Things to make with puff pastry
17 December 2020

Puff pastry is one of the most versatile and commonly used pastries in the arsenal of a baker. As a result it is crucial that all pastry chefs understand what it is and what it is used for.

Puff is a flaky pastry made from dough that has been laminated with butter or a solid fat. All puff pastry recipes will involve a significant amount of butter or fat. The butter is folded into the dough in a slab, which is repeatedly folded and rolled out. This builds up the layers of butter and dough. Those layers will eventually develop into the flakes that puff pastry is known for. During the baking the butter melts and releases steam due to the presence of water in the butter. As the steam is produced it collects in the gaps between the layers. This creates the lightness and puffs the pastry up.

How do you use it?

Now that we know what exactly puff pastry is, we can begin to consider how we could use it. it is used often for filled items that can be sweet or savoury. Some of the most famous products made with puff pastry are pasties, croissants and beef wellington.

As mentioned above, one of the key puff product types is viennoiserie. This term covers croissants and other derivatives of them like pain au chocolat and danish pastries. When producing viennoiserie the quality of the pastry is paramount. Puff pastry has two key ways in which it can be compromised, so it is important to avoid them as best you can.

When making the pastry you must make sure to keep the dough as cold as you can, to prevent the butter melting. This will lose the layers you are working to develop. Also, it is important to be delicate when rolling and folding the dough. Applying too much pressure will cause the dough and butter to mix, again breaking down the layers.

For recipes it is often best to make the pastry in advance, as it is a very time consuming process and can be rested overnight in the fridge, or even frozen if more convenient.

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