Puff Pastry - A Few Simple Rules and Guidelines

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marmalady

Executive Chef
Joined
Sep 3, 2004
Messages
2,642
Location
USA,SouthCarolina
This is for GB, and anyone else who feels a little intimadated by using puff pastry. A few simple rules, and you will 'own' it! It's such a great thing to have on hand, for aps, main courses and desserts.

Most of the ready made puff pastry is okay - Pepperidge Farms is probably the most common. DuFours is great, if you can find it.

A few things to remember when working the pastry -

- Keep it as cold as you can - returning it to the fridge after you've assembled whatever it is you're making is a plus.

-When rolling it out or cutting it, don't 'mash' the edges; the pastry needs to be able to puff up on the edges.

-Prebaking it for 10-15 minutes in a hot oven - we used 400 on convection, use 425 on a regular oven - helps with the 'soggy bottom'.

-Also brushing with beaten egg on the bottom helps prevent soggy bottom.

Here's a super easy way to start experimenting with PP -

Preheat oven to 425. Prep a sheet pan with parchment. Take a sheet of PP and lay it out flat on a floured surface. Now take a sharp knife (pizza cutters work great for this!), and cut rectangles about 2 x 3 inches each. Place on the sheet pan about 2 inchs apart. Now take a sharp paring knife, and make a pretty little design on top of the pastry - a geometric, or simple flower. Be sure to only cut through the top of pastry - don't go all the way through. Then take some beaten egg and brush the tops almost out to the edge. Bake for 15-20 minutes til pastry is puffed and golden brown. Remove from oven, cool on a rack.

Now you have the base for -

Napoleons - Use your favorite pastry cream, flavored whipped cream, fruit filling - whatever.

Cut the pastries into 2 or 3 sections lengthwise, place a piece on a plate, and proceed to 'stack' your fillings and pastry layers on top. Dust with confectioner's sugar. Viola!

'Millefleurs' (thousand flowers - or layers!) - Cut the pastry as above, and fill with any savory filling - Chicken pieces in a tarragon veloute; or just plain chicken pot pie filling; salmon in a cream sauce; whatever you like.

I've got some other easy to do ways to work with PP, will post later - have to get to work now!
 

Ishbel

Executive Chef
Joined
Nov 16, 2004
Messages
2,977
Location
Scotland
marmalady said:
This is for GB, and anyone else who feels a little intimadated by using puff pastry. A few simple rules, and you will 'own' it! It's such a great thing to have on hand, for aps, main courses and desserts.

Most of the ready made puff pastry is okay - Pepperidge Farms is probably the most common. DuFours is great, if you can find it.

A few things to remember when working the pastry -

- Keep it as cold as you can - returning it to the fridge after you've assembled whatever it is you're making is a plus.

-When rolling it out or cutting it, don't 'mash' the edges; the pastry needs to be able to puff up on the edges.

-Prebaking it for 10-15 minutes in a hot oven - we used 400 on convection, use 425 on a regular oven - helps with the 'soggy bottom'.

-Also brushing with beaten egg on the bottom helps prevent soggy bottom.

Here's a super easy way to start experimenting with PP -

Preheat oven to 425. Prep a sheet pan with parchment. Take a sheet of PP and lay it out flat on a floured surface. Now take a sharp knife (pizza cutters work great for this!), and cut rectangles about 2 x 3 inches each. Place on the sheet pan about 2 inchs apart. Now take a sharp paring knife, and make a pretty little design on top of the pastry - a geometric, or simple flower. Be sure to only cut through the top of pastry - don't go all the way through. Then take some beaten egg and brush the tops almost out to the edge. Bake for 15-20 minutes til pastry is puffed and golden brown. Remove from oven, cool on a rack.

Now you have the base for -

Napoleons - Use your favorite pastry cream, flavored whipped cream, fruit filling - whatever.

Cut the pastries into 2 or 3 sections lengthwise, place a piece on a plate, and proceed to 'stack' your fillings and pastry layers on top. Dust with confectioner's sugar. Viola!

'Millefleurs' (thousand flowers - or layers!) - Cut the pastry as above, and fill with any savory filling - Chicken pieces in a tarragon veloute; or just plain chicken pot pie filling; salmon in a cream sauce; whatever you like.

I've got some other easy to do ways to work with PP, will post later - have to get to work now!

Thanks for this - I generally make my own puff pastry (it's very popular here as the 'lid' for Scottish steak pie) - but the shop stuff from my local supermarket is a really good substitute!

It's also used for our traditional sausage rolls, but I often prefer to use short-crust pastry.
 

GB

Chief Eating Officer
Joined
Jul 14, 2004
Messages
25,510
Location
USA,Massachusetts
Marm thank you so much for posting this. I now feel brave enough to try :)

Ishbel do you have a recipe for steak pie? That sounds very interesting!
 

marmalady

Executive Chef
Joined
Sep 3, 2004
Messages
2,642
Location
USA,SouthCarolina
Here's an easy ap that's addictive!


CRISP & SPICY CHEESE TWISTS


Makes about 16



1/3 cup grated Parmesan

1tsp.paprika

¼ tsp.cayenne

1can refrigerated pizza dough or 1 sheet puff pastry

Butter flavored oil spray



Preheat oven to 425. Oil a baking sheet, or use parchment. Combine parmesan, paprika and cayenne in a small dish. Roll dough into an 8 x 12 inch rectangle. Lightly coat surface of dough with cooking spray, and sprinkle with ½ of cheese mixture. Fold dough in half to form a 6 x 4 rectangle. Roll dough in a 12x8 rectangle. Lightly coat surface of dough with cooking spray, and sprinkle with remaining cheese mixture. Using fingertips, press cheese mixture into dough.

Cut dough into 16 strips. Gently pick up both ends of each strip, and twist dough; place the twisted strips ½ inch apart on a large baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes, til lightly brown. Remove from pan and cool on racks.


And - a scrumptious tart -


LEEK, FENNEL AND POPPY SEED TART


6 servings



3 ½ cups thinly sliced leeks 1 large fennel bulb,thin sliced

4T melted butter 1 cup milk

2 large egg yolks 1T flour

½ cup parmesan 2tsp. poppy seeds

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed



Preheat oven to 450; toss leeks, fennel and 3T butter in roasting pan; roast vegetables til tender, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes; cool. Reduce oven temperature to 425.

Whisk milk and yolks in small bowl. Heat 1T butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour; whisk 1 minute; gradually whisk in milk mixture. Bring to simmer, whisking constantly; continue to whisk until sauce thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in ¼ cup cheese. Mix in vegetables; season with salt/pepper.

Roll out pastry on floured board to a 12 inch square. Place in a 9inch diameter glass pie dish. Trim overhang; fill pastry with vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with ¼ cup cheese and poppy seeds. Bake til crust is deep golden, about 25 minutes. Serve warm.



Happy cooking!
 

CharlieD

Master Chef
Joined
Oct 17, 2004
Messages
9,938
Location
USA,Minnesota
Love Pepperidge Farm puff pastry. It is so easy to use, and so many things are easy to make with it. My mom used to make her own puff pastry; I am not nearly as brave.

I like to make so called Pirozhki. Cut the dough into squares put a spoon of filling of your choice (me – I like cooked ground meat) close to make a triangle, bake at 425 deg for 20 minutes or until ready, mmmmm
 

Ishbel

Executive Chef
Joined
Nov 16, 2004
Messages
2,977
Location
Scotland
GB said:
Marm thank you so much for posting this. I now feel brave enough to try :)

Ishbel do you have a recipe for steak pie? That sounds very interesting!

Yes, I'll post it in the beef forum!
 

CharlieD

Master Chef
Joined
Oct 17, 2004
Messages
9,938
Location
USA,Minnesota
crewsk said:
Charlie, I love Pirozhki!! I have only made it once though. Thanks for reminding me of it.:)

With puff pastry on hand and some leftover meats or potato, or mushrooms, or jelly, it is the easiest thing you can do. Doesn’t take any time.;)
 

crewsk

Master Chef
Joined
Aug 25, 2004
Messages
9,367
Location
Columbia, SouthCarolina
The recipe I have uses frozen bread dough. I got it from a Russian lady that I had a human relations class with in collage. I want to try it with the puff pastry though, it sounds even better!:)
 

CharlieD

Master Chef
Joined
Oct 17, 2004
Messages
9,938
Location
USA,Minnesota
In fact it is much better. Bread dough is ok, but far from real dough that should be used on the Pirozhkis. Puff pastry is different type of pirozhki, but an extremely tasty treat. I love the meat ones the best. Slightly roll out the defrosted dough, cut into squares about 4-5 inch. Put the filling in the midle and fold into triangle. Pinch the ends well. Brush the top with bitten egg and bake.
 
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