Monday, December 2, 2013

Easy Puff Pastry

Ah, quick laminated pastry dough.  How I love thee.  This is the recipe that inspired my experimentation with making easy croissants.  It is really easy and produces a remarkably flaky pastry for the amount of time it takes to make.  Again, the lamination process is super fast and the end result, while not as light and flaky as the classic method, will totally impress all of your friends.  Puff pastry recipes to follow in later posts!

Makes 1 lb of dough
- 1.5 cups (7.5oz/235g) all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (2oz/60g) cake and pastry flour (or more all purpose)
- scant 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 lb (250g) cold margarine or vegetable shortening (I like a 50:50 mix)
- 1/2 cup (4oz/125ml) ice cold water

1. Whisk together flour(s) and salt.
2. Use a pastry cutter to cut the fat into the flour.  There should be largish chunks of fat visible--don't cut it down too much.
3. Sprinkle water over the flour/fat mixture and gently mix together with a wooden spoon (you don't want to mash the fat chunks too much).  When you can't incorporate any more flour in, use your hands to gather together a dough ball.  Press/squeeze the flour mixture together to form a dough, rather than kneading.  The final dough will be sticky.
4. Turn dough out onto a well floured surface.  Flour the top of the dough.
Roll into a rectangle, about 7x16 inches.  Make sure everything stays well-floured--keep checking under the dough to make sure it is not sticking.  Square everything up by pressing the dough into the side of a pastry scraper.
5. Fold the top down to the middle, and the bottom to the middle.  Fold in half.  Use the pasty scraper to square everything up.

6. Rotate dough 90 degrees (see pic at the top of this post) and repeat step 5.
7. Wrap dough in plastic wrap or waxed paper and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before using.

As you can see, I am back blogging.  Life is still busy here, but I really missed creating and posting new recipes.  I have all the wonderful people I met at the Atlanta VegFest to thank for getting me back in the Vegan Dad groove.  I was amazed that so many people knew who Vegan Dad was, still loved the blog, still followed the Facebook page, and who still (despite the explosion of vegan blogs and cookbooks in the past few years) wanted me to post new recipes.  I also had the great fortune to eat lunch and dinner with Isa in Athens (thanks, Janet!).  She has been a supporter of the blog since the very beginning and is a source of vegan inspiration.  So, I'm back.  I'll probably only get a few posts off a month until the book manuscript is in (not a cookbook, I am sorry to say).  Thanks for sticking with me, and let's eat some good food!
Here I am contemplating my future whilst Isa signs my copy of her cookbook.