Puff pastry

Puff pastry

By
From
Paris Pastry Club
Makes
1kg of puff pastry
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

There is nothing quite as scary as making puff pastry for the very first time.

I’ve been there and really, after rolling and rolling some more, I thought it wasn’t that hard ... if you’re patient.

Puff pastry is the sort of thing that involves more resting time than effort. It’s a labour of love and time, and a generous sprinkle of flour.

You start by making the détrempe, a simple dough made with flour, butter, and water, with the obvious pinch of salt, then leave it in the fridge to firm up for at least a couple of hours or a couple of days.

Then butter gets kneaded into flour, to make for an easier-to-work-with butter layer that won’t set as hard.

And finally the magic happens, when you place the butter on top of your détrempe and start the very soothing rolling and folding. Trust me.

For the détrempe

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
350g plain flour
150g water
110g butter, melted
1 teaspoon sea salt

For the buerre manié

Quantity Ingredient
310g butter
150g plain flour

Method

  1. Start by making the détrempe. Place the flour in a large bowl. In a jug, combine the water, melted butter and salt. Using a wooden spoon, pour the water over the flour, mixing as you go until just combined. The dough should feel soft, but not sticky.
  2. Place the dough onto clingfilm and, working quickly with the palm of your hands, form a rectangle approximately 30 x 20 cm and 6 mm thick. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  3. Once the détrempe is made, it’s time to start making the beurre manié. Simply cream the butter for a couple of minutes. Then scrape the sides of the bowl, and tip in the flour and mix very briefly, until just combined. Transfer onto clingfilm and working very quickly – the last thing to want is the butter to melt – form a rectangle half the size of the one you just made with the détrempe. Wrap and chill for at least an hour.
  4. After both doughs have rested enough, lightly flour your work surface. Place the rectangle of détrempe with its large end facing you and top the right side with the rectangle of butter. Fold the left panel of détrempe over the butter. You should now have something that sort of looks like a book.
  5. Using a rolling pin, mark some indents into it. This will make the rolling easier and more even. Then starting from the centre-upwards and the centre-downwards, roll until the dough is less than 1 cm thick. It should be a rectangle approximately 40 x 20 cm.
  6. The next step is called a tour double (literally, a double turn – read fold). Brush the excess flour away and trim the ends so you have a neat rectangle.
  7. Visualise the middle axis of the rectangle, grab the lower end of the dough and fold it over so it meets the middle axis. Do the same with the upper end. I’ll call this an open book.
  8. Finally, close the ‘book’ and wrap it in cling film. Chill for at least a couple of hours.
  9. Now, you’re going to make the second tour double.
  10. Place the book look-alike dough in front of you, spine on the left and repeat the rolling and folding as above.
  11. Once again, chill for a couple of hours.
  12. To give the dough its final tour, place the ‘book’ in front of you, spine on the left and roll it into a rectangle slightly larger than a sheet of A4 paper. Brush the excess flour away and fold in three, just like you would do with a business letter.
  13. Use a sharp knife to cut into 3 equal portions and wrap each well in clingfilm. You can either freeze for up to a month for later use, or keep refrigerated until needed for a couple of days.
Tags:
Paris Pastry Club
Fanny
Zanotti
French
Paris
Parisian
baking
baker
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