I’m completely serious.
Go and buy your puff pastry.
During the amazing cooking class with Chef Omar of Zinc in which we made puff pastry from scratch, Chef Omar held up his pre-created puff pastry and announced that it took him 2.5 hours to make.
That my loves, is how you actually make puff pastry. You do not use a food processor, you do not skip steps, you take 2 – 2.5 hours to make real puff pastry. When you look on the internet and see recipes that swear it’s easy and you can do it yourself, you are not making true puff pastry.
And if you are not making true puff pastry, why are you bothering? Just go and buy it.
I have to give credit where credit is due: Chef Omar was the one who came up with the title of this post.
Said he: “ You know Karlynn, when you write about this class, you honestly need to name it “10 Reasons Why You Should Buy Your Puff Pastry”.
Straight from one of the finest chef’s in Edmonton. Go and buy your puff pastry.
And those 10 reasons why?
1) Guesswork. With Praying.
First, you never ever use a food processor to work the butter in. The butter has to be rolled out like below and has to fit into the dough when the dough is folded into a square. Unless you have a tape measure and are extremely adept with math, you are guessing that this sucker is going to fit.
2) You reach a point when you are proud of yourself. Then realize that you have just started the first of a million steps.
It fits! It fits!
That means the work is about to start.
3) You have to roll out your perfectly measured square. Into another perfectly measured rectangle.
Because hey, guess what! You get to fold it AGAIN! Perfectly, mind you. Another perfect shape! So you must roll it out with straight edges.
Plus you must use magic, turning a square into a rectangle!
4) That first roll will make you break out in a cold sweat of pure fear.
During that first roll, you will tense up with fear and self-doubt. You can’t do this. There’s no way.
Because my dears, you have to roll it out without letting the butter break through. This roll is the first and only that you don’t want the butter breaking through the dough. Subsequent layers it will happen, but at the beginning, you need to keep it all in.
Enjoy those beads of terror sweat on your forehead.
5) Oh wait? Did we mention the chilling between stages?
That’s right. The key to puff pastry is chilling the butter and dough between each fold and roll.
Here’s how all those recipes lie to you. You are not making puff pastry if you food process your butter and dough together. Layers of dough do not a puff pastry make. It’s keeping the butter cold between rolls, and slowly working the butter in with each roll and fold.
I don’t know what to call the other creations, but they aren’t puff pastry. Layered pastry maybe?
6) Each roll out has to have the same thickness throughout before you fold it up again.
7) Roll and fold and chill for 15 minutes or so.
8) Roll and fold and chill.
9) Did I mention that you have to roll….and fold…..and chill?
10) Repeat 8 or 9 times. For two hours.
Each roll….and fold…..and chill……is giving you the layers. Each time you roll, you create 3 layers. If you do this 8 times, you will have 24 beautiful layers in your puff pastry.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a puff pastry connoisseur by any means. I adore cheater methods of cooking, but sometimes I think that you just can’t use lesser methods. Go ahead and try the other methods but they won’t turn out to be top quality like this process gives you. However you can buy beautiful, flaky puff pastry already made and not spend two hours in the kitchen.
I also think that knowing how to make a proper puff pastry is a great kitchen skill and one that everyone should know. Perhaps one day I’ll make my own again, when I have time to indulge myself in making some beautiful pastry at home.
I’d like to thank Chef Omar for having us in and being such a great teacher, it was one of the best cooking classes I have attended and I look forward to more!
However Puff Pastry Is a Good Arm Workout Magpie