With its origin in France, the Pate Feuilletee or Puff pastry is also called leafed pastry mainly due to its several layers or leaves. It is the king of all cakes- flaky, crispy, light, and especially buttery. It is used primarily for making different creations like Palmiers, Allumettes, Napoleons, and croissants. Since this pastry does not incorporate the use of sugar in any form, it serves as the ideal wrapping for varied sweet foods and savory like cheese, fruit, and meats. You can either make it at home or buy it from the store in ready-made form.
Leafed pastry features a laminated structure that is made up of alternate coatings of fat and dough. The paste for the pastry is rolled out while giving it enough turns until there are thousands of alternating layers of fat and dough. While the pastry is baked, the water vapor and the expanding air separate the coatings apart resulting in a crisp, flaky, light and delightful cake. There are several stages that the puff undergoes when the thinly sheeted pieces of pastry are baked in the microwave. The steps are as follows:
- Fat in the coatings melts and then creates gaps between the dough sheets.
- Next, the dough sheets begin to harden while maintaining their shape because of the presence of gluten.
- With constant heating, the liquid present in the pastry dough transforms into steam. This pushes the dough sheets apart and upwards.
- The outcome is a pastry that is ten times thicker in comparison to the size that was in the microwave.
Different Varieties Of Puff Pastries
Speaking of the different varieties of puff pastries, there are mainly four standard types, and they are three-quarter, half, inverted puff, and full. These terms describe the quantity of fat in conjunction with the flour weight. Full means equal weights of flour and fat while the meaning of three-quarter is three-quarters of the weight of fat to flour. Inverted puff comes as a special and exclusive way of preparing puff pastry. Here, butter does not go into the pastry dough. Instead, the dough is encased into the butter block. The process might seem challenging, but only with some practice, you can get desired results. Danish and croissant pastries are made using laminated dough which is also made in the same way as a puff pastry. However, there is one difference, and that is, yeast is used in preparing the dough base.
Making Quick Puff Pastries
Quick puff pastries are made using a shortcut procedure known as rough puff, half pastry, and blitz. It is the way of abbreviating the longer process, although the cake does not rise very high. It is tenderer while distorting less and also perfect for buttery and crisp crusts, cream horns, and cheese straws. You can even use it as a crust for quiches, pot pies, and tarts.
The secret to grabbing success in the process of making quick puff pastry is working quickly for keeping the butter from melting.