Puff pastry (pate feuilletee)


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Recipe by: ummu

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Preparation Time:
20 Min
Serves:
2
Difficulty:
Moderate
Cost:
cost recipe

Main Ingredients:

See below ingredients and instructions of the recipe


Cooking Preparation of the Recipe:



1 lb All-purpose or unbleached
-flour, very accurately
Weighed
1 lb (4 sticks) cold unsalted
-butter, cut into small
Pieces
1 ts Salt
1 c Heavy cream (or 1/2 cup
-heavy cream mixed with 1/2
Cup ice water)

Makes about 2 pounds

In the bowl of a food processor or using the flat paddle of an
electric mixer, mix 1/2 cup flour with the butter until very smooth.
Shape the mixture into a flat square 1 inch thick, wrap well in
plastic, and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Combine the salt with the remaining flour in a large mixing bowl and
add the cream. Mix the dough well by hand or with an electric mixer;
the dough will not be completely smooth but it should not be sticky.
Shape it into a flat square 1 1/2 inches thick, wrap in plastic, and
chill, at least 30 minutes.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured
board, roll the dough into a rectangle twice as long as the butter
dough. Place the butter dough in the center, fold up the ends to
completely encase the butter dough, and seal the edges by pinching
them together. Wrap well in plastic and chill for at least 30
minutes, so that the dough achieves the same temperature throughout.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured
board, roll it out into a large rectangle approximately 1/2 inch
thick. Fold the dough into thirds, aligning the edges carefully and
brushing off any excess flour. The object is to ensure that the
butter is distributed evenly throughout so that the pastry will puff
evenly when baked. Wrap the dough and chill it for at least 30
minutes. This completes one turn.

Repeat this process five more times; classic puff pastry gets six
turns, creating hundreds of layers of butter between layers of the
flour dough (729 to be exact). Use as little flour as possible when
rolling out the dough, and always brush off any excess. (I use a
4-inch brush for this.) Remember to let the dough rest for at least
30 minutes in the refrigerator between turns, or 15 minutes in the
freezer. This chilling makes the rolling out much easier and it
keeps the layers of butter of equal thickness.

By the sixth and final turn, the dough should be very smooth, with no
lumps of butter visible. Wrap the pastry in plastic wrap and
refrigerate until ready to use (up to 2 days), or freeze for future
use. I usually divide the dough into 1-pound pieces and freeze it
that way.

RECTANGULAR TART SHELLS: Roll out the pastry into a rectangle at
least 20 inches long and about 1/8 inch thick. Using a ruler as your
guide, cut the edges with a sharp knife so that the pastry measures
the desired size (I generally make these 4 X 18 inches). From the
remaining pastry, cut three strips 1/2 inch wide and as long as the
tart.

Place the rectangle on a parchment-lined or water-sprayed baking
sheet. Build up the edges by pasting two strips on the long edges
with water. Cut the third strip into two strips that will fit the
shorter edges and attach with a bit of cold water, overlapping the
ends. Prick the entire inside bottom of the pastry shell with the
tines of a fork (this prevents uneven puffing). Carefully line only
the bottom with aluminum foil, and weight with beans, rice, or
aluminum or ceramic weights. (Be careful not to weight the edges.)
Refrigerate, covered, for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Remove the pastry from the refrigerator
and brush the uncovered edges with a glaze of 1 egg yolk mixed with 2
tsp cream or water. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the edges
have puffed and begun to brown. Remove the weights and foil, and
continue to bake until the entire shell is light golden brown. Let
cool completely on a wire rack.

Martha Stewart's Pies and Tarts From the collection of Jim Vorheis

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