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Old 11-08-2006, 11:10 PM   #1
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Puff Pastry

Hi everyone! I am working on my menu for Thanksgiving and wondering if anyone has ever made puff pastry from scratch? I have a few recipes I like to make with puff pastry-- but I don't always have it in the freezer when I want to use it for a quick meal.

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Old 11-08-2006, 11:25 PM   #2
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Making puff pastry is anything but quick. It invloves making a dough and folding a slab of butter into it like a check folded into a letter. Then it's rolled thin and folded like a letter again, then it's rolled thin and folded like a letter again, then it's rolled thin...

You get the picture. The repeated rolling and folding makes a dough with lots of alternating layers of butter and thin dough.

It takes a great deal less time to defrost a frozen store-bought dough than to make your own. Not to mention that you'd need arm and shoulder transplants by the time you were done.
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Old 11-09-2006, 01:39 AM   #3
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I'm with Andy - made properly by hand, puff-pastry is anything but quick or easy! Made improperly - it's still not quick or easy ... and it doesn't "poof".
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Old 11-09-2006, 01:51 AM   #4
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Alena, I think you are better off using the ready-made ones as puff pastry is time-consuming and difficult to do. A lot depends on temperature as well. I won't want to mess with it in summer!!
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Old 11-09-2006, 04:03 AM   #5
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It is much more fun to watch a pro make it than do it yourself. I agree "get the ready made".
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Old 11-09-2006, 05:49 AM   #6
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Yup! Buying ready-made puff pastry is so worth it. You're assured of PUFFing at very little effort and skill expended.
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Old 11-09-2006, 07:29 AM   #7
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I agree with others, puff pastry is one of a few things I prefer buying a ready made version. I tried it a couple of times but all the hassle I had to put in came out in a rather discouraging and unrewarding fashion...

However I wouldn't discourage your enthusiasm and readiness to take on the challenge, there are of course plenty of people who did it successfully with a good proven recipe. I suggest, if there is some time constraint or you would be amidst a busy situation like preparing for a Thanksgiving meal, just use the ready made, and when you have some free time where you can comfortably dedicate yourself, give it a try!
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Old 11-09-2006, 07:47 AM   #8
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On another board many use what is called "rough puff pastry" with excellent results. It may not be picture perfect but we all appreciate a handmade effort that tastes terrific.

Rough Puff Pastry
ingredients

12 oz. (2-1/2 cups) cold flour
3/4 tsp. salt
12 oz. (24 Tbs.) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
6 oz. (3/4 cup) very cold water

how to make
Sift the flour and salt onto the cold cubes of butter. Using a pastry scraper or a large chef's knife, cut the butter into the flour. Work until you have a crumbly mixture. Flatten any large chunks of butter with just your fingertips. Add the ice-cold water a little at a time to loosely bind the dough. Mix the dough with the pastry scraper until it just hangs together. Shape the messy, shaggy dough into a rough rectangle and roll it out until it's 1/2 inch thick. Resist the temptation to overwater or overwork the dough; it will eventually hold together.

Use the pastry scraper to fold the dough in thirds like a business letter. Don't worry if it folds in pieces. Turn the package of dough 90 degrees so the folds run vertically. Square off the edges of the dough as you work. Roll the dough into a rectangle that's 1/2 inch thick, always rolling from open end to open end. Continue rolling, folding, and turning until the dough looks smooth. By four or five "turns," the dough should hang together well.

For even more layers, fold the smooth dough up like a book. To do this, fold the two shorter sides into the center and then fold the dough like a book. Brush off excess flour as you fold. Wrap the dough and chill it for half an hour before giving it two final turns. At this point, you can then use the dough, though another short rest will make rolling and shaping easier.
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Old 11-09-2006, 07:57 AM   #9
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Gretchen, thanks for posting that. I will try it when I have time to dabble.
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Old 11-09-2006, 08:00 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by licia
Gretchen, thanks for posting that. I will try it when I have time to dabble.
Hope it will help. Good stuff.
I hope one of the administrators will move this thread to a cooking category rather than an introduction. I think more will see it, but maybe the heading will get the attention.
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