Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pastry Class: Puff Pastry and Pate a Choux

I was really excited about today's class. I've always been intrigued by the idea of making my own puff pastry. I'm glad to get the opportunity to understand laminated doughs. So far, it seems easier than expected. We'll find out for sure in a week, when we get to make things with the pastry.

Making puff pastry is more about patience. The pastry needs to be returned to the refrigerator between each step. The butter in the dough needs to be kept cold, so that it remains distinct from the dough.

The other thing we learned to do is pate a choux. Pate a choux is a slightly sticky, fluid batter that can be piped, and is used to make cream puffs, eclairs, crullers, beignets, and other things. We used it to make cream puffs, with a mocha whipped cream filling, and dipped in a dark chocolate ganache.

Both recipes are easier than I expected, though both require patience and attention to detail.

As always for the pastry class, are recipes are courtesy of Chef James Foran.


Classic Puff Pastry

9 1/2 oz by wt. butter at room temperature
16 oz by wt. bread flour
3/10 oz by wt. salt
2 1/2 oz by wt. butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
8 oz by vol. cold water

Roll the 9 1/2 oz butter between two sheets of parchment paper into a 8" by 14" rectangle. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

In a stand mixer with a paddle, combine flour and salt. Add water and melted butter all at once. Mix on low speed 8 to 10 revolutions until dough is just combined. Do not over mix.

Knead just until combined. Wrap in plastic wrap, refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Roll dough on a floured surface into a 10" by 20" rectangle. Place chilled butter sheet on bottom 2/3 of the dough. Fold top 1/3 of dough down to cover half the butter. Fold bottom third of dough up, sot that butter is now enclosed in dough.

Roll dough into a 10" by 22" rectangle. Along long axis, fold both ends of dough into the middle, then fold in half to form four layers. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Repeat three more times. Wrap dough thoroughly, and freeze.

Pate a Choux

4 oz by vol. water
4 oz by vol. milk
4 oz by wt. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
6 oz by wt. bread flour
9 oz by wt. eggs

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine water, milk, and butter. Bring just to a boil. Add flour and salt all at once. Cook for one minute, stirring with a wooden spoon, over medium-low heat. Batter will turn into a ball almost immediately.

Remove from heat, transfer dough to the bowl of a stand mixer. Process with a paddle on low speed for 30 seconds to cool. Add eggs in four stages. At each stage, blend at high speed. Batter should be a shiny, thick paste.

To make cream puffs:

Place pate a choux in a pastry bag with a large round tip. While still warm, pipe onto a parchment lined sheet pan. Pipe quarter sized rounds of dough. Leave space for expansion between rounds.

Bake in a 375 F oven for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 F, and prop door of oven slightly open to allow venting. Bake another 10 minutes.

Remove from oven, and allow to cool completely.

When cool, pipe filling into shells. Dip into ganache. Sprinkle with chopped almonds. Refrigerate to allow chocolate to harden.

Mocha Whipped Cream Filling

20 oz. by wt. cream
5 Tbsp. powdered sugar
1 tsp. mocha concentrate
pinch salt

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk. Whip to medium stiff peaks.

Chocolate Ganache

6 oz by vol. cream
6 oz by weight chocolate

Heat cream to just boiling. Pour over chocolate. Let stand for a couple of minutes. Whisk together chocolate and cream.

Happy Eating!

No comments:

Post a Comment