Puff Pastry..a.k.a FEUILLETAGE in French. What makes a puff pastry flaky, crispy, crunchy, buttery and full of flavor?
Read on to find out the secret to making a really good puff pastry.
There are two parts to making a puff pastry: detempre which is the dough made up of flour, a small portion of butter,salt and water. The dough is not kneaded too much just until it comes together and rested for 30 minutes.
The second part is the rolling out of butter itself. The butter must be slightly softened and rolled into a rectangle with the help of a little bit of flour to be enveloped into the detempre. This is called as beurre manie.
The next step is Beurrage, enveloping the butter into the dough, called the Paton. And then Tourrage, which means giving turns. The process for giving turns is same as described in my Khari post. After 6 turns it has 1459 layers!
The exact opposite of this technique involves enveloping the detempre into the butter called as FEUILLETAGE INVERSE.
We also made feuilletage au chocolat and feuilletage pistache where we added cocoa powder and pistachio paste to the Beurre Manie respectively.
What makes puff pastry so crispy, crunchy, flaky, delicious. The Butter, ofcourse! When I used to see pictures of perfectly rolled out butter in recipe books, I often wondered how was it possible? Loh and behold….. I got my answer in the lab! The professional boulangeries & patisseries use a different kind of butter with a higher content of butterfat that is more elastic and hence easier to roll without the butter actually melting. Also one must keep in mind the fact that the temperatures in pastry lab is on the lower side.
I think I’d prefer to make the inverse feuilletage over the regular one for various reasons. Firstly, the rest time between turns can be reduced for inverse. It shrinks less after baking and it puffs up uniformly as compared to the regular one. Above all, it is definitely more flaky and tasty than the regular one. 🙂
I’ve had a lot of savory things made out of puff pastry and the classic mille-feuille. However, in class we made a variety of sweet things with puff pastry and all were delicious.
We made a pastry called as “Conversation“, which was created at the end of the 18th century. The name comes from a popular book “Les conversations d’Emilie de Madame d’Epinay”. I am totally clueless as to why would you want to name a pastry as Conversation.
It’s a puff pastry dough filled with almond cream and covered with another layer of puff pastry. Cover the top with royal icing and decorate with stripes of puff pastry.
Another pastry which goes by the name “Pain Complet” also has almond cream enclosed in puff pastry sheets. Make 2 sheets of 2mm thickness. Spread a layer of almond cream, dome shaped. Leave an edge and egg wash it. Cover and seal with the other sheet. Flip it upside down on a baking tray. COver the surface with raw almond paste (almond powder with egg whites), dust with icing sugar and make 6-8 incisions on the top. Bake at 180C.
Another one with almond cream was Dartois aux Amandes.
We also did a few fruit tarts and the best one was figs as they were in season and we just couldn’t get enough of figs!
We made turnovers, french as well as italian style.
Apple turnovers a.k.a Chaussons aux pommes were made by rolling out dough into fluted rounds of 12 cm diameter. Pipe apple compote and cover the pastry. Flip and place on a baking sheet. Egg wash and score the pastry with different designs.
For the Chaussons Italiens, the same process is followed, except for the fact that the filling is a mix of pastry cream and choux dough. It sounded wierd at first but it was not bad at all.
Pithiviers is again an almond cream filled pastry decorated as an antique galette.
roll out 2 sheets of around 3mm thickness. Place one sheet on a baking tray. Spread in dome shape the almomd cream and cover with the second sheet. Cut small semi circles at the edge of the dough with a cookie cutter. Egg wash and score the top from the centre with a knife. Bake at 220C and then reduce the temperature to 180C.
My favorite were the oh so famous Palmiers.
The puff pastry dough is rolled out by using sugar instead of flour. It is rolled into a rectangle 70 cm by 12 cm, then give 2 double folds. Cut into pieces and place on a baking tray. Bake at 210 for 15-20 mins and flip the sides halfway for the nice caramel color.
Next Post : The classic Mille-Feuille and how to make the perfect Crème pâtissière or custard.