Homemade puff pastry is such a treat. Lots of flaky layers of buttery crisp
pastry. Unfortunately it seems to be something that people are a
little hesitant to make at home. I
want to change that by offering you this recipe for Blitz Puff Pastry or
Quick Puff Pastry, a puff pastry that is easier to make
then the classic (traditional) puff pastry. Yes, the first time you
make homemade puff pastry it can seem a little complicated, with all that
rolling and folding and chilling. Technique is important but it's not
hard to master. And while it does take about three hours
start to finish, most of that is not hands-on work, it is letting the dough
chill in the refrigerator.
Blitz Puff Pastry is perfect for making galettes, tarts, turnovers, cheese
straws, and even Napoleons. It uses the same basic ingredients as the
classic puff pastry, that is, butter, flour,
and water (no leavening agent is added). The difference is how they are put
together. With the classic puff pastry you have a sheet of dough which you
wrap around a block of butter (like a croissant dough). Conversely, with the
Blitz Puff Pastry you incorporate the butter right into the flour, like you
would when you make a pie dough. But with both types of puff you do roll
and fold the dough several times (called lamination). Then, during baking, the
"puff" happens when the butter melts and creates steam, which pushes the
dough upwards, giving you all those wonderful flaky layers.
A few things to keep in mind when making
puff pastry. First, time is needed to make this dough. For Blitz Puff
Pastry the dough needs to be rolled and folded four to five times, and you
need to chill the dough between each roll and fold. Now, if you notice the
pastry getting too warm when rolling, stop and return the dough to the
refrigerator until firm. Because if it gets too warm, it will cause the
butter to melt into the dough which will affect the texture of the
finished product. Also, if you find your dough is getting too
soft or overly sticky when rolling, again stop and chill the dough until
it becomes firm. And if you find the dough is springing back (shrinking)
when rolling, again return the dough to the refrigerator and let it chill,
which will relax the gluten and make it easier to roll.
Blitz Puff Pastry:
In the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle
attachment, beat to combine the flour, malt powder, and salt. Add the
cold cubes of butter and beat, on low speed, until the butter is about
marble size and the mixture is grainy (about 1-2 minutes). Add the
lemon juice and most of the water and beat, on low speed, until the
flour is moistened and the dough is shaggy and barely holds together
(you do not want a ball of dough). Add more water if needed. (The
finished dough will feel dry and will barely hold together when
Lamination: Transfer to a lightly floured surface, sprinkle the
top of the dough lightly with flour. With a floured rolling pin roll
the dough vertically until the length is three times the width (about
18 x 6 inches (45 x 15 cm)). Apply even pressure when rolling the
dough and lift the dough frequently as you roll so the dough doesn't
stick to your counter. Flour as necessary. Roll end to end, not side
to side, making sure the dough is of even thickness. When it's at the
correct length and width, fold the dough lengthwise into thirds, like
you're folding a letter. Make sure the edges of the dough are straight
and even. You now have your first turn.
Gently wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm
(about 30 to 60 minutes).
Second Turn: Place the
chilled dough on a lightly floured surface so the folded edge is on your left
(like the binding of a book). Repeat the process of rolling your dough to 18 x 6
inches (45 x 15 cm) and fold the dough again into thirds. This is now your
second turn. Gently wrap the dough in plastic wrap and
refrigerate until firm (about 30 - 60 minutes).
Third and Fourth Turn: Take the
chilled dough and repeat the rolling and folding into thirds, two more times.
Chill the dough about 30 to 60 minutes between turns. This
is your third and fourth turn.
After the fourth turn check the
dough. If there are visible streaks of butter then you will need to do a
fifth turn. The dough is properly laminated when there are no visible streaks of
butter and the dough is nice and smooth. At this point the puff pastry needs to be
chilled several hours before using. Well wrapped, the puff pastry can be
stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for about 3 months.
Defrost the pastry in the refrigerator overnight.
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