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boilsover

I Bought a Tutove--Now What?

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Long story, but I have a friend with whom I share a lust for French patisserie in general and kouign aman in particular.  We have another friend, kind of a starry chef in France.  We'd like to surprise our Parisian friend by being at least marginally competent with the kouign the next time we meet up.

 

I had always heard of a specialty rolling pin called a Tutove (I think it's the name of the manufacturer).  It's supposed to be the Secret Weapon of puff pastry.  The idea is that the pin has grooves/ridges that better place butter into the layers of dough.

 

So I found one (a real one, made by Tutove) on Ebay at a good price, but I need any basic tips y'all have for using it.  Anyone here use one, or have a resource for how to roll with a Tutove?

 

Many Thanks!


Edited by boilsover (log)

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I've heard of one but never seen 1 nor used one. Hope you figured out soon, keep us informed of your progress and results.

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Andie......?   This one's for you!

If anyone knows, my money's on Andie.


Edited by lindag (log)
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20 minutes ago, lindag said:

Andie......?   This one's for you!

If anyone knows My money's on Andie.

 

 Or Lisa Shock! They are the Oracle of all things culinary :), they are supremely knowledgeable and very generous with their skill and knowledge.  I learn something from them each time they post (I learn a lot from the rest of you, as well :)

 

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I own a Tutove - never made a decent pastry with it. I'd rather have a sheeter!

 

I think everything I know about why I had to have one was in Bernard Clayton's Complete Book of Pastry. 


Edited by Kerry Beal (log)
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I don't know anyone who has one. I haven't actually seen a pro use one. Like Kerry, most of us covet sheeters. Nowadays, they make small, foldaway, tabletop sheeters....

 

One random tip: the perfect tool for the initial shaping of the beurrage, use the inner bag from a box of cereal. They are clean, and super-tough. Just get one the correct size and then carefully cut one end off, and empty it. Put the butter in and start whacking it with a rolling pin.

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I use a medium size food saver bag for tte butter when I make laminated dough.  Works perfectly.


Edited by ElsieD (log)
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On 1/16/2018 at 6:52 PM, Kerry Beal said:

I'd rather have a sheeter!

 

Yeah, I'd rather have a Rorgue, too. 

 

$4,000 for a sheeter versus $70 for a pin?  I'd rather have the $3,930 in Bitcoin Amazon stock.

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I just read this thread.  No, I do not have a tutove, never felt the need for one and when I took classes in French cooking from Chef Gregoire back in the early '70s, one of the other women in the class said she had seen a tutove at Jurgensens (very high end food store that carried some pots, pans, utensils &etc.) and asked if they worked better than a straight French pin for pastry.  It was very expensive -as was most of the stuff at Jurgensens.  

The Chef had one word, "merde" and said, "don't waste money on it!"   In fact, earlier when we began the class and were being told what we would need, he had suggested that we go to a lumber yard, ask for a 2-foot length of maple or oak round 2 inch banister, buy some coarse sandpaper and round off the ends and work it with finer sandpaper till it was smooth, oil it with mineral oil, wipe it as dry as possible and then rub it with the back of a spoon until it was slick.  

I think most of us did. I still have the one I made.  

The method he taught us involved a lot of beating on the slabs and the weight of the maple pin helped a lot.  Over the years I successfully produced a lot of puff pastry, and other pastry, worked with that pin.  

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I haven't made puff pastry for quite a while. But I would make a double batch of butter, while it was still soft, line a 1/4 sheet pan with heavy plastic wrap, spread the butter in the the pan, cover with another sheet of plastic wrap, place another 1/4 sheet pan on top, squeeze to level it edge to edge and place in the fridge overnight.  

Sometimes I would have two or three batches ready for the next step.  

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22 hours ago, andiesenji said:

I just read this thread.  No, I do not have a tutove, never felt the need for one and when I took classes in French cooking from Chef Gregoire back in the early '70s, one of the other women in the class said she had seen a tutove at Jurgensens (very high end food store that carried some pots, pans, utensils &etc.) and asked if they worked better than a straight French pin for pastry.  It was very expensive -as was most of the stuff at Jurgensens.  

The Chef had one word, "merde" and said, "don't waste money on it!"   In fact, earlier when we began the class and were being told what we would need, he had suggested that we go to a lumber yard, ask for a 2-foot length of maple or oak round 2 inch banister, buy some coarse sandpaper and round off the ends and work it with finer sandpaper till it was smooth, oil it with mineral oil, wipe it as dry as possible and then rub it with the back of a spoon until it was slick.  

I think most of us did. I still have the one I made.  

The method he taught us involved a lot of beating on the slabs and the weight of the maple pin helped a lot.  Over the years I successfully produced a lot of puff pastry, and other pastry, worked with that pin.  

Pardon my ignorance, but isn't the idea of a Tutove that it better puts the butter throughout the dough in the fewest "turns"?  It would seem to me that the grooves/humps of this pin would do that better in 4 "turns" that the same number with a smooth pin.  I can visualize the latter as being like roll-formed Damascus steel, and the former like raindrop or wave Damascus.

 

What do I have wrong here?  Has anyone here actually used a Tutove?

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2 hours ago, boilsover said:

Pardon my ignorance, but isn't the idea of a Tutove that it better puts the butter throughout the dough in the fewest "turns"?  It would seem to me that the grooves/humps of this pin would do that better in 4 "turns" that the same number with a smooth pin.  I can visualize the latter as being like roll-formed Damascus steel, and the former like raindrop or wave Damascus.

 

What do I have wrong here?  Has anyone here actually used a Tutove?

I have known several chefs, French, German, Swiss and my friend of many years who was a pastry chef at the Huntington Hotel in Pasadena.  I never saw one use a tutove, although they may have done when I was not around. Henri used a regular wood pin for all the preliminary work and for the final roll-out, he had a huge heavy steel pin.  

 

The main thing is, if it works for YOU that's great!  Anything like this should be personal preference.  Just like knives, or skillets, or whatever.  If you like something and it makes your cooking and baking experience better, then that is why we have a million different things.  Something for everyone.

 

I like my cheap "bread" knives because they work for me.  I have a homemade French pin (as well as a few other pins) and I don't care if other people want something different, that is THEIR choice.  And it's good.

 


Edited by andiesenji (log)
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3 hours ago, andiesenji said:

I have known several chefs, French, German, Swiss and my friend of many years who was a pastry chef at the Huntington Hotel in Pasadena.  I never saw one use a tutove, although they may have done when I was not around. Henri used a regular wood pin for all the preliminary work and for the final roll-out, he had a huge heavy steel pin.  

 

The main thing is, if it works for YOU that's great!  Anything like this should be personal preference.  Just like knives, or skillets, or whatever.  If you like something and it makes your cooking and baking experience better, then that is why we have a million different things.  Something for everyone.

 

I like my cheap "bread" knives because they work for me.  I have a homemade French pin (as well as a few other pins) and I don't care if other people want something different, that is THEIR choice.  And it's good.

 

 

OK, you've never seen one in use, and one of your teachers told you he thought a Tutove was a waste of money.  That counts for something, I guess.  

 

I'm still hoping to hear from someone who has actually used one.  Thanks.

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38 minutes ago, boilsover said:

OK, you've never seen one in use, and one of your teachers told you he thought a Tutove was a waste of money.  That counts for something, I guess.  

 Well in my books, @andiesenji‘s extensive experience in pastrymaking counts for a hell of a lot more.  If I were in the market for one of these I would be weighing her opinion very heavily before spending any money.  Your mileage obviously varies. 

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34 minutes ago, Anna N said:

 Well in my books, @andiesenji‘s extensive experience in pastrymaking counts for a hell of a lot more.  If I were in the market for one of these I would be weighing her opinion very heavily before spending any money.  Your mileage obviously varies. 

Gosh, no popularity contest was intended.  Just checking familiarity with the tool is all.  Obviously some cooks have found a Tutove useful.  Cheers.

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10 minutes ago, boilsover said:

Gosh, no popularity contest was intended.  Just checking familiarity with the tool is all.  Obviously some cooks have found a Tutove useful.  Cheers.

Cheers. 

 

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OK, for the less incurious, I found this in Larousse Gastronomique:

 

"Professional pastrycooks use various specialized rolling pins; fluted metal pins to pattern the surface of caramel or almond paste; fluted wooden pins to roll out puff pastry (this keeps the pieces of butter separate and ensures uniform distribution)...'

 

From The Cooks' Catalogue (1st ed., Beard, Glaser, Wolf, Kafka, Witty, eds):

 

"In the loose amalgam which is pastry dough, the fat must always, by one means or another, retain its separate identity--it must not, in other words, soak into the flour.  When a flour-and-water dough is stacked in hundreds of layers separated by layers of butter--that is, when it is being transformed into puff pastry--the segregation is even more essential.  And although any good-quality plain rolling pin can be used to make puff pastry, the ultimate instrument for this purpose is the French grooved rolling pin with the trade name Tutove: the manufacturer proudly calls it a "magic rolling pin" The magic lies in the 1/8" grooves which run lengthwise on the wooden roller; the rounded ribs separating the grooves distribute the butter evenly between the layers as the dough is rolled and as the layers become thinner and thinner and multiply in number with subsequent folding and rollings.  The bite of the grooved pin is also effective in softening the dough when the pin is used to beat it after it has been chilled between workings.  Made of hardwood, with black plastic handles, this is an expensive piece of equipment, but worth the price if you intend to make puff pastry: bouchees, puff-paste croissants, vol-au-vents, napoleons, crust for beef Wellington, or any number of delights."

 

From Child & Beck:

 

"The French Tutove pin is sometimes available in import stores; its cannellated surface is designed especially for distributing butter evenly throughout the dough when you roll puff pastry or croissants."

 

 

 

 


Edited by boilsover Spelling (log)

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I'm curious - how much did you pay for it?  Did you buy it from a pastry chef?  I have never heard of but but it looks like an interesting piece of equipment.

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46 minutes ago, ElsieD said:

I'm curious - how much did you pay for it?  Did you buy it from a pastry chef?  I have never heard of but but it looks like an interesting piece of equipment.

 

It was $69 on Ebay.  The seller told me after the fact that they retail for $275.  I don't know of she's a pastry pro.

 

Coincidentally, when an acquaintance in San Francisco heard I'd bought this one, she told me she has a few in her vintage cookware shop.  Anyone who's interested, let me know, and I'll put you in touch.

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On 1/19/2018 at 10:53 AM, boilsover said:

Pardon my ignorance, but isn't the idea of a Tutove that it better puts the butter throughout the dough in the fewest "turns"?  It would seem to me that the grooves/humps of this pin would do that better in 4 "turns" that the same number with a smooth pin.  I can visualize the latter as being like roll-formed Damascus steel, and the former like raindrop or wave Damascus.

 

What do I have wrong here?  Has anyone here actually used a Tutove?

I believe you still use the same number of turns with the Tutove - the theory is that is is less likely to rip the dough as I recall.

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Now what?  Now either find a place to display the pretty thing or get baking! 

 

I've never heard of a tutove in 25 years of professional baking, but I'm not a huge Francophile nor do I make laminated doughs.  If you have time, I'm sure we'd all love to see a demo of the bumpy pin or comparison in results between that and smooth.

 

On 1/13/2018 at 9:03 PM, boilsover said:

The idea is that the pin has grooves/ridges that better place butter into the layers of dough.

 

This doesn't make sense to me.  The butter is 'placed in the dough' by putting the butter block on the dough, folding it up, and rolling it out.  After that, working temp is going to be the big factor.  Cool enough that the butter stays a distinct layer and doesn't melt into the dough, but soft enough that it will actually roll into those hundreds of thin layers.  You don't want the butter broken up.  Does the tutove feel like it holds onto the dough better?  I could see it feeling like you have a better grip. 

 

Kerry's theory about ripping the dough is interesting and slightly more plausible, but I'm still reminded of the adage 'a poor craftsman blames his tools'.  The right tool for the job is one thing, but if you have the technique down - butter at proper temp, adequately developed stretchy dough, chill/rest between turns, upper body strength - you should be able to laminate dough with a wine bottle.  But what do I know, I'm too impatient for puff pastry, I buy it when i need it! :ph34r:

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, pastrygirl said:

.  If you have time, I'm sure we'd all love to see a demo of the bumpy pin or comparison in results between that and smooth.

 

I'll see what I can do.  I'm still a little surprised that, with the huge wealth of experience here, this is tabula rasa.

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I don't really have “extensive experience in pastry making.”  I originally learned the basics when I went to Dunwoodie Baking school in 1956/57 and then worked in my mom’s bakery.  I did none while I was in the Army. 

I took it up again when I married and we entertained my husband’s business people quite a bit.

That was when I attended Chef Gregory’s French cooking and baking classes.

After my divorce, I decided to try some personal chef work - which I got into quite by accident, helping one of our patients when her caterer quit abruptly.

 

This is also when I met Henri, a patient who sort of adopted me, treating me like a daughter.  

 I just did a lot of watching when I would visit Henri - he would put me in a chef's coat and one of those little round white caps on my head and I would hang around and he and I would talk while he worked.  Occasionally I got to separate eggs or retrieve something from the walk in or other minor tasks.  No one ever questioned me being there because he was the boss of his space. The executive chef thought I was cute and would wink at me but never asked what I was doing there.

 

Meanwhile, after this discussion began to expand, I got in touch with a friend who is a Brit but has lived in France for many years, has a lot of friends in the business. (she used to be a food writer and asks that I not use her name)  She says that a few bakers in France use them, most do not and she has seen different kinds, developed for bakers who thought there might be a better way to achieve the preferred effect.  Usually they are just displayed as curiosities, like the carved pins for decorating cookies or other pastry. 

She described the ones she remembers. 

Most have ridges or grooves end to end, some are large ridges, some are small.  Some have grooves or ridges straight around the pin.  Some have ridges that zig-zag around the pin.  She says she has seen pins with what looks like "hobnails" on them but never in use and doesn't know if they were intended for use as a tutove because some are identify as “lefse” pins.  

 

I sent her a copy of your original post and she says that if your friend is as competent and "starry" as you say, he or she will be impressed just by the fact that you have made the effort to perfect the pastry and even more so for purchasing a tool to make the process better.  

 

She says that the bakery in her village is owned and operated by a woman in late middle age who uses one of the old fashioned tall wine bottles to produce "fantastic" pasty that is the true mille-feuille and not the "ersatz" commercial stuff that is sneaking into many of the commercial establishments nowadays.  She works by a window where people on the street can watch and there are often tourists standing and watching her work.  This of course, draws people into the shop where her daughters are happy to take their money.  

My friend says she has in the past asked about the use of the bottle and the woman told her something like it was to hand. Doesn't quite translate.  Her wooden pin fell on the stone floor and a chunk split off.  Middle of the night, no way to replace it but she had this big wine bottle so cleaned it and use it and it worked so well she kept using it.  

 

 


Edited by andiesenji (log)
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8 hours ago, pastrygirl said:

 

On 1/13/2018 at 9:03 PM, boilsover said:

The idea is that the pin has grooves/ridges that better place butter into the layers of dough.

 

This doesn't make sense to me.  The butter is 'placed in the dough' by putting the butter block on the dough, folding it up, and rolling...

 

Well, let me offer an idea that makes sense to me.  I suggest that, when rolled with a smooth pin, the forces are such that the dough  (paste and butter layers alike) is moved almost completely in the direction in which the pin is rolled.  With the longitudinal ridges (which are rounded), a pushing motion along with downward pressure will exert both forward and rearward forces in all the layers.  This might mean more consistent thicknesses of paste and butter layers after the chosen number of turns.

 

This may well be part of what was said about avoiding tearing; then again, perhaps there's more to it.


Edited by boilsover (log)

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