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Learning puff pastry

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Wow that stuff is a pain in the tuckus!

Followed the Cook's Illustrated recipe for tomato/mozzarella tarts as I had all ingredients in-house. Strangely, the puff pastry dough would NOT rise, even a little bit. Crisped up nicely and held together, but no loft at all.

Isn't this stuff supposed to, well, puff?
post #2 of 13
Can you share the recipe and method?
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
unbleached all-purpose flour for work surface
1 box frozen puff pastry (Pepperidge Farm, 1.1 pound), thawed in box in refrigerator overnight
1 large egg , beaten
2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 cup)
1 pound plum tomatoes (about 3 to 4 medium), cored and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
table salt
2 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Ground black pepper
8 ounces whole-milk mozzarella cheese , shredded (2 cups)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil


1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Dust work surface with flour and unfold both pieces puff pastry onto work surface. Following illustrations below, form 1 large sheet with border, using beaten egg as directed. Sprinkle Parmesan evenly over shell; using fork, uniformly and thoroughly poke holes in shell. Bake 13 to 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees; continue to bake until golden brown and crisp, 13 to 15 minutes longer. Transfer to wire rack; increase oven temperature to 425 degrees.
2. While shell bakes, place tomato slices in single layer on double layer paper towels and sprinkle evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt; let stand 30 minutes. Place second double layer paper towels on top of tomatoes and press firmly to dry tomatoes. Combine garlic, olive oil, and pinch each salt and pepper in small bowl; set aside.
3. Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over warm (or cool, if made ahead) baked shell. Shingle tomato slices widthwise on top of cheese (about 4 slices per row); brush tomatoes with garlic oil. Bake until shell is deep golden brown and cheese is melted, 15 to 17 minutes. Cool on wire rack 5 minutes, sprinkle with basil, slide onto cutting board or serving platter, cut into pieces, and serve.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
I know, it's a glorified pizza. I made it for the experience of playing with the puff pastry, nothing more.
post #5 of 13
You docked it, that is why it didn't rise.
post #6 of 13
Well if it's a pizza it shouldn't rise.

Next time just toss a 6" square piece in the oven and see for yourself.

Or, eggwash two 6" squares together. :)
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Oh, and when a recipe refers to a "piece" of puff pastry, is it safe to assume they mean a sheet as it comes in the box? Unless otherwise specified, of course.
post #8 of 13
Yes it's safe to assume that. :)
post #9 of 13

Puff pastry

Ahem!!!!!!!

learning puff pastry does NOT mean take it out of the box. :-))) ;-)))

Here is part of Julia Childs puff pastry, it will tell you where to find the rest of the lesson.
PBS: Julia Child: Lessons with Master Chefs: Prime Video Cuts

qahtan
post #10 of 13
Sorry, I thought you we're making the pastry.
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Oh, mea culpa.
post #12 of 13
So did I...

A great book for learning puff pastry (and lots of other things) is Bo Friberg's The Professional Pastry Chef. He gives the classic European method, then also give a "quick" puff pastry that is, LOL, called American puff pastry in Europe. It's a half-tuckus method, not as good of course as the full pain in the tuckus method.

The stuff in the box often has shortening or lard or other bizarro oils (hydrogenated palm, etc), night and day from making it from scratch with full-on butter. I'd say consider making the quick stuff before using the stuff in the box.
post #13 of 13
LOL .... yup - been there, done that.....and a pain it is !!! Makes the art of folding danish and croissant dough a walk in the park, kinda sorta. I've always hated making puff from scratch - might not be so bad at my current position (smaller quantity) as opposed to previous retail baking position when I lived in eastern PA, where we did a large volume of EVERYthing .....
Bakers - we make a lot of dough, but not so much money
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Bakers - we make a lot of dough, but not so much money
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