5.27.2013

Homemade Puff Pastry Bowties

Since today is Memorial Day and I'm not going anywhere special, I chose to conquer puff pastry. Puff pastry is a type of labor- and time- demanding pastry, but yields light and flaky cookies, tarts, etc. It can also be easily bought at a grocery store, but the homemade version tastes much better if you have five hours to spare. It's an amazing sense of accomplishment when you taste the finished product.
The black bits on the parchment paper are burnt egg wash. Just peel them off, it'll be fine.
I used the classic puff pastry recipe from The Art of French Baking by Ginette Mathiot, then shaped them as little bowties. The book is not too descriptive so I may have done it incorrectly, but it still tasted and looked great.

Don't overwork the pastry or add too much water, as that will make it tough. Treat it like a buttery baby; be gentle.
Homemade Puff Pastry Bowtiesadapted from The Art of French Bakingmakes 21 two-inch bowties
Ingredients:
1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
pinch of salt
1/4 cup water, add more if needed but less is better!
1/2 cup butter, softened and diced
1 egg, beaten
generous amount of powdered sugar (for heavily dusting the bowties before baking)
Directions:
Combine the flour, salt and water to make a smooth and elastic dough.
Roll this dough into a 1/2"-thick square and place the butter in the center.
Fold the four corners so that they meet in the middle, covering up all the butter.
then, roll out into a long rectangle, 1/4" thick and fold into thirds. refrigerate for fifteen minutes. Turn the dough ninety degrees. roll out into a long rectangle and fold into thirds. refrigerate for fifteen minutes. Turn the dough ninety degrees. roll out into a long rectangle and fold into thirds. refrigerate for fifteen minutes. Turn the dough ninety degrees. and on and on, at least ten times. Each of these times is called a "turn."
Now we're finally getting close to baking! Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roll out into a long rectangle one last time and cut into 2"-long strips, about 1" wide. Twist each side one-hundred eighty degrees to form bowtie shapes, and brush with the egg. Heavily dust each bowtie with powdered sugar and place on the sheet.
Bake for 15-20 minutes. My oven isn't that great so I broil for the last two minutes, otherwise it will only brown on the bottom(for my oven.)
Cool on a cooling rack, then enjoy and feel proud of yourself!


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