Puff Pastry

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ChrisGreaves
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Puff Pastry

Post by ChrisGreaves »

I watched a John Kirkwood YouTube video, which spurred me to try puff-pastry.
(1) I bought puff pastry from the store, and plan to bake some store-bought and home-made side by side in the oven to see what differences, if any, appear.
Diary_20230712_111257.jpg
(2) I do not have a kitchen counter wide enough. I use an opened plastic bag to make a sheet which lies on my kitchen table. The sheet is floured, pastry put on top, and floured. Flour drifts off the pastry onto the sheet. I flip the pastry then lift the side edges of the sheet quickly to flick flour from the sheet onto the pastry.

(3) My rolling pin is a length of plastic plumbing pipe, available at the hardware store. I cut a length of about thirty inches, which lets me make large pizzas, and gives me more control over pressure and angle when rolling out small items like my puff-pastry slab.

Cheers, Chris
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Re: Puff Pastry

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ChrisGreaves wrote:
12 Jul 2023, 14:11
I watched a John Kirkwood YouTube video, which spurred me to try puff-pastry.
I questioned John about the 20-minute interval, and he seems to have misunderstood my question.
So I tried doing just the one roll per day.
Each morning for four mornings I have taken the pastry out of the fridge (not freezer) and when it has softened up, rolled and folded it a half dozen times and then put it back in the fridge.
Yesterday I made some tasty plain Croissants - no egg-wash - and this morning bought a small pack of breakfast sausages to make sausage rolls.
I have too some apples for apple-turnovers.
Cheers, Chris
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BobH
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Re: Puff Pastry

Post by BobH »

pics?
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Re: Puff Pastry

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BobH wrote:
15 Jul 2023, 18:04
pics?
20230715_185452.jpg
You don't have sausage rolls in Texas?

The tray looks black because the melted butter has coated the parchment paper.
I will have a photo-essay up Real Soon Now, but the recipe needs tweaking; way too much butter for my pampered digestive system.

Right now I am trialing this "20-minute interval" stuff. Why the 20-minute interval? Why not 21? 22? an hour? a day?
Why any interval at all?
Why ice-cold butter, flour, water etc.?
Why not melted, or even softened butter and an electric beater for two minutes AND DONE!

Cheers, Chris
P.S. There were some dozen of these guys on the tray when I took the tray out of the oven.
P.P.S. What's the difference between a sausage roll and an apple turnover? Why don;t we bake apple rolls and sausage turnovers?
C
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Re: Puff Pastry

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You don't have sausage rolls in Texas?
Yes, we call them kolaches, due to the Czech Influence.
kolaches.jpg
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Re: Puff Pastry

Post by HansV »

We have a Czech-style bakery here in Wageningen. They sell koláč, but it is a sweet pastry with fruit...
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Hans

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Re: Puff Pastry

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HansV wrote:
16 Jul 2023, 21:20
We have a Czech-style bakery here in Wageningen. They sell koláč, but it is a sweet pastry with fruit...
You mean like "P.P.S. What's the difference between a sausage roll and an apple turnover? Why don't we bake apple rolls and sausage turnovers?"?
:pup: I think this little guy has his tail waggin' again!
Cheers, Chris
Last edited by ChrisGreaves on 21 Jul 2023, 23:28, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Puff Pastry

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BobH wrote:
16 Jul 2023, 18:44
You don't have sausage rolls in Texas?
Yes, we call them kolaches, due to the Czech Influence.
Yabbut!
That doesn't look like puff-pastry.
That looks more like pie-base pastry (in Lancashire pie-crust pastry)
Indeed, this article says "surrounded by puffy yeast dough"
Cheers, Chris
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Re: Puff Pastry

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HansV wrote:
16 Jul 2023, 21:20
We have a Czech-style bakery here in Wageningen. They sell koláč, but it is a sweet pastry with fruit...
I'm sure the product has evolved to suit local tastes. The bakers make fruit pastries, cream cheese pastries, etc. but they also make some with sausage, etc. They are a favorite for the Christmas sideboard. Our local baker takes orders in the Fall for deliveries on specific dates and times of pickup they are so popular. You have to pay in advance and if you don't pick them up they go in the counter for walk-in sales.
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Re: Puff Pastry

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BobH wrote:
15 Jul 2023, 18:04
pics?
http://www.chrisgreaves.com//Cooking/PuffPastry.htm

Bob, here are pics from yesterday using the too-much-butter mix of a week ago.

Cheers, Chris
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Re: Puff Pastry

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Well done!
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Re: Puff Pastry

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BobH wrote:
20 Jul 2023, 19:06
Well done!
Yes. I took them out of the oven just before they burned :rofl: :laugh: :rofl: :laugh: :evilgrin:

I plan to make a few apple rolls/turnovers this evening after the sun has gone down. Then it will be a new batch of pastry, this time using cooking margarine and a greater proportion of flour.

I have been pondering the recipes that say "fold and roll then place in the fridge for 20 minutes" and then "repeat six times".
Why 20 minutes?
Why six times?

I suspect the 20 minutes is to firm up the pastry before re-rolling it, so that re-rolling it first thing each morning for four or six days should work as well, or else while you are waiting for the pot of tree to brew.

As for the folding, why not just mix the flour and shortening with the beaters, to make a homogeneous mix? It seems to me that eight folds six times over turns the original slab of butter into "sheets" some 2^-48 or something thick. That is, 0.0000000000000036 of the original thickness, which is going to be as fine as five minutes with the mixer. That is, homogeneous, no?

Cheers, Chris
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Re: Puff Pastry

Post by ChrisGreaves »

Saturday, July 22, 2023: Updated with apple rolls.
Cheers, Chris
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Re: Puff Pastry

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I have been adjusting the ingredients and am now at:-
2 pkt cooking margarine
1 cup flour
¼ cup Cold water
Mix and chill.30 mins.
The pastry was light, and more puffed.
I made cheese croissants, with grated Mozzarella. This time the pastry was better, without too much grease.
Then I decided to go the whole hog. I diced a left-over half of tomato, two shells of onion, and beat in one egg. Rolled the pastry out to about one-foot diameter, spread my sauce atop, rolled up and baked for 20 minutes.
2023_07_20230730_151835.jpg
Looks good!
2023_07_20230730_151859.jpg
But the inside rolls of pastry were uncooked.
2023_07_20230731_071116.jpg
So I popped it back in the oven at 350f for 40 minutes, turned off the oven and left it to finish cooking.
Now the pastry is cooked all the way through.
You can see that the pastry is flaky, but nowhere near as oily as the first batch with butter.

Moral: a Swiss-roll approach will not work well; the outer layers bake, form pockets of air, which pockets insulate the inner parts and inhibit baking.
The pastry in its current form will be excellent for meat pies and pasties. It is robust enough as a base to hold the meat, yet light enough to bite through, top and bottom.

I still have not resolved the business of "fold in thirds, roll, chill; rinse and repeat" (next post)
Cheers, Chris
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Re: Puff Pastry

Post by ChrisGreaves »

ChrisGreaves wrote:
15 Jul 2023, 14:52
I questioned John about the 20-minute interval, and he seems to have misunderstood my question.
Recipes from books, web pages, videos etc. usually work for me, but I suspect that most of the "add 1/4 teaspoon of spice1, add 1/4 teaspoon of spice2, add 1/4 teaspoon of spice3, add 1/4 teaspoon of spice4, ..." is little more than bragging about my vast collection of spices. I know of one cook here in Bonavista who has two large kitchen drawers FULL of those small bottles of herbs and spices. Must be about 150 jars there.

Too, I ponder the recipes handed down from generation to generation.

In particular, puff-pastry recipes have a procedure where you make the pastry in two pieces that sandwich a slab of butter, and then go through a repetitive process of rolling out the sandwich, folding it on itself, chilling it for 20 minutes, then rolling it again, folding it again, chilling it again, until your dinner guests have given up and gone to a fast-food drive-in.

I suspect that the business of folding/rolling stems from the days of the famous Lancashire Pennines cook at The Waggoners Inn, a farmer, Ephraim Oswaldtwistle, who moonlighted as a pie-cook to offload his surplus stock of lamb kidneys.

In the mid 1740s mains electricity had not reached the peaks of the Pennines; and of course, nor had Sunbeam Mixmasters, so Ephraim hit on what today we know as "binary chop" or "binary search" now on YouTube videos as "fold one third over, fold the other third over, roll out, fold again and again, roll out, chill for 20 minutes".

Why, I asked myself, not just drop the lot into the Mixmaster for 60 seconds?

My background is maths, so I re-viewed John Kirkwood's video and counted 26 fold-overs. That suggests about 2^26 layers, and as every computer programmer knows 2^10 is 10^3, so we are looking at about 64,000,000 layers.

64,000,000 layers seems to be close to what my Mixmaster-knockoff would produce in 60 seconds.

So that's where I'm at. Why spend half the day back-and-forth between the kitchen counter and the compost heap, when the job can be done in about five minutes, the ball of dough popped in the fridge, and a sufficient portion can be hacked off the next time the apples or the sausage meat threatens to go moldy?

Cheers, Chris
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Re: Puff Pastry

Post by GeoffW »

You could kill two birds with one stone, and make a savoury zucchini strudel.

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Re: Puff Pastry

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GeoffW wrote:
11 Aug 2023, 20:41
You could kill two birds with one stone, and make a savoury zucchini strudel.
Thanks Geoff.
I know how to make a savoury zucchini decompose, but how does one go about teaching the art of strudeling?
Cheers, Chris
Last edited by ChrisGreaves on 19 Oct 2023, 19:39, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Puff Pastry

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Two days agi I watched an Anna Olson video here.
You know me; try anything once.
Twice actually:-
20231019_165524.jpg
The second batch of pastry was as good(1) as the first which is why i took it for a second spin yesterday. Most times a recipe works well the first time but I get a bit slack the second time around and, well, ...

(1) I rate this recipe as good because it made a smooth pliant dough that kept well overnight ("chill in 'fridge for at least one hour") and rolled smooth and flexible the next morning.
Perhaps I just lucked out when gauging the amount of iced water.

But perhaps the resilience of the recipe is due to coating the flour with oil at the start of the job. At 0m30s oil is added to the dry ingredients. Could that be the magic trick?
Also (1m 02s) I didn't realize that I owned two pastry cutters. I have been using them as superb potato mashers! Show you how much I know!

One other thing: folks are now delivering apples to my door. So ...
Cheers, Chris
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Re: Puff Pastry

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ChrisGreaves wrote:
19 Oct 2023, 19:38
Two days ago I watched an Anna Olson video here.
You know me; try anything once.
Or twice. Today's national Turkey Pastie Day session used a batch of Olson-pastry left over from a week ago, and a batch made two days ago.
20231114_162244.jpg
Two pasties waiting for the egg-glazing
20231114_162617.jpg
Two pasties WITH the egg-glazing
20231114_172639.jpg
The entire batch of five, glazed and baked.

Each pastie is two meals for me.
Ground cooked turkey meat, carrot, Jerusalem artichoke.

I have four two-pound tubs of turkey stock in the freezer.
All this from one frozen turkey thigh.
Cheers, Chris
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