If someone asked you what your favorite sweet bakery treat would be, I would bet most of you would give an answer that includes some sort of puff pastry as it’s base. Croissants, danishes, and certainly the recently popular Cronut®.
Laminated dough is what many pastries use to get that lovely puff texture. It is accomplished by tons (hundreds!) of beautiful layers of alternating dough and butter. You have to keep everything very cold and apart. Like angry kids, or something. Keep them close enough but far enough away to function well. That’s the extend of my parenting advice… from having 2 cats.
Getting a dough-butter-dough base is easy enough. A large square of chilled butter– fold over some dough (détrempe), seal it, roll it out and you’re off to a good start! Now… You have to roll it out, fold it, chill it and repeat that entire process several times depending on how many layers you want to have. After all, a proper Danish pastry would have 27 layers if you are a purist. Julia would tell you that you need a whopping 730 layers for a pâte feuilletée fine, a proper fine puff pastry dough.
You may be asking yours– “Why is this guy trying to make this stuff when it is available in the friendly frozen freezer aisle at my local Kroger for $3.99?!”. It’s all about the challenge with this. That challenge becomes fun when you finally get a successful batch. The resulting dough can be used for so many delicious treats. I’ve used this dough for savory pot pies, sweet fruit pastries and most recently a danish that could be my favorite puff application ever!
If you are trying this out for the first (or second… my case third) time, be sure to keep a spare box or two of the frozen stuff in the freezer for when you are throwing the glob-of-a-mess balls of failed puff dough across the house so you can finish off your confections and have something to comfort yourself with over your pastry-making woes.
Cronuts® are a Registered Trademark of Chef Dominique Ansel.
- 2 cups (280 g) flour, all-purpose
- ⅔ cup milk
- 2 tablespoons (30 grams) sugar
- 2 teaspoons yeast, active dry
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 cup butter, unsalted
- 1 & ½ tablespoons flour
- Work quickly! You want the butter to stay cool so it doesn't melt into the dough layers. If you are slower, chill move often.
- Begin by pounding out butter to soften. Do this with a rolling pin on parchment paper.
- Sprinkle flour onto butter.
- Pound out to a large square at about ¼-1/2 inch thickness.
- Transfer butter to chill.
- Mix all dough ingredients in mixer with hook attachment. Mix until combined.
- Let dough rise, covered with a damp kitchen rag, for 45 minutes at room temperature.
- Chill overnight to rise.
- Remove dough and roll out to a large square, a few inches larger than the butter slab. Use enough flour on the surface to roll so it doesn't stick, but use a pastry brush to brush off as much excess as possible.
- Place butter (see image in blog post above) in center and fold corners of dough over sides of butter to close.
- Strike seams with roller to close completely.
- Roll rough out to a rectangle. Fold like an envelope. Right side ⅔ way over. Left side over that to result in a tri-folded rectangle. Chill for 30 minutes.
- Remove and roll out to a rectangle again. Fold. Chill.
- You will do this until you have completed folds. (3-4 for danish, 5-6 for croissant)
- Chill for an hour after last fold.
- Roll out and cut into shapes desired for pastry.
- This dough freezes well. Allow to thaw overnight in refrigerator before use.
- Visit SouthernFATTY.com for more!
What is your favorite puff-pastry creation? Share below!