|Puff Pastry Pesto Triangles|
The main idea behind puff pastry is to alternate layers of dough with layers of butter. The trick is to use cold butter so it doesn't melt all over. My recipe uses cubes of butter folded in the dough. It is a lot easier than the slab method, and unless you're a puff pastry connoisseur you won't know the difference. Here is my recipe:
16 oz. flour (half cake flour is good)
1 lb. butter, cubed and chilled
9 oz. ice-cold water
1/4 oz salt
Add butter to flour and toss to coat butter. Combine the water and salt; add all at once. Mix on low speed until the dough forms a shaggy mass. Cover the mix and put it in the refrigerator to let the butter get hard again (20 minutes). When this is done, roll out the dough into a square or rectangle. Fold like a birthday card and roll out again. Keep folding and rolling until you get the desired texture. The less you fold, the more puff you'll get. Fewer folds will give you a finer texture and more even layers. Refrigerate as needed, when the butter starts to melt. After you are done folding, the dough can be baked at 350 degrees until golden (time varies depending on thickness, etc.).
What I love about this recipe is that you can freeze the dough and then use it when you're ready. It thaws fairly quickly (an hour or so). You can bake as-is, cut out in different shapes, or you can make pockets with filling, or wrap around a hot dog or whatever! You can also make triangles and roll them up for croissants.
You know what makes puff pastry so awesome though? The sheer amount of butter used. It's like this:
|Butter = love!|
That's a cereal bowl full of cute little butter cubes, folks.
While all that butter is awesome, it costs me about $3 per recipe. But it's so worth it. For special occasions I don't think this is a bad price, and I love the fact that you can get a killer puff pastry with only four ingredients.