Pâte feuilletée, which means pastry with many leaves, is one of the most elusive doughs you can make. With only three key ingredients, it remains a difficult dough and one I have yet to master.
Without using yeast, this magical dough rises through the use of layers and the steam from the butter. The water trapped in the butter causes the steam and pushes the layers apart.
Puff pastry's number one enemy is heat. Working quickly, and never doing more than two turns at a time, you must keep the butter cool enough so that it doesn't leak out during rolling.
The formula for puff pastry:
400 g flour + 200 g water (half the flour) + 300 g butter (flour + water divided by 2) + salt (optional)
400 g flour
200 g water
6 g salt
300 g butter
100 g Gruyère cheese
You can find the recipe for Allumettes au fromage (Puff pastry strips with cheese) here along with more background information. It was part of Week 2 at Le Cordon Bleu in Basic Cuisine.
Video (in French but shows the technique)
Eggbeater's Puff Pastry
Foodbeam's Puff Pastry
50 Flaky, Crunchy, Delicious Appetizers, Entrées
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