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Puff pastry: your go-to recipe


Chris Hennes
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Here's a good piece on inverse puff pastry

http://www.chefeddy.com/2011/03/inverse-puff-pastry/

From Chef Eddy:

"One thing for sure is that inverse puff pastry (Inversed or inverted puff pastry) bakes rather light and produces very flaky results. For filled applications such as apple turnovers or Pithivier I do prefer to use inverse puff pastry, reason being that it stands up real well to the steam/humidity produced from the fillings and consequently leaves virtually no traces of unbaked dough."

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I'm not getting the point of inverse puff pastry, either; what makes it light and flaky is the laminated construction, can't see that it would make any difference to texture which layer is on the outside. From the standpoint of avoiding a colossal mess + possibly lots of smoke, having a dough layer outermost would make a difference.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
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mscioscia@egstaff.org

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No-one has mentioned using a pastry docker, the puff pastry that I've seen made was lightly docked at each fold so there were indentations on the pastry, but not holes. I would imagine that this would do a lot to aerate the layers. Curious to know what the pros think?

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I've made the Pierre Herme inverted puff pastry recipe that is in his books with Dorie Greenspan, although not for a couple of years. My recollection is that it produces a very crisp fragile pastry. It does not make a mess with pooling melted butter, etc. Remember, ultimately, there is only a very thin layer of butter on the outside.

The other point, which may not be clear from the recipe and may contribute to the difference between inverted and regular puff pastry, is that it takes a considerable amount of bench flour for the rolling to work and the butter not to stick to the counter. This flour is getting incorporated into the butter layer in a way that does not occur with traditional puff pastry. Perhaps this makes a difference in texture.

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No-one has mentioned using a pastry docker, the puff pastry that I've seen made was lightly docked at each fold so there were indentations on the pastry, but not holes. I would imagine that this would do a lot to aerate the layers. Curious to know what the pros think?

You don't want the steam to escape, it is supposed to be trapped between layers so it inflates them. Docking of this particular pastry would deflate it, not aerate it.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I've made the Pierre Herme inverted puff pastry recipe that is in his books with Dorie Greenspan, although not for a couple of years. My recollection is that it produces a very crisp fragile pastry. It does not make a mess with pooling melted butter, etc. Remember, ultimately, there is only a very thin layer of butter on the outside.

Okay, so I'm sitting here with the book and recipe in front of me and here's what pops out immediately:

the outer later is not 100% butter, it's 14 oz unsalted butter and 1-1/4 cup all purpose flour. So it's obviously very delicate but not a layer of pure butter.

the inner layer is mostly flour (3 cups) with a stick (4 oz) of butter, as well as some vinegar, water, and salt.

So while the folding technique produces the traditional many-layered pastry, it differs from the classic recipe in that the two layers both have butter and flour, the difference being that each layer has a different fat/flour ratio. Quite ingenious. I wonder why the high-butter layer is on the exterior.

The next time I'm feeling ambitious, I'll give this a try.


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