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Can you make your own puff pastry? Here’s how!

Puff-Pastry

One of the skills a chef must posses and one that many beginners would like to have, is pastry making. There are many different types including puff pastry, filo pastry, choux pastry and short crust pastry. The basic ingredients are the same but there are additions depending on the usage. You can buy a pack or ready rolled pastry from your local supermarket, however I like to know exactly what goes in and besides it is a skill I think any amateur chef should know. If you are in a rush then by all means pop out and get what you need.

Today we are going to look at one of the most popular…

Puff Pastry

The basic mix is flour, water and salt which is made into a dough. To make it ‘puff up’ and become flaky,  fat is placed between the layers during rolling out. Professional bakers may create 100 or more layers by folding and refolding.

There are two methods, the English and the French

In the English method the flour, salt, water and dough fat are mixed together. This dough is rolled into a long rectangular shape, three times as long as wide. Two-thirds of the dough is covered by dabs of butter. The third without butter is folded into the middle first then the other end is folded on top.

The main feature of the French method is that a square layer of fat is wrapped in the basic dough. This dough is made by rubbing about 10% of the soft fat into the flour, then adding cold water and mixing well to make a clear dough. After testing it is rolled into a square, making each side half the distance between opposite corners of the dough. The fat is placed in the centre of the doughs and the corners folded into the centre so they meet and cover the join. The paste is then folded again.

If all of that sounds too complicated then watch this video featuring Michel Roux. He demonstrates how to create ‘rough puff pastry’ which takes less time than classic puff pastry.

http://youtu.be/WzPn6Fu1a6A

Most common uses for puff pastry is for pies, pasties, vol au vents, savouries and desserts.

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