz Puff Pastry

Ingredients

Bread flour Pastry flour Butter, slightly softened

Salt

Water, cold

Yield:

Metric l lb l lb Z lb

5 lb

2515 g

Per 1 ounce:

Calories, 120; Protein, 1 g; Fat 9 g (69% cal.); Cholesterol, 25 mg; Carbohydrates, 8 g; Fiber, 1 g; Sodium, 160 mg.

Percentage

250%

Mixing:

1. Sift the two flours together into a mixing bowl.

2. Cut the butter into the flour as for pie dough, but leave the fat in very large lumps, 1 in. (21/2 cm) across.

3. Dissolve the salt in the water.

4. Add the water to the flour-butter mixture. Mix until the water is absorbed.

5. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes. Refrigerate if the bakeshop is warm.

6. Dust the bench with flour and roll out the dough into a rectangle. Give the dough three 4-folds.

Variation

General Guidelines for Makeup of Puff Dough Products_

1. The dough should be cool and firm when it is rolled and cut. If it is too soft, the layers may stick together at the cuts, preventing proper rising.

2. Cut with straight, firm, even cuts. Use a sharp cutting tool.

3. Avoid touching the cut edges with your fingers, which can make the layers stick together.

4. For best rising, place units upside down on baking sheets. Even sharp cutting tools may press the top layers of dough together. Baking upside down puts the stuck-together layers at the bottom.

5. Avoid letting egg wash run down the edges. Egg wash can cause the layers to stick together at the edges.

6. Rest made-up products for 30 minutes in a cool place or in the refrigerator before baking. This relaxes the gluten and reduces shrinkage.

7. Press trimmings together, keeping the layers in the same direction. After being rolled out and given another three-fold, they may be used again, although they will not rise as high.

8. Baking temperatures of 400° to 425°F (200° to 220°C) are best for most puff dough products. Cooler temperatures do not create enough steam in the products to leaven them well. Higher temperatures set the crust too quickly.

Pr rocedure for Making Turnovers see Figure 34.3.

1. Roll out puff pastry dough to V8inch (3 mm) thick.

2. Cut the dough into 4-inch (10-cm) squares. Wash the edges of each with water.

3. Portion the desired filling into the center of each square.

4. Fold diagonally and press the edges together.

5. Puncture the tops with a knife in two or three places to allow steam to escape. Let rest 30 minutes.

6. Brush the tops with egg wash, if desired, or brush with milk or water and sprinkle with sugar.

Pr rocedure for Making Pinwheels

See Figure 34.4.

1. Roll out puff dough to Vsinch (3 mm) thick.

2. Cut the dough into 5-inch (12-cm) squares.

3. Wash the centers with water.

4. Cut diagonally from the corners to about 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the centers.

5. Fold every other corner into the centers and press in place.

7. Let cool. Spoon desired fruit filling into the centers. Dust lightly with confectioners' sugar. (Pinwheels may also be filled before baking if the filling is thick and not likely to burn.)

Figure 34.4 Makeup of pinwheels. (a) Cut the dough into 5-in. (12-cm) squares. Wash the centers with water. Cut diagonally from the corners to 1 in. (2.5 cm) from center.

(b, c, d) Fold every other corner to the center and press down. Fill the center with fruit filling before or after baking.

Figure 34.4 Makeup of pinwheels. (a) Cut the dough into 5-in. (12-cm) squares. Wash the centers with water. Cut diagonally from the corners to 1 in. (2.5 cm) from center.

(b, c, d) Fold every other corner to the center and press down. Fill the center with fruit filling before or after baking.

Pr rocedure for Making Patty Shells

See Figure 34.5.

1. Roll out puff dough to Vsinch (3 mm) thick.

2. Roll a second piece of dough to 1A inch (6 mm) thick.

3. Cut out the same number of circles from each piece of dough with a round 3-inch (7.5-cm) cutter.

4. Using a 2-inch (5-cm) cutter, cut out the centers of the thick circles.

5. Wash the thin circles with water or egg wash and place a ring on top of each. Wash the top carefully with egg wash (do not drip wash down the edges). Let rest 30 minutes.

6. Place a sheet of greased parchment over the tops of the shells to prevent their toppling over while baking.

Figure 34.5

Makeup of patty shells.

Figure 34.5

Makeup of patty shells.

(a) Roll 1 sheet of puff dough Vs in. (3 mm) thick and another sheet 1A in. (6 mm) thick. Cut an equal number of 3-in. (7.5-cm) circles from each. Cut out the centers of the thick circles with a 2-in. (5-cm) cutter.

(b) Wash the thin circles with water or eggwash and place the thick circles on top.

Pr rocedure for Making Cream Horns

See Figure 34.6.

1. Roll out puff dough into a sheet Vsinch (3 mm) thick and about 15 inches (38 cm) wide.

2. Cut out strips 1V4 inches (3 cm) wide by 15 inches (38 cm) long.

3. Wash the strips with water.

4. With the washed side out, roll the strips diagonally onto cream horn tubes, making a spiral. Overlap the edges by about 3/s inch (1 cm). If you are using conical tubes, start at the small end.

5. Roll in granulated sugar and lay on baking sheets. The end of the dough strip should be on the bottom so it does not pop up during baking. Let rest 30 minutes.

7. Slip out the tubes while still warm.

8. Just before service, fill the horns from both ends with whipped cream or pastry cream, using a pastry bag with a star tip. Dust with confectioners' sugar.

Figure 34.6

Makeup of cream horns.

(a) Roll puff dough to Vs in. (3 mm) thick and cut it into strips 11A in. (3 cm) wide and 15 in. (38 cm) long. Wash the strips with water and press one end (washed side out) onto one end of a cream horn tube as shown.

Figure 34.6

Makeup of cream horns.

(a) Roll puff dough to Vs in. (3 mm) thick and cut it into strips 11A in. (3 cm) wide and 15 in. (38 cm) long. Wash the strips with water and press one end (washed side out) onto one end of a cream horn tube as shown.

(b) Roll the dough strip in a spiral by turning the tube. Overlap the edges by about 3/8 in. (1 cm). Do not stretch the dough.

(c) Roll completely and press the end in place to seal.

Pr rocedure for Making Napoleons

Roll puff dough into a very thin sheet about the size of a sheet pan. Blitz puff paste or rerolled trimmings may be used.

Place on sheet pan and let rest 30 minutes.

Dock with a fork to prevent blistering.

Trim the edges of the pastry sheet and cut with a serrated knife into equal strips 4 inches (10 cm) wide. Set the best one aside for the top layer. (If one of the strips breaks, don't be upset. It can be used as the middle layer.)

Spread one rectangle with Vanilla Pastry Cream (p. 1009) or with a mixture of pastry cream and whipped cream.

Top with a second sheet of pastry.

Spread with another layer of pastry cream.

Place a third pastry rectangle on top, flattest side up.

Ice top with fondant (p. 953).

To decorate, pipe 4 strips of chocolate fondant lengthwise on the white fondant. Draw a spatula or the back of a knife across the top in opposite directions, 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart, as shown in Figure 34.7.

Cut into strips 2 inches (5 cm) wide.

Figure 34.7

Decorating napoleons.

(a) Spread the top of the assembled napoleon with white fondant. With a paper cone, pipe 4 strips of chocolate fondant.

(b) Draw a spatula or the back of a knife across the icing at 2-in. (5-cm) intervals.

(c) Draw the spatula in the opposite direction in the center of these 2-in. (5-cm) intervals as shown.

(d) Cut the napoleon into strips 2 in. (5 cm) wide.

Figure 34.7

Decorating napoleons.

(a) Spread the top of the assembled napoleon with white fondant. With a paper cone, pipe 4 strips of chocolate fondant.

(b) Draw a spatula or the back of a knife across the icing at 2-in. (5-cm) intervals.

(c) Draw the spatula in the opposite direction in the center of these 2-in. (5-cm) intervals as shown.

(d) Cut the napoleon into strips 2 in. (5 cm) wide.

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