I am a simple girl who derives happiness from many simple things in life. Coffee, chocolate, flowers, books, photography, snow, kindness from a stranger, a thought provoking conversation, emails from friends, silly jokes and most recently, the making of puff pastry.
Perhaps it's the intimacy with the dough that I covet. To make puff pastry,(at least for a small batch), we were taught to do it by hands. Everytime I roll out the dough for more turns, I feel that the dough and I are working as a team. I need to be sensitive to its hints on when to stop rolling, and when a little stretch is desired. This may sound a little superstitious, but I believe that the dough can sense if you are scared to work with it. And if you are intimidated, it will mischievously make things difficult for you.
Lucky for me, as a member of the Daring Bakers last year, I had my first experience with laminated dough when we made Danish Braid for the June Challenge. Though the process is not identical, there are many similarities. It also helps that I have recently staged at one of the country's top laminated dough master's patisserie. I picked up a few tricks when observing the master make croissants and other breakfast pastries. That experience itself is worth another blog entry.
So back to my puff pastry. The whole process took 3 days, in which we allowed sufficient time for the dough to rest in the chiller. The resulting puff pastry was used to make Pithivier - a puff pastry pie filled with frangipane. The scrape of the puff pastry dough was collected, and used to make apple turnovers. Our thoughtful chefs baked them just before break time, so we can enjoy freshly baked apple turnovers as snack. The fresh from the oven's apple turnovers tasted so buttery and delicate. I almost ate two!
Not a big frangipane fan, I took the pithivier home for picture taking and passed the remaining Pithivier to my friend Heather, who sent her whole pie to her family in Michigan!
I had so much fun making puff pastry in class that I persuaded Heather to make it again in her apartment this weekend. Unfortunately, that didn't materialize because I couldn't roll out of bed on Saturday morning to buy the ingredients! I blame it on the oily and msg-laden chinese food we ate on Friday night.
As I finally dragged my lazy bum out on Sunday afternoon, I bought all the ingredients and decided to make it on the only table I have in my tiny studio. While the rest of the world is watching Superbowl, I gently work on my puff pastry dough. Rolling, folding, turning and resting when it tells me to. The puff pastry dough has been rested in the refrigerator for 2 hours now, I think it's ready for the next 2 turns.
After a total of 6 turns, my puff pastry dough will be frozen and waiting to be transformed into a delicious dessert when OCT comes visit in March! A tarte tatin perhaps? Or Nutella turnovers? Or maybe I will fill some with savory filling. OCT is green with envy of all the people who have eaten the pastries I bring home. So I hope the homemade puff pastry will alleviate his jealousy when he comes visit!