The Crazy Kitchen: The Great Bloggers Bake Off - week 7 - Rosemary Puff Pastry

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Tuesday 1 October 2013

The Great Bloggers Bake Off - week 7 - Rosemary Puff Pastry

Week 7 of Great British Bake Off has arrived. This week we saw a wide variety of suet puddings, sweet, savoury, rolled, pudding shaped, with ice cream, with gravy...all very different.

Then there were the choux religieuses...a few nuns heads rolled, the creme patissiere was runny, but it was still anyone's game.

Last up was puff pastry, with each baker making a trio of puff desserts. Tips picked up :
  • The colder the butter & the hotter the oven the better the rise
  • If the pastry is weighted down it results in a thinner, crispier pastry
Sadly it was Glenn's turn to go this week, I personally think it has been coming for a while even though I really liked him. Everyone will need to up their game as we go into the quarter final next week.

I've often thought of giving puff pastry a go but I heard that it takes a lot of time and patience, neither of which I generally have a lot of, and with a slab of puff pastry being only £1 what is the point? My Mum used to make rough puff pastry back in the day but I imagine the ready made stuff wasn't so readily available in the 70's & 80's.

With a choice of choux pastry, suet pudding and puff pastry this week I thought that the pastry would be the best option though, as that could be a dinner sorted, rather than just a dessert (which my waistline really doesn't need any more of).

After browsing books & online the general rule of puff pastry seems to be equal quantities of butter and flour and half the quantity of water - ie 500g butter, 500g flour and 250ml water - which seems simple enough to remember. Recipes also mention long chilling times for the pastry, but I didn't have the time for all that, dinner needed to be on the table in just a few hours so I opted to do a quick 20-30 minute chill in the freezer in between each roll.

As I love savoury shortcrust pastry or dumplings with added rosemary I decided to add some to this puff pastry - which is something that you can't do with shop bought!

Rosemary Puff Pastry

250g cold Butter
250g Plain Flour
pinch of salt
1 tbsp of fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
125ml cold water

  • Rub half of the butter into the flour until it looks like fine breadcrumbs
  • Stir in the salt & rosemary
  • Stir in the water until it comes together and then knead for a minute or 2
  • Pat into a ball, wrap in clingfilm & place in the fridge for an hour
  • Flatten the remaining butter out until approx 1.5 cm in thickness
  • Roll the pastry out until it's large enough to wrap around the butter completely
  • Place the butter in the centre of the pastry and fold in the corners to cover the butter
  • Roll out unto a rectangle
  • Fold the bottom 1/3 of the pastry up and the top 1/3 down until you get a rough square
  • Turn the pastry 90 degrees and repeat with the rolling into a rectangle and folding
  • At this point the pastry needs chilling so place in the fridge for an hour if you have time or 20 minutes in the freezer
  • Repeat the rolling & folding (twice between each chill) until you have a nice smooth rectangular block
  • I lost count of the number of times I did this but guessing I folded around 10 times looking at the number of layers which can be seen in my pastry off cuts below.

puff pastry

I used just over half of this pastry for a chilli beef pie (full recipe coming soon) and the rest for a cheese & bacon tart, which Jack helped to make.

puff pastry

My pastry shrunk away from the edge of the dish a bit and I wonder if this is why some recipes that I've seen mention adding strips of pastry around the edge of the dish to sit the pastry lid on top. Next time I will try it....

puff pastry chilli beef pie

puff pastry pie bacon & cheese tart
bacon & cheese tartpuff pastry

I was really pleased how crisp and light the pastry turned out & I will definitely be making it again - possibly in a larger batch next time & freeze it in smaller blocks ready for use. If I have the time I will chill it down more & hopefully get a better rise. 

So now it's over to you, what have you been making this week?

Don't forget to check out the rules & get your badge here


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