Sunday, March 9, 2014

Quick Puff Pastry (& Cheese Straws)

Embarrassingly easy - and I say embarrassing because that's how I feel when I receive high praise and many compliments for it -  this cheater's puff pastry is no more difficult to make than regular pie pastry. This recipe comes from The Pie and Pastry Bible, by Rose Levy Beranbaum.
dry ingredients chilled butter
The ingredients are basic: cake flour, unbleached all-purpose flour, salt, unsalted butter and water. A higher-fat, European-style butter is recommended, but I used a good quality Canadian butter.
mix in butter shaggy dough
After the dry ingredients are whisked together, chilled butter is added to the bowl and mixed until the pieces are flattened. I used a stand mixer but the dough can be made by hand of course. Next add the water. You want to mix enough to create a shaggy dough while keeping the pieces of butter the same size.
dough rectangle 1st fold roll out
Pat the dough into a rectangle on a well-floured surface. With the help of a bench scraper, fold the dough business letter style: the bottom third up, the top third down. Give the dough a quarter turn counter-clockwise so the final fold is on the left. Scrape the work surface clean and lightly flour again. Press down with a rolling pin to flatten slightly. 
rolled dough 2nd fold 3rd fold
Roll the dough into a rectangle and repeat the folding-turning-rolling steps 2 more times. The dough requires less flour and becomes easier to work with with each consecutive fold or "turn" as it's called.
4th fold ready to rest
Give the dough a final "turn" (that's 4 now) and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 40 minutes or up to one day.
roll dough 5th fold 6th fold
Repeat the rolling and folding steps 2 more times for a total of 6 "turns". 
final fold ready to use
It's ready to use now or freeze for later use. 

Of course I had to test it out. I decided to make a little snack with a portion of the dough, Cheese Straws from the same book.
cheese straw dough before baking cheese straws
The dough is rolled out to 3mm/1/8", brushed with beaten egg and sprinkled with a mixture of paprika and grated Parmesan cheese on both sides. After cutting into narrow strips, the dough is twisted, placed on a baking sheet, and after chilling in the fridge, baked until crisp.
It worked! Can you see all of the layers? They were perfectly crisp and golden and made a delicious pre-dinner snack (though they could have used a little more cheese).
I don't publish recipes that aren't my own, so if you would like to try these recipes for Quick Puff Pastry and Cheese Straws, I encourage you to buy the book!

I'm sharing this post with this month's Cook-Your-Books, hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours. 

If you're wondering what happened to the rest of the dough, it went into making this fabulous Maple Pear Tarte Tatin.

4 comments:

  1. Hi Zosia,
    Beautiful pastry! You have made the pastry perfectly! The cheese straws looks so good with the layers of the pastry! Fantastic!
    I have been eyeing this book for so long, and Rose is coming out with another new book soon!
    Thanks for sharing with CYB!

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    1. Thanks very much Joyce. I'm looking forward to Rose's new book - I have it on pre-order!

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  2. Hi Zosia,
    Your post is featured in this month's Cook-Your-Books!
    Congratulations!

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    Replies
    1. Wow....what a nice surprise! Thank you, Joyce and thank you to all who have visited!

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