Thursday, September 8, 2011

It's Puff Pastry, Y'all!

Let's just start with two sticks of butter y'all..... or if you're making puff pastry like we did this week, we actually started with, ( I think), 2 pounds of butter. Oh what?!?! Oh yes, the 2 pounds of butter is used to make the beurrage for laminated doughs, that we then turned into PUFF PASTRY. Oh yeah! 

Puff pastry does take some work, there was a lot, and I mean a lot of rolling out the dough, and folding, and putting in the walk-in to chill, and more rolling, then folding, then chilling, and did I mention rolling? But it was all very well worth the efforts. When I learned that we were doing another laminated dough, I wasn't too excited. But then I heard what we would make with said laminated dough, and chef Richard had me at Palmiers. I love palmiers for a number of reasons. First of all, they are French, second they are simple, pretty, and sweet. And once your laminated dough, (or Paton), is finally finished, they are pretty simple to make. I was actually very surprised that mine turned out correctly, because as I was cutting them and laying them on the sheet pan, they didn't "seem right". But as I sneaked a peek at them as they were rising in the oven, I had a sigh of relief as they looked perfect. Yay! 

Oh, and we also made Turnovers and Twists with all the laminated dough. But let's get back to my of the things that makes them so wonderful is the sugar. LOTS of sugar. French law states that a proper Palmier must use a 1/4 of the weight of its dough in sugar. And the way to add that much sugar into the dough is to replace your bench flour with sugar. Awesome! Oh, and as if that wasn't enough sugar, before you lay them on the sheet pan to bake, you lightly roll them in more sugar. You know, just to be safe. 

Cinnamon Twists
This week is a short week with the Labor Day holiday, and we have our second practical exam. It's a two-nighter. And we are being tested on three doughs: Pate Brisee, Pate Sucree, and Pate au Choux. And with those doughs we are to make a Quiche, an Almond Tart, Profiteroles and Eclairs. We had two hours last night, and will have another two hours tonight. It took us the full two hours last night just to make all the doughs, and I think most of us were able to blind bake the Pate Brisee for the quiche, and bake our pate au choux. So that means for tonight, I have to make the quiche filling, the tart filling, pastry creme, chantilly creme, chocolate glaze, bake the quiche and tart, and assemble the profiteroles and eclairs. I hope I can get it all done in time!

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