The process of making a puff passes through three stages: soaking, buttering and tourage. Each of these steps is followed by a rest period. Successful puff pastry dough is both crisp and airy. Its quality depends on how you perform tourage and follow the proportions of ingredients. Tourage of the dough is to work it following a specific order to get the “layer cake” effect. In general, the weight of water must be equal to half the flour, and the fat must be equal to twice the weight of the flour and water.
1. Puff pastry
For best results, this dough is prepared 10 hours in advance, the day before use. Indeed, a rest period between each step is essential to obtain an airy and light dough.
Ingredients list for puff pastry
For 2 lbs (1kg) of dough you need:
- 500 grams of pastry flour
- 50 grams butter
- 325 grams of puff pastry butter (or tourrage butter)
- 8 grams of salt,
- 25 cl of cold water.
First, we must begin with tempera. To do this, sift the flour before forming a well and then put in all the water and salt. Then knead it all using only your fingertips, careful to not overwork the dough. Avoid over kneading it. The dough should have a soft and elastic consistency. It should by no means stick to your fingers. The success also depends on the tempera rate of gluten content in the flour. When it absorbs too much moisture, it is necessary to add water in very small quantities for rectification.
Otherwise, when the dough is sticky, you can add a little flour. Then form a ball quickly with the tempera (that is to say, form a ball by rotating between the palms). Incise a large cross on top and wrap the dough in a dry cloth. Then let stand at room temperature for at least half an hour.
For smearing the butter, puff should be released in advance of the refrigerator so it can be more easily worked. Flatten the butter with a rolling pin until it is exactly the same consistency as the dough. After 30 minutes has elapsed, pause, flour your work surface and spread the tempera. To do this, open the cross roll and stretch each end into a rectangle.
Finally it should remain a thick mound in the middle. Put now softened butter in the center (on the mound) and fold the edges. Solder the ends properly so that the butter does not escape and turn the dough onto the work surface.
Then comes the difficult step – the tourage. Puff pastry dough is 6 turns. Spread or roll dough to get a rectangle an inch thick and with a length equal to three times the width. Then fold the rectangle into 3. To do this, imagine two lines dividing the dough into three (in terms of width) and fold these levels: 1 / 3 higher toward the center, the lower 1 / 3 to the center as well. Turn the dough a quarter turn and mark with the imprint of a finger pulp to describe this first round.
Then wrap with a dry cloth and let rest one hour in the refrigerator. For five laps remaining, repeat steps “spread-bend-twist one quarter turn”, and let the dough rest in a cool 1 hour before each round. Do not forget to mark the finger every time the number of turns corresponding to the batter does not get lost. After the sixth round the dough is ready for use.
2. Hints and Tips
To be sure not to miss your puff pastry and to save time, follow these tips.
Simplify your practice by using a food processor for making the dough. Just incorporate all ingredients (except butter tourage) for the machine to knead. The technique of “double turn” allows for two rounds at once. So you will only make 3 double towers within an hour of rest for 6 laps.
To achieve this double turn, spread the dough, then fold it into 4 instead of 3, fold the top and bottom two quarters to the inside. The dough takes the form of an open book. Then close the “book”, turn a quarter turn, mark two fingerprints to identify the double turn and leave in the fridge for an hour. Repeat three times this tour and you can use the dough.
To roll out the dough
For best results, leave the dough a few minutes at room temperature before spreading between the towers. Always roll the dough in the same direction, that is to say, avoid moving back and forth over the dough.
3. The puff pastry is ready
You can make more dough in advance. To do this, you must stop at the fifth round before freezing. When the time comes, remove the dough one hour to thaw. Then perform the sixth round. After an hour of rest in the fridge, you can use puff pastry for your layer cake, appetizers, pies band, flaky salt, etc.