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Puff Pastry recipe for Pamalamb (long)

LindaMc | Sep 13, 2005 04:35 PM

I offered to post this recipe in a discussion of W-S ripoff mail-order puff pastry on General Topics. I learned it during a Pastry Boot Camp (!) week at the CIA last year, and it has worked very well for me at home (this is an extreme paraphrase).

PLEASE don't be put off by the length of the recipe, or the fact that the measurements are all by weight (I have found this works best in baking in any case). It is not hard, it is fun if you like working with your hands and the results are spectacular. I will give the original amounts which make about 6 lb of puff but I usually make half this, cut into quarters, wrap well and freeze. Each quarter makes a good amount for appetizers or a tart for 6-8.

Apologies for the didactic tone but this is all about technique and I think elaboration is helpful.

OK, here goes:

You have to make two kinds of dough for puff pastry--water dough and butter dough. "Laminating" the two together, by repeated folding, is what makes it nice and flaky.


8 oz cake flour
2 lb bread flour
4 oz soft butter (I have used Plugra to good effect)
1 lb 4 oz water
3/4 oz salt


8 oz of the sifted cake and bread flour from above
2 lb 4 oz soft, cold butter


Sift cake and bread flours together. Weigh out and set aside 8 oz of the sifted mixture. Put the remaining sifted flour mix in the bowl of an electric mixer (I have the Kitchenaid Artisan with a 5q bowl and it works fine for a half recipe) and mix with dough hook on low speed until pea-sized pieces are formed. Dissolve the salt in the water, add it to the butter-flour mix and blend on low speed until it forms a smooth dough. This usually takes about 3 minutes.

Shape the dough into a rough rectangle shape, wrap tightly in plastic and let it relax in the fridge for 30-60 minutes (you can also do this a day ahead).


Blend the butter and flour in an electric mixer on low speed, using the paddle attachment, until smooth (about 2 minutes). Roll this (it's VERY buttery) between 2 sheets of parchment into a rectange about two thirds the size of the water dough rectange. Square off the edges, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm (don't let it become too cold and hard though).

LAMINATION (sounds hard, is easy)

Roll out the water dough on a lightly floured work surface, making a rectangle as straight and square as possible. Place the butter dough on 2/3 of the water dough (leave a bit of an edge of water dough so you can seal it after folding). You are going to fold this like a letter: fold the last third of the water dough over the butter dough, then fold the third of the "doubled" dough over that. Seal the edges with your fingers, turn the dough 90 degrees and roll out in a rectangle, keeping the edges as straight and the corners as square as you can.

Now you are going to do a "four-fold"--with the long side of the rectangle facing you, visually divide the sheet into quarters. Fold the out quarters into the center so that the edges meet each other, then fold along the center as if you are closing a book.

Roll out into a rectange about the same size as it was before the four-fold. Wrap in plastic and let rest in the fridge for a half hour.

Repeat this process 3 times, turning the dough 90 degrees each time and letting it rest 30 minutes each time, for a total of four four-folds.

After the last four-fold, wrap in plastic and let rest at least 30 minutes. After that you can use it however you like, or wrap well and freeze.


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