December 9, 2013

Easy puff pastry

Epiphany is in a month and even though Christmas is still to come, I'm already thinking of inviting some friends over for a "galette des rois" party one afternoon early January - perfect way to stay warm and cosy in the middle of the freezing Berlin winter... Last year I even took up the challenge of making my own puff pastry, and did not regret it a second. I found a simplified version of the classic puff pastry recipe, and my galette turned out even more delicious as the previous years, and just as amazing-looking as those from the fanciest pastry shops :-)

I referred to the "rough puff pastry" recipe in "Pastry" cooking book by French chef Michel Roux. As the book says: "This quick puff pastry rises well - almost 75% as much as classic puff pastry, and it saves an incredible amount of time. Once you have tried making rough puff pastry, you'll probably opt for this easier method every time. Tightly wrapped in cling film, it will keep for 3 days in the fridge, and for at least 4 weeks in the freezer."

Here's the very recipe, to which I look forward to give another go soon. As to the instructions for the galette des rois filling, you'll find them in my older post "Galette des rois, or kings cake".

Ingredients for 1.2kg pastry (enough for 2 galettes, or 4 tarts) 
500g plain flour
500g very cold butter, cut into small cubes
1 tsp salt
150ml ice-cold water (the book states 250ml but 150ml proved way enough)

Put the flour in a mound on the work surface and make a well. Put in the butter and salt and work them together with the fingertips of one hand, gradually drawing the flour into the centre with the other hand.

When the cubes of butter have become small pieces and the dough is grainy, gradually add the iced water and mix until it is all incorporated, but don't overwork the dough. Roll it into a ball, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Flour the work surface and roll out the pastry into a 40 x 20 cm rectangle. Fold it into three and give it a quarter-run. Roll the block of pastry into a 40 x 20 cm rectangle as before, and fold it into three again. These are the first 2 turns. Wrap the block in cling film and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.

Give the chilled pastry another 2 turns, rolling and folding as before. This makes a total of 4 turns, and the pastry is now ready. Wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.

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