Puff pastry seems to be a relative of the Middle Eastern phyllo, and is used in a similar manner to create layered pastries. In baking, a puff pastry is a light, flaky, unleavened pastry containing several layers of fat which is in solid state at 20°C (68°F). In raw form, puff pastry is dough which is spread with solid fat and repeatedly folded and rolled out, and used to produce the aforementioned pastries. It is sometimes called a “water dough” or détrempe.
Puff pastry is like a pie crust that raises high with no leavening. There are four main ingredients in puff pastry which includes the: flour, butter, salt, and water. There is no leavener. So what makes it rise up so high and makes it so airy is the way these ingredients are combined that causes the reaction.
The dough begins like pie crust with cold butter mixed into the flour to a cornmeal consistency. The dough is rolled around a thick slab of butter. Through a process of folding, turning, and rolling, the butter is dispersed throughout the dough creating hundreds of very thin layers of dough separated by a film of butter.
The butter layer is what causes the rise. When the pastry is heated, the butter melts and boils, creating steam which lifts the successive layers higher and higher. At the same time, the heat is cooking the flour, hardening it around those minute air pockets, creating the puff.
Puff pastry expands 6 to 8 times its pre-baked height. Puff pastry is known as Pâté feuilletée, Puff pastry is not the same as phyllo (filo) pastry, although puff pastry can be substituted for phyllo in some applications. Phyllo dough is made with flour, water, and fat and is stretched to size rather than rolled. Usually when using phyllo dough, a small amount of oil or melted fat (usually butter) is brushed on one layer of phyllo dough and is topped with another layer. This process can be repeated as many times as desired. When it bakes, it becomes crispy but, since it contains somewhat less water, does not expand to the same degree as puff pastry does.
Puff pastry can also be leavened with baker’s yeast to create croissants or Danish pastry, though such doughs are not universally known as puff pastries. Many of these recipes combine the butter into the détrempe rather than adding it in the folding process and are thus similar to a folded short crust. A well-make puff pastry is one of the great delights of the French kitchen. Butterly, flaky and rich without being heavy, it is hardly more difficult than simple shortcrust pastry but always impressive.
The principle behind the pastry is to create many layers of dough and butter by folding and turning the two together. (Unlike short pastry, the butter is not incorporated into the dough but rather folded into the layers).
It is crucial that the butter does not melt while the pastry is worked. Therefore, you must work as quickly as possible (particulary if your kitchen is hot) and on as cold surface as possible. Professisional pastry chefs use a refrigerated marble. You need not to go that far. Since you want an evenly layered pastry, it is important that you always roll it to the same thickness and that the edges be very straight and even (this takes some practice and needs lot of patience!) The puff pastry are used as the outer casing for the Egg puffs, vegetable puffs etc.
Recipe: puff pastry
Summary: basic dough for puff pastry
- butter – 220 – grams
- maida/allpurpose flour – 220 – grams
- salt – 1 -pinch
- vinegar - 4 -drops
- water – 110 – ml
- In a bowl melt 4grms of butter.
In another bowl add flour, salt, lime juice or vinegar, melted butter, water and kneed the dough.
roll the dough in square shape and add the rest of the butter and seal it spread the dough and sprinkle flour and fould 3 times and keep in the fridge for 10min repeat the same 6 times and in the finial roll the sheet evenly all the side and cut into square shape.
use these sheets for egg puff or veg.
Cooking time (duration): 25
Number of servings (yield): 4
Meal type: snack
Recipe by Vahchef.
Watch the video that show the step by step instruction for preparing the puff pastry. Click at: http://www.vahrehvah.com/puff+pastry:4303