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RETREVR

Puff pastry application

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I have been making a "strudel" with puff pastry filled with carmelized onions and maytag blue. It is fine.

I have been trying to convert this into a bite sized finger food that I can produce without having to make individual peices. I simply scaled down the the size to a little over an inch diameter tubular shape and did not weave the top. Instead, I slashed the top every inch or so to allow it to vent and to aid in cutting.

I can't get a clean product. The main problem is that half of the seams will burst. I have put the seam on the top, side, bottom. I have seamed it dry, I have eggwashed the seam, I have single crimped the seam, I have double crimped the seam, I have docked the dough, I have left the dough un-docked.

So what to do?

Should I try a different type of dough?

Should I try a different brand of dough?

Do I just suck at using puff?

Is there another pattern that I could use?

Any other thoughts?

The reason I realy want this to work is that I don't want to spend several hours making individual pastries every time I need 500 of them for a party. I can spend an hour putting the cylinders together and then just slice them for service....If I can get them to stay together.

We already make pot stickers and spring rolls in house...by the thousands. I just don't have the hands available to make thousands of pastries. If I can't find a way to make them quickly, I will have to remove them from the menus...which would suck because they are tasty.

The only other thing I have not tried is rolling-out the dough to be rather thin.

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Have you tried phyllo? I make a 'strudel' with apples and phyllo when I don't want to do a stretch dough.

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Have you tried phyllo?  I make a 'strudel' with apples and phyllo when I don't want to do a stretch dough.

No I have not. I did try an eggroll wrapper and baked it. I did not like the result. I will try phyllo although it can get very messy on a platter. I'll try it.

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Once you have made up your cylinders, do you let them relax in the retarder before you bake them off? That may solve your problem if you aren't.

I also think that rolling out your dough to be a bit thinner may be really beneficial. It seems to me that your seams are bursting because there's too much pastry for the size cylinder you're rolling.

Using a thinner dough and relaxing it before baking off should help a lot.

You could use phyllo, but wouldn't that just create more work for you?

It seems to me that you want to make this process less labor intensive.

I'd suggest working out the problem with the puff, rather than abandoning it altogether.

:smile:

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Why not make beggar's purses? We used to make them by the thousands at a country club. Even dessert sized, with cake and ganache and heat proof jam inside.

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.........lots to say.

First thing, have you noticed that like no two brands of puff pastry are the same thickness? Some brands are thinner then others. Some are horribly thick and must always be rolled thinner. So it could be the brand that your using. But you should be rolling any brand of pp dough thinner if your making a strudel so you don't have too much dough to filling ratio. For sweet items I'll roll my dough out in sugar and that caramelizes on the exterior when baked (sometimes I spice my sugar). For savory applications you could use nut flours, like hazelnut flour to roll your dough on.........for extra flavor.

I usually use phyllo dough for a "strudel" type item myself. It's easier to control and just as quick for me as pp. If I'm using pp I always restrain it's rise by placing a weighted sheet pan over the top. But with a cylinder shaped object that would be tricky. You could, on first thought control it into a square shape by weighting the top and putting objects on both sides of the cylinder to prevent it from spreading. You'd get a pretty square shaped studel........

But honestly, I don't know of any other way to control your rise so it doesn't burst. My phyllo also bursts from the steam of the baking filling. The only way around it is to use way less filling in a very thin dough.

If you might be interested in trying phyllo, have you tried using a spray bottle to apply your butter? That goes really fast.

You could make phyllo or pp purses by laying the dough into a mini muffin pan and filling, then baking........with-out tyeing off or cinching the top.

I'm wondering why you have less crumb with pp verse phyllo.............I'd guess it would be pretty much the same. PP crumbles when you cut it, too. Can you put it in paper cups to keep your tray clean?

Could you make these into a layered/napoleon shape? Baking full shees, chill to set, then slice.

Could you do a shortcut vol u vent shape with the pp? Cut out bite sized rounds, indent the center with a smaller round, place a weighted sheet pan on top of the pan (to control the rise) while baking. Remove the center circle to hollow out your shell and fill. Pipe your filling onto toasts, buy in shaped vol u vents (their cheap).

How about mini turnover shaped pastries?

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I just realized that we make a puff-pastry roll filled with a cottage cheese mixture. The PP is rolled quite thin - slashed to let steam out. Always egg wash the seam and place it on the bottom. Most recently we've been using Rich's puff pastry (and occasionally President's choice). It's baked til golden and then chilled. Sliced cold - it holds up really well. Then it's heated before serving.

I don't know if this helps.. because it sounds like you've tried this.

What pp are you using?

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Thank you all for your responses. I am sorry I have been away for a day.

To address a few things Wendy. Yes I am familiar with weighting. I made canape sized in-house smoked salmon and asparagrass napoleans today and obviously weighted the pp. I had just never thought of weighting a filled pastry. That is a hell of an idea. Perhaps even rolling them up in silpats? I crazy.

I also do make small voul au vents as you describe, usualy for a salad of lump crab. I think I loose something by not baking the onions (and don't forget the blue cheese) en crout. The ingredients interact.

I have infact tried cutting rounds and baking them in a mini-tin. This actually works well for some ingredients, as the pp wraps around the filling. My only attempt with the onions failed because the pp simply pushed the filling to the top and it looked like a little onion muffin.

Brand is a sore subject. We have slowly been pushing the chef out of the business(have not seen her in a month), as she has no ability/desire to really get on top of ordering quality products. We are just now getting the ship in order with our suppliers. We have been using (now don't laugh) "Jeckys Best" brand of kosher puff pastry. I know...it is funny. But appearantly after Jeckys succesfull vaudville carrer, he got into the puff pastry racket. I ordered-in a different brand that arrived today. I was pleased with my napolean project. So.

I have been resting the pastries, but I will try cooling them for some time before I bake them.

I will try a thinner roll.

I wil try weighting.

I am all-over the squirt bottles. If I had my way, every liquid in the world would be in a squirt bottle and all the furniture on wheels.

I don't use a lot of phylo. I think it is perfect for a few dishes, but generaly over-used in some cases... generaly that is....except in some casses...that is.

How about a pear stuffed with onion confit and maytag and wraped in phylo? Good yes? You like? I'll have to wait for the nice pears to happen.

I was frustrated. I now have a good couple of directions to go. I even recieved a recipe straight out of Italia for a dough that I am going to try.

Thanks folks. This is a good non-partisan think tank.

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I regularly do mini-strudels in puff pastry at my work. I use 15"X20" sheets, and roll them out to roughly a 24" square. This makes for numerous benefits: it improves the pastry:filling ratio; gives me 50% more product from a given sheet (nine squares instead of six); keeps the puff from ballooning too much; and makes it easier to cut without shattering into a gazillion flakes. I used to egg wash my seams, but now I just leave them at the bottom and don't worry about it.

Of course I bake from frozen, which makes a difference as well.

Another thing you may want to do is check with your supplier. The brand of puff I buy (it comes from the Vancouver area) is available in both a high-rise and a low-rise version; buying the latter would certainly help you in this particular application.

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