Sunday, September 27, 2009
Homemade Puff Pastry
Making puff pastry is child’s play. Well, at our house anyway. Getting a two year old to roll out your dough doesn’t make for perfect layers and even edges.
But, showing a kid how butter and flour become puffy deliciousness does make you seem like a magician.
I wish I believed in magic. There is a point in many people’s lives where cynicism, disbelief and routine over take that innate ability to be in awe.
Wonder, the prerequisite to believing in magic, is the purview of youth. Right now, at our house, water is a hot topic. Where does rain come from? Why is water wet? Where does rain go when a puddle disappears? Why does it become ice? How does it become ice? Why is steam hot? Why is rain cold? How can you capture steam?
Puff pastry is like a snapshot of steam. The water in the butter becomes an escape artist and leaving a pocket of air. If you are a strict disciplinarian and keep the butter in line, those pockets are parallel. If you are like my daughter, and roll it out a little scattershot, your layers are a little skewed but delicious nonetheless.
Our pastry became a three cheese (Brie, fresh mozza and parm) tart topped with a vinegary raw vegetable salad, coulibiac de saumon with leeks, mushrooms and quails eggs (post upcoming) and owl palmiers.
And now to pay the piper--The September 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon. She chose the French treat, Vols-au-Vent based on the Puff Pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan.