Making the perfect puff pastry dough

If there is anything Puff pastry, Macrons, or even Baked Alaska have in common its the trickiness in mastering them, and that is why it is advised that before rolling any puffy pastry, it is essential that you fully "Understand" its technique, from choosing the right ingredients and methods, to storing it. I will try as much as possible to cover the basics you need for a perfect puff pastry. But before that, i will tell you a story

The very first time i tried to make a puff pastry was a fail, despite the fact that i followed every single step carefully. So what went wrong?
Everything was going on smoothly, until the point where i was required to roll and fold. I put the butter in the dough , did the book turn and started rolling only for the butter to break into parts and distribute hunks everywhere outside the dough. That was very different from what i saw online. It took me the second time to realize what the problem was. I was using "MARGARINE"

Similarly, i had a problem where my layers were very thin (over working dough) the butter was visible, the dough sticked to the board (i forgot to sprinkle flour) and so i literary ended up with a shrunken pastry!

To conclude, the message here is that All recipe videos or articles will not tell you EVERYTHING and so if you happen to land on a recipe page that only gives you steps and nothing more, then there is an 80% probability you will mess up. You need to research and make sure you are ready for what you are getting into, and thats where my ideology of "Understanding puff pastry" comes to play. Okay enough talk.

What is Puff pastry?

🔀 Puff pastry is a French type of laminated dough where layers of dough are created and separated by butter with the technique of folding and rolling. Such doughs can have up to eighty or more layers.

🔀 Unlike Croissant pastry (a form of laminated dough) which sometimes demands yeast to rise, Puff pastry leavens mechanically which means, the water in the butter separating the layers of dough, will vaporise and expands upon application of heat (oven), pressing against the layers of dough, making the product puffy, while the remains of the butter will eventually fry the dough making the product light, flaky and crimp. This is the main reason why rolls and folds are made.

🔀 Puff pastry is excellent for any kind of pie, sausage roll, turn overs and so much more.

Getting the right ingredients and tools for Puff pastry

To have a solid guarantee you will end up with a tasty pastry, you will have to not only get the right ingredients, but the quality ones of course!
Making puff pastry dosent require much ingredients or fancy tools, as a matter of fact only few tools and ingredients are needed and that is the most exciting thing about it.

  • Butter: Butter is tastiest, Use organic butter, but if you're using margarine make sure its a Pastry margarine! Normal margarine melts faster than butter at low temperatures, breaks into parts when ever you try to roll, making the other method of pastry which requires you to roll out butter and put dough in it almost IMPOSSIBLE!, and its taste is nothing close to butters.
  • Flour: For flour, it is best to use a pastry flour as it contains little to no bran, and it is rich in protein (gluten) which enables it to form an elastic medium which is essential in leavening.  All purpose flour will do fine as well.
  • Ice cold water: Always wonder why ice cold water is required in puff pastry? wonder no more!

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