“Wow” your family for Easter Sunday brunch – serve sweet and savory treats with your own handmade puff pastry, or substitute rice flour for the pastry flour and serve the same sweet and savory treats for Gluten free guests!
Puff pastry can be the base for many treats including this Pâte d’Amande Gâteau Mousse Blanc (see below for recipe).
When I teach pastry classes, so many students become petrified at the thought of fresh pâte feuilletée (puff pastry). I know it sounds daunting and, with the ready-made puff pastry in the freezer aisle, unnecessary. I can honestly say your palate will know the difference; once you’ve had handmade pâte feuilletée you will skip buying the store-bought puff pastry.
I remember in a three-day class on “The Versatility of Pâte Feuilletée” there happened to be a young woman who turned three shades of green upon hearing we would be making handmade puff pastry. This woman insisted success would elude her; in fact she wanted to be an observer instead of a participant. On the last day of class this woman had a pâton of puff pastry dough, and has continued to hand-prepare puff pastry at home.
Once you have mastered your own puff pasty dough there is a plethora of treats the dough can be the base for. Here are just a few: Napoleons, Palmiers, Tart Tatins, Vol-au-Vent.
Vol-au-Vent Bowls (Puff Pastry Bowls) and Chapeaux Petite:
Puff pastry has to be one of the most versatile doughs; it rises, but does not have yeast. True pâte feuilletée (puff pastry) is distinctive; once you have had a handmade pâte feuilletée there is no going back to the box.
453 grams/ 4 3/8 - cups pastry flour
296 grams/10 ounces Water
For the beurrage
454 grams cold unsalted butter
or substitute for Kosher for Passover and gluten free version
261 grams /1 2/3-cup, plus 1-tablespoon rice flour
192 grams/ 1/2 rice starch
1 -tablespoon xanthan gum
2- teaspoons agar powder
4 grams/2-teaspoons rice starch (extra needed to add moisture)**
296 grams/10 ounce water
454 grams/ 16 ounces cold unsalted butter (for the beurrage):
Prepare your mise en place: a damp cool towel, and all-purpose flour for dusting the work surface.
- In a food processor fitted with the metal blade pulse the pastry flour and salt a couple of times just to mix. Add the water all at once; pulse until the dough forms a ball on the blade. The dough should be pliable, moist and sticky.
- Remove the dough from machine, form a ball (your ball will be sticky) and with a very sharp knife slice diagonally . Wrap the dough in a moisten damp towel and refrigerate for about 25 minutes.